Remembering Ensign Roy M. Gunsolus (1921-1998)


Roy Mathew Gunsolus survived the war.



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Remembering Ensign John P. Altemus


The name of Ensign John P. Altemus is in this book.


In the Acknowledgements several names of VF-5 pilots are there with John P. Altemus’ name.




Distinguished Flying Cross

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Flying Cross to Lieutenant John P. Altemus (NSN: 0-112140), United States Navy, for extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight in the Pacific Theater from 29 January 1944 to 1 February 1944. Lieutenant Altemus completed twenty flights in a combat area where enemy anti-aircraft fire was expected to be effective or where enemy aircraft patrols usually occurred. His conduct throughout has distinguished him among those performing duties of the same character.

Action Date: January 29 – February 1, 1944

Service: Navy

Rank: Lieutenant

More photos on that pilot here…


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Remembering Ensign Frank J. “Rip”Reiplinger (1919-1992)


Frank J. Reiplinger survived the war. The information is not in this book.


We read on page 43 that Frank J. “Rip” Reiplinger had a close call landing on the Saratoga.


On page 188, the author writes that Frank J. Reiplinger was sent back on the Enterprise with Lieutenant (jg) Edward G. Stepanek, Ensign Charles D. Davy, and Ensign John P. Altemus for further training.


According to this Websiste, he survived the war…



Reiplinger, Frank J.

born 12/31/1919
died 01/22/1992

Residence: Honolulu, HI,
Plot: 85-J 0 7,
burial  01/30/1992

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Remembering Ensign Robert L. Price (19??-1942)

Every week on this blog we will be remembering one of the 39 pilots seen on this group picture. It was taken on 15 July, 1942.


Only remembering Robert L. Price this week might prove to be more difficult as you will find out while reading.


Collection Richard Harmer (courtesy Tom Harmer)

The source of the information below is taken from this book I bought on Google Books…



At 1.15 p.m. Southerland — universally known as “Pug” because of his boxing prowess—was flying above Savo Island when he spotted the attack force of Japanese Bettys descending through the cumulous cover, gathering speed to unleash bombs. “This division from Pug,” he alerted his pilots, “put gun switches and sight lamps on. Lets go get ’em boys.”

With no time to climb, Southerland could only drop into a low-side run to harass the lead division of Bettys with quick bursts. Behind him, Japanese fighters zoomed in to scatter Southerland’s division. The division trailer, twenty-six-year-old Lieutenant (junior grade) Donald A. “Stinky” Innis, managed to climb, scissor and trade head-on shots with five Zekes before escaping into a cloud. The other two, twenty-three-year-old Ensign Robert L. Price and twenty-six-year-old Lieutenant (junior grade) Charles A. Tabberer, never escaped the ambush.

(Page 194)



Lieutenant (junior grade) Donald A. Innis


Ensign Robert L. Price


Lieutenant (junior grade) Charles A. Tabberer


Robert L. Price

Date of death: MIA: August 7, 1942

Burial location: Manila, Philippine Islands
Home of record: Wichita Kansas
Status: MIA

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Distinguished Flying Cross (Posthumously) to Ensign Robert L. Price (NSN: 0-113012), United States Navy, for extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight in the Solomon Islands area on 7 August 1942. Following his division leader in an assault on an enemy force of 27 twin-engine bombers, Ensign Price gallantly pressed home his attacks, despite interception by Zero fighters, until his plane was shot down.

General Orders: Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin No. 318 (September 1943)

Action Date: August 7, 1942

Service: Navy

Rank: Ensign

Division: U.S.S. Saratoga (CV-3)

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Preserving the Past

There are things you just can’t explain. For one there is my passion for airplanes since 1958, my passion for the history of World War Two, and this passion for writing blogs since 2008.

I studied to be a history teacher in the mid 60s. Graduating in 1970, I only taught history for two years out of 34. Being a young teacher in 1970, I got what was the least interesting subject to teach for other teachers in my school…

Religious education.

I taught that subject for two years, which I must say I have enjoyed teaching. Then, in the third year, English as a second language was added to my teacher’s task since I was bilingual.

A year later, the school principal needed a second history teacher…

I had finally made it!

My dream had finally come through…however that dream would last for only two years before I got shipped back to teaching English as a second language for the rest of the 70s. Later in 1980, I was transfered to another school board teaching English as a second language to 14 groups of 9 to 12 years-old kids. In 1981 I became a 6th grade teacher. I taught 6th grade for 15 years. In 1997, I got promoted to 5th grade, and I retired in 2004.

Revisiting the past is what I have been doing since 2008 with my first blog. It was a blog about genealogy written in French. I appropriately named it Nos ancêtres. I then created Our Ancestors, its English version, with the goal of reaching out for distant relatives in the U.S. and finding out more about my great-grandfather Stanislas Lagacé aka Dennis Lagassee.

Then, in July 2009, my wife’s uncle dropped a bombshell in a family reunion. More like a torpedo. He had been a stoker aboard a Canadian destroyer during World War Two torpedoed off the coast of France on April 29, 1944. I had never heard about HMCS Athabaskan which tells you a lot about what kind of history I was taught in the 60s.

This is when I decided to write about HMCS Athabaskan on my third blog Souvenirs de guerre. Lest We Forget, the English version, followed soon because many English speaking people were sharing so much information, stories, and pictures about HMCS Athabaskan.

I could go on and on with this story and tell you why I got to write 28 blogs about World War Two…

You don’t have to count them nor read them all.

US Navy Night Fighter Squadron VF(N)-101

Souvenirs de guerre

British Commonwealth Air Training Plan

A Very Unlikely Hero

Edmund Poscavage

Lest We Forget

On Eternal Patrol

Pilote de Spitfire – Spitfire Pilot

Preserving the past

RAF 33 Squadron

RAF 68 Squadron

RAF 122 Squadron

RAF 203 Squadron

RAF 21 Squadron

RAF 23 Squadron

RAF 238 Squadron

RAF 249 Squadron

RAF 293 Squadron

RCAF 128 (F) Squadron

RCAF 420 Snowy Owl

RCAF 425 Les Alouettes

RCAF 425 Les Alouettes II

RCAF No. 401 squadron

RCAF No. 403 Squadron

RCAF No. 443 Squadron

Remembering HMCS Regina K- 234

Sergeant Gerald Thomas Padden

The Smith Brothers

Next time we pay homage to the first on 39 pilots whose picture was taken on July 15th, 1942 aboard CV-3 USS Saratoga.



Names of the pilots of VF-5 USS Saratoga – 15 July, 1942

Now that I know how many pilots were on USS Saratoga posing for posterity,  I can begin to write about what happened to all of them for the next 39 weeks on this blog.


I had found the same picture in this book I bought on Google Books three weeks ago.


All the names were there.


VF-5 July, 1942

Top row (left to right): Price, Reiplinger, Altemus, Gunsolus, Eichenberger, Innis, Gray, Kleinmann, Morgan, Roach, Dufilho, Smith

Center row: Currie, Robb, Wesolowski. Starkes, Davy, Holt, Daly, Presley, McDonald, Tabberer, Barbieri, Haynes, Bass, Blair, Bright

Bottom row: Kleinman, Stover, Crews, Brown, Southerland, Harmer, Simpler, Richardson, Green, Jensen, Clarke, Stepanek. (Capt. H. W. Crews)


We now have all the names of the 39 pilots. I even found the date when the group picture was taken.

15 July.


Next week we will start to pay homage to the first of the 39 pilots, Ensign Robert L. Price.