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WWII Naval Aviators Question


Paddyd00
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Paddyd00

Hi Guys

 

Unsure where to put this, so Mods please feel free to move, I appreciate it.

 

I have a WWII Navy grouping from an AOC2c .... An Aviation Ordnanceman that was stationed on the USS Yorktown.  My question is ... he says things like ..... I was "Flying as Ordinanceman" or "We were flying TBD-3s" or "I was flying as First Ordnancman" was he flying in these planes as well? Or he was part of the Squadron and this is a turn of phrase support crew would use as well in unity?

 

Also he was shot down too so unsure exactly what that means.  If he was on a mission or he was just taking a ride.  Any thoughts appreciated fully!

 

Thanks so much!

 

••••I pictured the 1st page of his handtyped bio here where he uses these phrases

 

Zach

IMG_2634.jpg

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Salvage Sailor

Looks like a legit first hand memoir of his USN aircrew service

 

According to the muster rolls he did enlist on 7 June 1940 for Naval Aviation training.

 

He was assigned to the USS YORKTOWN on 21 JAN 1941 as an Aviation Ordnanceman.  (He also served on the LEXINGTON & YORKTOWN CV-5 as a seaman in 1940 prior to his aviation training at NAS San Diego.)

 

He did return to the US aboard the USS WHARTON (AP-7) in September of 1942.

 

As to the veracity of the attached to Carlson's Raiders' and "making the landing on Guadalcanal" claim, well, that's in the realm of a sea story at the moment unless some documentation surfaces.

 

Yorktown Surviviors Arriving at Pearl Harbor 1942

 

 

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Paddyd00

Awesome brother ... Thank you! Ill post the story with the helmet after I take some worthy photographs.  Any idea why he keeps saying "Flying" ? ... Just a turn of phrase I assume.  He was the Bomb and Gun man I would guess ... keeping these planes ready to roll?

 

Z

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Paddyd00
33 minutes ago, hink441 said:

I think he was Aircrew and was actually flying as a crew member. 

Got it. So he would go on missions and stuff? Sorry for being dense here. Just aviation crews and terminology is not my strong suit. But I love it! So thanks guys for the info. 
Z

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David Minton
Got it. So he would go on missions and stuff? Sorry for being dense here. Just aviation crews and terminology is not my strong suit. But I love it! So thanks guys for the info. 
Z

During WWII some USN carrier-based dive bombers had two man crews, and some torpedo bombers had three man crews. So there were enlisted flight crew members. There were even enlisted Aviation Pilots during WWII, with the rating phased out in 1962.


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Paddyd00
52 minutes ago, David Minton said:


During WWII some USN carrier-based dive bombers had two man crews, and some torpedo bombers had three man crews. So there were enlisted flight crew members. There were even enlisted Aviation Pilots during WWII, with the rating phased out in 1962.


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Great info about the enlisted men. Thank you David. When researching I saw one of the Douglas Torpedo bombers had 3 man crews as well. 
Z

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R Leonard

Shows up here on page 3 of a VT-5 list of survivors.  The asterisk next to his name means he was stationed ashore.  This report has no date, it could be after the Battle of the Coral Sea since VT-5 was relieved by VT-3 for the Midway deployment.  The other full Yorktown squadron that did not deploy to Midway, VS-5, submitted a similar report on 22 June 42.  In those days, all squadron maintenance, ordnance, whatever, were performed by squadron personnel, not ships company, hence the large number of enlisted personnel.  The noted enclosures were not with this copy of the report.

 

I am unable to verify at the moment whether he was actually a TBD crewman.  The TBD gunners were usually ARM variety as they also performed radio work.  TBD was a 3 seater, but the third man was carried only when on a level bombing type mission as a bombardier and was usually an NAP. 

