Saturday, November 8, 2008

Veterans Day: World War II Era....Navy Men

The following pictures are FBCLS members or have a relative who is a member of the church. All of these men are World War II veterans. Captions follow each image, and images can be clicked to enlarged.

Pastor Marion Beaver served during WWII in the U.S. Navy Air Division as an electrician, first class in Miami and then later in the Philippines. In 1953, he became Senior Pastor at FBCLS and continues today serving our church as Minister to Seniors.

Harry Allgood served in the U.S. Navy from 1945-1948. For a time he was assigned to the USS Currituck, a seaplane tender. More on the Curritick can be found here and here.

In 1946, Mr. Allgood sailed with Admiral Richard Byrd to the South Pole. During that voyage Mr. Allgood spent 103 days without going ashore. This was Admiral Byrd’s fourth and final expedition we remember as Operation Highjump. It was the largest Antartic expedition to date. Besides the flagship Mount Olympus and the aircraft carrier Philippine Sea, there were thirteen other US Navy support ships, six helicopters, six flying boats, two seaplane tenders (including Mr. Allgood’s ship, the Currituck) and fifteen other aircraft.

Mr. Allgood was one of over 4,000 personnel involved in the operation. Strangely….the expedition was terminated six months early and no explanation was ever given.

Roland Garmon (1919-1988) served in the Pacific aboard the USS Leray Wilson, a destroyer escort, as a fireman, first class. Some of the history of the Wilson is detailed at this website including the events of January 10, 1945 when the ship experienced the full fury of the Japanese suicide attacks. Spotting an enemy two-engine bomber dead ahead about 25 feet off the water, the ship’s gunners unflinchingly maintained continuous and deadly gunfire, diverting the aircraft enough to save the ship. As the suicide plane splashed, its starboard wing crashed the ship’s port side, killing six gunners, seriously wounding seven more, and causing extensive damage. A family member of Mr. Garmon’s reported 42 crew members lost their lives in that attack. The USS Leray Wilson received four battle stars.

Seldon Green (1925-2007) served aboard the USS Zaniah pictured below. The Zaniah was responsible for delivering troops, goods, and equipment to locations in the war zone. At one point the Navy also enabled Zaniah to become a distilling ship with the capabilities of producing 80,000 gallons of fresh water. USS Zaniah received one battle star for her service, and her crew was eligible for the following medals: American Campaign Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal, and the Navy Occupation Medal (with Asia Clasp). You can read more about Mr. Green’s ship here.

The USS Zaniah, Seldon Green's ship.

James Gore served aboard the USS Crater, a cargo ship. You can read a short history of the ship here. After a voyage to San Pedro, California, Crater was decommissioned at Pearl Harbor on June 25, 1946, and was transferred to the Maritime Commission the next day. Mr. Gore advises the USS Crater was bombed by the U.S. for nuclear research.

Julius (Jerry) F. Carrafa, Sr. (Antonette Mitchell’s father) served aboard a U.S. Army salvage ship known as the USAT Arthur C. Ely as a Tech Sargent (T/4).

If you would like to see more posts regarding the veterans at FBCLS follow the link
here for a complete listing.