1945 - 1946
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I enlisted in the navy on October 23, 1943, prior to my eighteenth birthday. I was sent to San Diego, Cal. where I served my basic training. Upon terminating my training, I was selected to attend aviation ordnance school at Norman, Okla. After completing my AOM classes, I was transferred to NAS Floyd Bennnet Field in Brooklyn, NY, and stationed there for about a year. After Floyed Bennet Field, I went to NAS Jacksonville, Fla, where I attended an advanced AOM school. After completion of the advanced school, I was transferred back to San Diego,Cal., where I was assigned to PATSU 10-44 and later on to F.A.W. 14, 4, with the PB4Y2s Privateers on Shemya, which flew bombing missions against the Northern Kuril Islands of Japan until the end of the war. I was also stationed on Attu and Kodiak Islands.


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pkg11.jpg (42064 bytes) #1. That�s me, I am leaning on the vertical tail of one of our PB4Y2s, No. 59807, on Shemya 1945-46.
pkg116.jpg (16471 bytes) #2. PB4Y2 Privateer on Shemya, waiting to be checked out for next mission. 1945-46
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#3. Privateers taking off  on another mission against the Japanese Kuril Islands. Shemya 1945-46

pkg11d.jpg (63556 bytes) #4. Partial view of Pb4y2.  Notice Dirt mounts around plane, this was done to hide our planes from the Japanese. They were also camouflaged by spreading  huge dark nets over each plane. Shemya 1945-46.
pkg11f.jpg (22265 bytes) #5. PB4Y2 returning from a bombing mission, the ground crews are always glad to see them come back, this one looks OK.  (�God, I hope my machine guns didn't malfunction, I hope he was able to fire every 50 cal. round including the tracers, and that all the bombs detonated on impact�).  Shemya  1945-46.
pkg121.jpg (52339 bytes) #6. Ordnance mate, getting ready to load 50 cal machine guns on PB4Y2 turrets. Notice the two oscillating guns on side �blister� turret.  An ordnance man was responsible for all the armament on the plane, that is to say, all the offensive and defensive equipment. Shemya  1945-46
pkg15.jpg (68543 bytes) #7. Here I am standing along side of PB4Y2- I believe this is on Kodiak, when we were on our way to Attu and Shemya, 45-46.
pkg17.jpg (56712 bytes) #8. On this one, I am resting against the forward top turret between two 50 cal. machine guns on a PB4Y2 Privateer (notice snow on plane). Usually, after we finished checking all the armed  bombs, shackles, guns, turret operation etc. and generally getting the plane ready for the Kuril Islands next bombing mission, we hung around and wait for chow time (you know, "do-do on a shingle�). Shemya, 1945-46
pkg1a.jpg (55810 bytes) #9. This picture was taken by standing on top of the nose facing the top turrets and tall rear fin of our PB4Y2 on Shemya (the �Black Rock�) Alaska. 1945 or 1946.
pkg1c.jpg (53428 bytes) #10. Here is a rear view of a PB4Y2 parked on Shemya 1945 or 46.  I notice some folks refer to our planes as B-24s, we called  our big ocean blue birds �Our Navy Privateers." That single tall tail fin and long body, side �blister� turrets, were easy to identify, and  made the major difference  between the two heavy bombers. Shemya 1945-46.
Img003.jpg (61780 bytes) #11. Another view of the PB4Y2 on Shemya. Notice "Ball" nose turret located directly above the bombardier's compartment. Shemya/1945-46.
PKG110.jpg (34335 bytes) #12. That�s me on top of  the famous Army�s twin fuselage P-38 Lightning. Shemya 1945-46.
PKG118.jpg (29269 bytes) #13. Two ordnance men &�Amphibious� PBY Catalina. Shemya 1945-46.
PKG116-2.jpg (16401 bytes) #14. One ordnance man & the (�Flying Boat�) PBY Catalina. Shemya 1945/46.
PKG114.jpg (13451 bytes) #15. Lonely road  to fuel storage area on Shemya/1945/46.
PKG112.jpg (23515 bytes) #16. Fuel storage area/Shemya 1945-46.
PKG11A.jpg (9079 bytes) #17. Shemya�s Chapel, where my buddies and I visit to get our spiritual strength, and pray for each other. May God bless the good  ministers of all faiths, that were along side of us when we most needed them, remembering, that they also made great sacrifices for our country.

#18. This photo was taken in our hut while on the �Rock�.  Sitting on chair is; James E. Ledbetter, behind him and to his right; Walter S. Atha, and myself. Privateers Aviation Ordnance Department.   Shemya/ 1945-46.
#19. I am unable to identify the two ordnance mates behind me due to the marks and damage to the picture.  We loaded a great number of bombs with this �Bomb-Truck�on our privateers destined for raids on northern islands of Japan.    Shemya/ 1945-46.
#20. This photo shows the ordnance department for the privateers.  Its impossible for me to recall every individual�s name after 56 years.  I am on top, directly behind Tim Hagerty, he is the one leaning with his elbows on the cab.  Ronald �Dusty� Rhoads (Bottom row/center)  is the only one I have managed to contact.    Shemya/1945-46
#21. I am not aware as to how many B-17s were on Shemya, but I do know there was the �Searchin-Virgin�.  And I managed to have my picture taken with this beautiful (Flying Fortress) lady, once upon a time on the �Rock�.    Shemya/1945-46
#22. This is one of my  friends  who was on the �Rock�with me, William J. Weber AOM3/c (N.Y).  We drank our weekly allowance of �Topac� beer in our hut, and listen to Charlie Barnett  play�Cherokee� over and over again, until we ran out of  beer and �hit the sack�.
#23. Group of ordnance men, on top of our hut,  the�Hacienda�.   Shemya/1945-46
#24. Privateers Ordnance Department inside our hut, getting ready for another game of �Stud Poker,� while taking a break and listening to Artie Shaw, �Begin the begin� or Perry Como sing �Till the end of time.� I am in the middle of the three standing -  R S.     Shemya/1945-46
#25. Privateer Squadron Naval Pilots, having a smoke and planning before taking off  on  next mission.   Shemya/ 1945-46
#26. Watching the waves on the �Rock�. Shemya/1945-46
#27. Three privateer ordnance men.  Left to right:  James E. Ledbetter,AOM 2/c, Ga. Walter S. Atha, AOM 1/c, Ark. Sorry, but I cannot recall the third mate�s name.  However, I can remember he had a bunch of �hash� marks on his dress uniform and he was one of the older guys in our outfit. Shemya/1945-46
#28. Two ordnance mates; Morressy and Sutton. Shemya/ 1945-46

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Last Updated: 13 August 2016 13:36