 

1697857977_VT-5P1.JPG.a56581e65ec79eef36ec2011f009fc69.JPG688972077_VT-5P2.JPG.78f9e93dfb2bd9fce8c45342b0024b6d.JPG633814335_VT-5P3.JPG.2bb9b9244d9b628cd70dd71a20a56c94.JPG915059489_VT-5P4.JPG.78384ef88ec0db6d16483d0dcacc316b.JPG

 

 

 

 

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R Leonard

Oh, and the TBDs operated by VT-5 off Yorktown were TBD-1s.  There were never any TBD-3s.

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Paddyd00
53 minutes ago, R Leonard said:

Oh, and the TBDs operated by VT-5 off Yorktown were TBD-1s.  There were never any TBD-3s.

Thank you so much! Maybe he was confused as to which model perhaps?  I Don't know .... he writes that part around the area he was talking about the Marshall-Gilbert raids but maybe the timeline isn't set in stone here ... Appreciate the survivor docs... There are more pages he wrote .... He ended up re enlisting in the USN in 1951 and served until 1970 when he retired.  My original question here as I pulled a lot of his stuff I was able to find was (not these survivor reports though ...sweet) .... is was he on these bomber missions himself? Would they say "Hey James your going up with us" or if he was ground crew only or it was kind of fluid in WWII and people jumped in where needed.  It seems in some of the responses above that that was the case.  Also being injured by shrapnel when his plane crashed sounds kind of like it to me perhaps 

Z

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Paddyd00
1 hour ago, R Leonard said:

The TBD gunners were usually ARM variety as they also performed radio work.  TBD was a 3 seater, but the third man was carried only when on a level bombing type mission as a bombardier and was usually an NAP

 

 

Oh and R .... whats a NAP exactly ?

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R Leonard

Still got some things to look at, mostly actual paper copies of reports that I'll have to drag out.  Generally, if one were a rear gunner it was a semi permanent assignment within the squadron; always with the same pilot, so if Sam Pilot was flying a mission in plane 5-T-7, Joe Gunner would be his usual back seat man, regardless.  There wasn't a drawing of straws, one had to be qualified as a, as it was known, free gunner.  The "free" part means that the gun could be moved, up, left, right; it was a mount that allowed that; as opposed to a "fixed" gun that was securely in place and could only point where the plane was headed . . . pilots operate fixed guns, gunners operate free guns.  

 

And, yes, NAPs were enlisted pilots.  If you look at the roster you'll see rates of CAP (Chief Aviation Pilot) and AP1c (Aviation Pilot First Class) scattered about.  By the end of May 1942, Navy-wide, all the NAPs were re-rated as CAPs and APs vice whatever rate they previously held which could have been just about anything though predominated by aviation ratings (Aviation ratings start with the letter A).  If you look hard at enough records you'll find Gunners Mates, Bosuns Mates, and even the occasional, very rare, Sea1c, as an NAP.  For example Sidney William Quick, who shows up as a CAP on the list, was an AMM3c (Aviation Machinist Mate Third Class) when he was designated an NAP on 16 February 1940.  He went from Pensacola to VT-5 on Yorktown within two days of designation.  He transferred back to Pensacola in March 1941 and was advanced to AMM2c (NAP).  He was promoted to AMM1c (NAP) on 10Oct 1941 and a week later was transferred back to VT-5.  On 1 April 1942 as part of that Navy-wide change his rate changed to AP1c and on 1 May was promoted to CAP. 

 

Quick was still a CAP when he was killed in the crash of a transport on 8 Jun 1943 while assigned to VT-11 based out of Guadalcanal.  My source at the scene, the late Captain Albert Earnest, USN, told me the Quick was one of the steadiest hands in the squadron and his loss was deeply felt by all hands.

 

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Paddyd00
3 hours ago, B-17Guy said:

NAP is Naval Aviation Pilot, which is an Enlisted Aviator.

John

Thanks John!

