LAVINGHOUSEZ, William E. "Bill" MPTM38B@Prodigy.com "...Combat Air Crew Flight Engineer/Plane Captain-Squadron VH-3, Rate ACMMF, flew PBM 5's. Tender: The Pine Island at Okinawa until the Atomic Bombs ended the 24 hour attack on us by Kamikazis knocked down by our Picket Planes and guns from ships. When needed made open sea landings to bring back survivors for Hospitals. Geo R Darcey PPC and crew Rocketed. PBM OFF ROUGH SEAS...After Boot camp at San Diego, I attended AMM School at Great Lakes Nav Training Center. Then I was sent to Ford Motor Co School at Dearborn, Mich where they were making R2800 Pratt & Whitney Engines. On Dec 25, 1942 I was sent to Aerial Gunnery School at Purcel, Oklahoma. At each graduation the Navy continued preparing me for Combat Air Crew duty. I realized this when we were sent to NAS Norfolk, Virginia and put in TTSA (Transition Training Squadron Atlantic). More training at NAS Norfolk, Virginia and then to NAS Banana River, Florida. Training and duty as a PBM Flight Engineer instructor. We flew the Atlantic Coast and Great Exuma Bahama and Guantanamo, Cuba, including the Bermuda Triangle...Late in 1944, we were sent to San Diego NAS and put in a pool. All of us that were PBM Flight Engineers were pulled out and sent to Oakland, Cal NAS and put in a pool there. From the Pool, one afternoon I was called to replace a Plane Captain (FE) in a crew leaving for "overseas duty," leaving NOW. The PPC was Lt. Geo Darcey...I WOULD LIKE TO CONTACT OUR CREW if any are living.." [10JUL98]
SPOEHR, Alexander c/o His Son Hardy Spoehr firstname.lastname@example.org "...My father, Alexander Spoehr, served with VH-5 in the Marshall Islands during WWII. He left the Squadron in 1946 as a LT USNR. I'd love to hear from anyone who was in the area or with the Squadron at that time as my Dad rarely talked about those days..." [29MAY2001]
THOMAS, Bob email@example.com "...VP-19. Probably no one will recognize me, I was attached to VP-19 in January 1946 for a few short days. I had been in VH-5 for a long time, based in Kwajalein and Eniwetok. I had been declared a "military necessity" when the war ended and not allowed to return to the states. Finally in January 1946 I was transferred to VP-19 and assigned BUNO 84611 to return to FAW14 in NAS Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. This plane had been in the water unused for many months. It was fumigated for 24 hours to kill the bugs that had made it their home. Somehow it was made to fly, but barely. The fuel transfer pumps were pumping part of the fuel into the cabin. No smoking, no radio transmissions. We made Johnson Island and then NAS Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. They worked on the plane for 3 weeks, discovered control cable corrosion, severe engine problems and more. At the end of the 3rd week they towed the plane out into the ocean and sank it. You guys must have been thrilled to get rid of 84622..." [30NOV98]
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