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djltucker

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  1. Here is information on the combined grave marker at Zachary Taylor National Cemetery for these two lost heroes. Lt. Leake and radioman Dunton, Willard.
  2. Hi Natan, glad you found this thread and responded. For a history of the heroes of VC38, please find this book: https://www.amazon.com/Luckys-Life-Letters-William-Squadron-ebook/dp/B01I2HIHNY It has a whole chapter dedicated to VC38's history and many photographs of the unit, along with all the daily War Diaries of each mission of the TBFs during their 3 tours in the South Pacific. I have a copy of Lt. Leake's service records/files - I could scan the documents and send to you if you wish. All the best, Don
  3. ] I have been researching a WWII South Pacific Naval unit (VC-38) for a few years now. I need help on locating the photographer of VC-38 - a PHOM First Class John Franklin McKenna. I believe he was born in 1907 and died in 1962. I am trying to locate any information on his life and family (sons and daughters). He was originally from West Virginia, but lived in Sacramento, California after WWII. He might have been married to Gladys B Mitchell on 17 May 1952 in LA, CA. A bombing mission was photographed by McKenna in 1943 (attached) Picture of McKenna in Bougainville 1944 (attached) Any inform
  4. Holly Reed and the good folks at the National Archives & Records Administration-Still Picture Reference Team sent me the attached photograph with image information. Based on the date - 9 Nov 1943, this is likely not any planes from VC38 At that time, VC38 was stationed at Munda Airfield and bombing and strafing Buka and Bonis airfields near Buka Passage area on Bougainville Island, Solomon Islands. Good picture thou
  5. Hi Dustin, thanks for the reply. The caption on the web page is :Grumman Avengers of VC-38 near Espiritu Santo 1943 I agree this is likely a NARA image, but I will have to track down the serial number before I can request a high resolution copy from them. Best Regards,
  6. Hi All, I came across this photograph on https://www.worldwarphotos.info. I'm trying to identify the source of this photograph. I wrote a recent book about VC-38 - Lucky's Life by Don J. Larson. If I can find the photo source and obtain a high resolution copy I might be able to identify the plane numbers and pilots that are flying these magnificent planes. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.
  7. Commander Charles E Brunton also served in Korea and became a Rear Admiral. Picture is prior to his injury - likely at Munda Airfield. During the mission where he was injured dive attacking Rabaul Harbor, his radioman had the following comments in his diary (Richard Wagner) - "Today was another bad day. The skipper was hit by machine gun fire breaking his arm and a flesh wound in the leg. He made a direct hit on a DD and was hit about the same time. There was plenty of AA both heavy and light, also saw a few zeros. I saw at least twenty float type airplanes in the bay near the s
  8. The USS Longview (CVE-1) was lead ship of her class and the first escort carrier of the US Navy. correction: The USS Long Island (CVE-1) was lead ship of her class and the first escort carrier of the US Navy.
  9. Navybean, thanks so much for sharing these photos. I'll PM you with a few requests, but a couple of items of note: The 3 picture series is VB-38 - the Douglas Dauntless squadron of VC38. They flew SBD-5 Dauntless dive bombers - 17 strong The picture of CVE-1-589 is actually the full VC 38 squadron taken on August 12 1943 aboard the USS Long Island on their way to the Solomon Islands. It was taken in the hanger bay of the converted ship. The USS Longview (CVE-1) was lead ship of her class and the first escort carrier of the US Navy. Super photographs- are there any name
  10. Hi Mike, just a reminder - you need to post that info on Commander Charles E. Brunton when you have time - thanks in advance!
  11. Hi John Wertz, most of the mission reports and war diaries available are all posted on a paid site: www.fold3.com. I'd be happy to show you how to search the data base for WWII mission reports for VMTB-232 in that time period. VMTB-232 had several tours and flew in some amazing conditions. They were the Red Devils. If you private message me I could send you an example of a mission report with your grandfather's crew and squadron.
  12. Yes, the family has all the original awarded medals. Unfortunately can not find the original DFC citation.
  13. Hi KurtA thank you for this information. The story of this pilot and others is told in my book "Lucky's Life" and is one part of the VC-38 Tribute to those heroes. The story of Lt. John A Leary: Judge John A. Leary was born on May 4th, 1919, the second of four children born to John and Adelia Leary. He graduated from St. Mary’s Grammar School in 1932 and Hudson Falls High School in 1936. A graduate of Syracuse University with a BS degree, he went on to receive his LLB and JD from the Syracuse University College of Law. He began practicing law with the firm of Hart, Senior and Nichol
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