Saturday, April 10, 2010

U.S. Navy Seabee R.S. Leslie's WWII Pacific Footlocker

R.M. Leslie was one of my relative's dad. He fought in the Pacific in World War Two as a Seabee. About ten years ago, Jeannie, his daughter, gave me the contents of his old Navy footlocker for my teaching and research on World War Two. These photos show most of the kit. He had two blue cloth jackets, a lighter summer white jacket, and a khaki jacket. He also had pants to match the blues and the whites. The clothing is all in pretty decent shape considering it was packed away in a box for fifty years before I got it. Enjoy this little slice of U.S. Navy history and thanks to R.M. Leslie for his service to his family and his nation. Sadly, I do not have a photo of Leslie, but I'll continue to try to find one.
Note ruptured duck on right breast, bullion insignia device, and 'CB' badge on lower sleeve.

Amazing bullion on the blue and the gray shoulder insignia patches.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Where in the World Have I Been?

Marine Second Lt. Robert 'Bob' Crowton's Navy Cross, awarded for heroism at Okinawa.
My former teacher Pete Benavage as a Marine Sergeant before heading to Iwo Jima.

Joseph Lajzer as he appeared after over three and a half years of Japanese captivity, including the Bataan Death March and slave labor in Japan.

Have been interviewing a gentleman who was on the Clark Field Baseball Team in Philippines before war broke out. He was on the Bataan Death March, then helped build the airfield at Palawan as slave labor, then took a Hell Ship to Japan and spent a long time "digging coal for the Emperor" at Hiroshima Omine and saw the A-bomb fall thirty miles away that fateful August day. He is in the photo above. (Name withheld)

This youthful gentleman was my Western Civilization teacher in high school. He is Major Pete Benavage, United States Marine Corps (Ret.). As a young sergeant of Marines, Pete helped lead a platoon on Iwo Jima. This is a photo capture from a Japanese TV program about Iwo Jima entitled 'Island of Death'.

Pete Benavage, teacher and friend.

Marine Second Lt. Robert Crowton's "Old Breed" First Marine Division patch that he wore on Okinawa, where he won the Navy Cross for heroism.

Marine Lt. Bob Crowton's lovely wife, Marge, admires his Navy Cross, awarded at a hospital in San Diego after he had undergone surgery to shrapnel damage to his face. (Bob Crowton collection)

Bob's Purple Heart and the box for his Navy Cross.

Bob awarded his Navy Cross in San Diego, CA.

William Morrison, who as a young Marine guarded a gun emplacement at the base of Mt. Suribachi and saw the flag go up.

Navy Corpsman William 'Bill' Lynne, who served with the First Marines at Peleliu and Okinawa. The corpsmen fought alongside the Marines, and saved many lives in battle. (Bill Lynne photo)

The wounded Corpsman in this famous press photo is Bill Lynne. (Bill Lynne collection)
Greetings to my faithful readers, all 26 of you. :)
Sorry I have not written on the blog much lately. I've been very busy working on my next book, and since it is not about WWII airmen, this page hasn't gotten the attention it did before
Right now, I am deeply involved in researching a book about the Pacific War. Lately, I've been working on two chapters in depth. The first involves the men who were on the Bataan Death March and the ensuing years as POWs. The second involves men who were at Iwo. These are but two chapters but I tend to immerse in just a few at a time. I've already put a lot of time into Pacific aviators and into Okinawa, the USS Indianapolis, and Navy Corpsmen. I have also been interviewing several Pearl Harbor survivors. This on top of the fact that I work sixty to seventy hours a week in the highly lucrative field of teaching high school.

I am putting a small sampling of photos of some of the guys I'm writing about at the moment, and who will all appear in the book when it comes out next year.

Stay tuned. I will be back.