Preserving the Past – From January 4 to January 14, 1944

01 Richard E Harmer Journal January 3-4

January 5-6

Richard E Harmer Journal 7-8 January 1944

 

January
4
Tuesday

The period from the 4th to the 15th must be covered on one entry. We flew over to Maui on the 4th preparatory to flying aboard the “E” the next morning. I scouted around Puunene trying to find out where I was to find the ship and finally cornered one of the ASP pilots who had just returned. He sketchily gave me the ship’s expected position and I took it for authentic. Came the dawn and five of our six planes got off. (Poirier drew a dud) and the search was on. Due over the ship at 1800 I arrived over there but empty ocean where the ship was supposed to be at 740. Searched vainly until 0815 using all navigation and radio tricks known to aviators and then decided dope* must have been bad. Returned to Barber’s Point and call the staff. The dope* was bad – just 100 miles off. Got straight dope* and went off again. Hit ship on the nose at 1055 – just about three hours overdue. Got four landing apiece before lunch and then shifted pilots. In a three day cruise we got in 79 landings with two bad crack ups. Rowlen into the barrier and Durban just a plain bad landing that broke the plane’s back. Got ashore the afternoon of the 8th. Went into intensive night FCLs with Essex signal officer and then flew aboard Essex for night qualifications. Met the ship 1 3/4 hours early this time. Squadron made 27 night landings all good but two. Poirier into the barrier and Taylor into #4 turret with total destruction of plane and serious damage to turret. Pilot not scratched. Six planes and pilots flew back to Barber’s Point at 1615. The rest came in with the ship at 1500 the next day, the 13th. Received word to get my group aboard the “E” by the 15th. Started work and getting all squadron gear and equipment divided equally between the two groups. The squadron officers and men have been divided as follows.

Group 1

Officers

Harmer

Donahue

Orphanides

Brunson

Holden

Rowlen

von Sprecken

Poirier

Kelly

Burgess

Men

Cirrillo ACMM (AVIATION CHIEF MACHINIST’S MATE)

Howard ART (AVIATION RADIO TECHNICIAN)

Clayton ART (AVIATION RADIO TECHNICIAN)

Claw ART (AVIATION RADIO TECHNICIAN)

Hallenbeck ART (AVIATION RADIO TECHNICIAN)

Taleen (?) AOM3c (AVIATION ORDNANCEMAN 3RD CLASS PETTY OFFICER)

Merculec AMM1c (AVIATION MACHINIST’S MATE 1ST CLASS PETTY OFFICER)

McKinley RDM3c (RADARMAN 3RD CLASS PETTY OFFICER)

Parker RDM3c (RADARMAN 3RD CLASS PETTY OFFICER)

Turkisher (?) RDM3c (RADARMAN 3RD CLASS PETTY OFFICER)

Harris RDM3c (RADARMAN 3RD CLASS PETTY OFFICER)

Chaplin RDM3c (RADARMAN 3RD CLASS PETTY OFFICER)

Ellison RDM3c (RADARMAN 3RD CLASS PETTY OFFICER)

Group 2

Officers

Kullberg

Donovan

Martin (new AV(RS)

Gray (Sperry teck.)

Green

Wagg

Smith

Sanford

Taylor

Durban

Wade

Men

Brunke AMM1c (AVIATION MACHINIST’S MATE 1ST CLASS PETTY OFFICER)

Atwell AMM2c (AVIATION MACHINIST’S MATE 2ND CLASS PETTY OFFICER)

Cury ART (AVIATION RADIO TECHNICIAN)

Orwick ART (AVIATION RADIO TECHNICIAN)

Winset ART (AVIATION RADIO TECHNICIAN)

Hoffman ART (AVIATION RADIO TECHNICIAN)

Tank AOM2c(AVIATION ORDNANCEMAN 2ND CLASS PETTY OFFICER)

Davis RDM (RADARMAN)

Futch RDM (RADARMAN)

Shaw RDM (RADARMAN)

Simmons RDM (RADARMAN)

Theile RDM (RADARMAN)

Smith Y2c (YEOMAN SECOND CLASS)

 * dope means any information; especially advanced information for prediction

 

group picture of VF(N)-101 Von SpreckhenVON SPRECKEN, Frank Jr, LTJG, O-120085, USNR, from Louisiana, location Pacific Ocean, missing, date of loss August 25, 1944 (pm)

+ VON SPRECKEN, Frank, Jr., Lieutenant (jg), USNR. Wife, Mrs. T. W. von Sprecken, 2381 Government St., Baton Rouge, La (na)

+ VON SPRECKEN, Frank, Lieutenant Junior Grade, O-120085, USN, from Louisiana, Aug-44, Honolulu Memorial (bm)

 

Next post on January 15, 1944.

About my transcription…

Feel free to add comments or to suggest corrections on errors that I made transcribing.

 

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