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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I recently learned of how my grandfathers lack of seniority may have preserved our family. He was in the Navy reserves and active duty from early1930’s to 1972. In 1940 he was a reserve CPO and was activated. Another CPO had a few months seniority on him and duty stations picks were Pearl Harbor and a yet to be built NAS in Chamblee Ga. Other guy was single and Gpa had wife and 2 kids. Other Chief picked Pearl. The decision was fateful in several ways. Sadly in 41 the other Chief died in the Dec attack on Pearl. For Gpa , he was commissioned a Lt. and because he had a civilian pilots license sent to flight school to train new Navy pilots in Chamblee. Never saw battle situations as he was 10+ years older than new pilots. After the war his training services were not needed. He could stay in reserves as an officer but tied to a desk or be demoted to Chief and still be involved with flying. He picked Chief. Didn’t last long tho, He was reactivated before Korea back to Lt. and spent the rest of his Navy career as a flight instructor and admirals jockey. Retired a a Lt. Commander. He said that if he was 10 years younger in 1941 he would have been involved in battle situations and probably would have advanced in rank more than he did. Family was happy that he didn’t I’m sure. Duty stations in California,Memphis, Joliet,Corpus Christi, NJ. Newfoundland, Virginia,Puerto Rico, Albuquerque. Mom and Gpa had always told me stories about his service but not the fateful duty station pick version.
 

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My grandfather on my dad side of family was in WW1 in a trench and motar brigade. He told my dad , that he remember getting gas with mustard gas and laying under dead bodies of his unit until the Germans left. He fought over in the Argon Forest . He also said my great - grandparents got a telegram stating his whole unit was wiped out . A few days later he was able to telegram them to let them know he was alright. Thank goodness or dad and I wouldn`t be here.
 

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I was stuck at the Naval base in Memphis for my basic aviation electrical schools. Spent nearly a year(79) there before I got everything done. A very long "down time" between schools for some reason. The bonus was the nightlife in town pub crawls on Overton Square. Also the base archery club was next to my barracks. Bought one of them new fangled compounds and got some pretty good instruction.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Pic of grandparents around 1943. Gpa bought a used 1930’s Aeronca 2 seater with cabin. Mostly canvas covered frame and wings. He barnstormed from Chamblee Ga. to Dallas with Gma riding shotgun. Stopped mostly at small airfields to refuel. Did fall short a few times and landed on farm roads and had to get rides to airfields for gas. Gma’s funny story of one such stop there were a bunch of local farmers in overalls to greet them and she climbed out of the plane and started taking off the heavy sheepskin lined flight suit when one old boy hollered “ My Lord, it’s a woman”. She thought he was going to stroke out. He had that plane 6-7 years but sold it to help pay Mom’s college education. As long as the Navy let him fly he was a happy man
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