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Paddyd00
2 hours ago, R Leonard said:

Still got some things to look at, mostly actual paper copies of reports that I'll have to drag out.  Generally, if one were a rear gunner it was a semi permanent assignment within the squadron; always with the same pilot, so if Sam Pilot was flying a mission in plane 5-T-7, Joe Gunner would be his usual back seat man, regardless.  There wasn't a drawing of straws, one had to be qualified as a, as it was known, free gunner.  The "free" part means that the gun could be moved, up, left, right; it was a mount that allowed that; as opposed to a "fixed" gun that was securely in place and could only point where the plane was headed . . . pilots operate fixed guns, gunners operate free guns.  

 

And, yes, NAPs were enlisted pilots.  If you look at the roster you'll see rates of CAP (Chief Aviation Pilot) and AP1c (Aviation Pilot First Class) scattered about.  By the end of May 1942, Navy-wide, all the NAPs were re-rated as CAPs and APs vice whatever rate they previously held which could have been just about anything though predominated by aviation ratings (Aviation ratings start with the letter A).  If you look hard at enough records you'll find Gunners Mates, Bosuns Mates, and even the occasional, very rare, Sea1c, as an NAP.  For example Sidney William Quick, who shows up as a CAP on the list, was an AMM3c (Aviation Machinist Mate Third Class) when he was designated an NAP on 16 February 1940.  He went from Pensacola to VT-5 on Yorktown within two days of designation.  He transferred back to Pensacola in March 1941 and was advanced to AMM2c (NAP).  He was promoted to AMM1c (NAP) on 10Oct 1941 and a week later was transferred back to VT-5.  On 1 April 1942 as part of that Navy-wide change his rate changed to AP1c and on 1 May was promoted to CAP. 

 

Quick was still a CAP when he was killed in the crash of a transport on 8 Jun 1943 while assigned to VT-11 based out of Guadalcanal.  My source at the scene, the late Captain Albert Earnest, USN, told me the Quick was one of the steadiest hands in the squadron and his loss was deeply felt by all hands.

 

This is super helpful R.  And a great story to boot about Sidney. I assume these men knew each other. Possibly very well.  Its cool to wonder about.   When I post up his helmet and his items after photographing ... I will be sure to send your way.

Best

Zach

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R Leonard

Collect WW2 naval aviators info, that's what I do.  Oddly enough, my father was on Yorktown at the same time, a pilot in VF-42 and at Midway in VF-3 up to the bitter end.  He and Johnny Adams flew the last CAP (Combat Air Patrol) over the ship on 4 Jun 42 after she had been abandoned.  

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Paddyd00
On 6/22/2021 at 4:48 PM, Salvage Sailor said:

 

As to the veracity of the attached to Carlson's Raiders' and "making the landing on Guadalcanal" claim, well, that's in the realm of a sea story at the moment unless some documentation surfaces.

 

Yorktown Surviviors Arriving at Pearl Harbor 1942

 

 

My brother I think I may have found the Guadalcanal connection ... when he was shot down in Feb 1943 ... On his Hospital Ship Muster Roll ... It says "Via Acorn 1" next to his name.  On September 6th 1942 ... It looks as if he is Leaving Pearl Harbor on the Wharton destination unknown.  Then looking up Acorn 1 ... I came across this description attached.  It seems some how that he may was attached to this unit.  I was wondering why a man with such an impressive service life ...haha.... would embellish anything towards the end of his life or when ever his memoir was written.  I think something here is the connection.  Let me know what you think! Man I love researching stuff.  Collecting these helmets is great and I love the pieces but this is the juice for me!

Z

SEPT_1942.jpg

23_FEB_1943.jpg

ACORN 1.png

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  • 1 month later...

This is a very interesting subject, so I have a quick question concerning the designations.  I know that C.A.P. is Chief Aviation Pilot, but what does the (PA) and (AA) stand for behind the designations?  I notice that a few other designations have it as well.  Thanks - Jeff

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AA is Acting Appointment  PA is Permanent Appointment. PA is that you have been advanced/promoted into that rate and that is your permanent rate.  AA is you've been appointed into that rate but it is not permanent (simplified definition).

 

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