Posted 3 years ago
My dad served in three branches of the military over his career. In WWII he was a Machinist Mate Chief on 2 different troop transports in the Pacific and was also briefly stationed at Pearl Harbor. He was a journeyman tool and die maker. They participated in the island hopping campaigns and brought Marines to various famous conflicts such as Kwajalein and Iwo Jima. The units earned a total of five battle stars, and his ships often came under shelling by Japanese shore batteries.
During the Korean War conflict, my dad was in the US Air Force where he learned electronics and avionics at the school located at Keesler AFB in Mississippi.
After a brief career in civilian industry when he built instruments for the Atomic Energy Commission, worked for the young Lear aircraft company, and also with Ryan Aircraft in San Diego, dad went back to work as a civilian for the US Army Electronics command with the rank of Major. He did two tours as a logistics engineer with the 34th General Support Group Air Maintenance and Support located at Tan Son Nhut Air Base near Saigon where he kept them flying. He was a specialist in radar, avionics, and weapons guidance systems. He won a commendation from US Army HQ for his work in support of counterinsurgency efforts against communism in Vietnam. Unfortunately dad suffered an acute myocardial infarction in September of 1967, and returned in a flag draped coffin. I still have the letter from President Johnson stating that the United States of America honors his memory, but I would gladly trade it for a single afternoon of fishing with my dad!
Pictures - 1: Some medals earned in WWII, 2: Dad is back row, 4th from left at Keesler AFB in USAF electronics school class picture, Korean War era, 3: Some patches & memorabilia of my dad in Vietnam along with a photo of my dad & his room mate who got him to the hospital the night he died. 4: Dad going over maintenance procedures - that's a Grumman OV1 Mohawk aircraft in the background.