Archive for the 'Marines' Category

From the Desk of Col George Dodenhoff, USMC – Part 6

November 9th, 2015 by xformed

Col Dodenhoff – Total Flight Hours 1943 Page – 19431226-450w.png

Subtitle: Flying the SNV-1, or “the Vultee Vibrator” (the assigned name “Valiant”)

As noted on the Wikipedia page linked above, the initial designation of this aircraft was the BT-13, and the SNV-1 was a batch of 1350 planes transferred to the US Navy. This airplane was the most produced primary fight trainer of all types in the WWII era.

I missed this new aircraft type in the Col’s logbook, until one of our breakfast crew, who had flow it himself in the early post-war time frame, exclaimed “Oh, he flew the Vibrator!” while looking at the logbooks.

Many years ago, I first was introduced to the Vultee Vibrator when Jim Helinger, Sr, walked up to one at Sun n’ Fun, placed his hand on the fuselage and said “We called this the Vibrator!”

Here is the December 1943 logbook entries noting Col Dode took his first fights in his second aircraft type, which was the normal progression for both Navy/Marine Corps and Army Air Corps trainees.

Click for a larger image

Jim, Sr did note this aircraft was the secondary trainer for those cadets marked for the fighter pilot assignments. I don’t recall the airframe that future bomber pilots would be next trained in.

Here’s some historical video, albeit from the Army Air Corps viewpoint, I’m reasonably certain the fight training in this aircarft would have been very similar in all services.

Bonus material: The BT-13 History Site.

Category: Aviation, Col Dodenhoff, History, Marines, Military, Military History, Navy | Comments Off on From the Desk of Col George Dodenhoff, USMC – Part 6

From the Desk of Col George Dodenhoff, USMC – Part 5

October 16th, 2015 by xformed

Col Dodenhoff – Total Flight Hours 1943 Page – 19431226-450w.png

Subtitle: Still in training in Dec 43

Col Dodenhoff had done plenty of flying in September and October of 43, but only had one flight in November, at Naval Air Station, Pasco, Washington, closeing out the year with 3 flights at Naval Air Station, Corpus Christi.

Click for a larger image

Just preceeding this time frame, the Marine Corps had just wrapped up the assault on Tarawa, one of the major battles of the Pacific, that defined the future of amphibious landing tactics and equipment.

Dode now has a total of 139.6 hours in the air, across 100 flights. Of that time, now 82.4 hours have been as a solo pilot, still in the standard basic primary trainer, the N2S-3.

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From the Desk of Col George Dodenhoff, USMC – Part 4

October 7th, 2015 by xformed


Subtitle: First Solo

On September 21st, 1943, the Colonel took to the skies by himself. A critical step in the process of learning to fly anywhere, he did so with a total of 12 recorded dual control fight time. He would have been sitting in the aft seat of the N2S-3 BuNo 07759. As a point of reference by today’s training, a civilian private pilot’s license first solo flight doesn’t have a set number of hours to have, but it is at the discretion of the flight instructor to allow the first individual journey into the sky. I would assume (not being an aviator), similar in the military training realm.

He was aloft for 1.5 hours over NAS Corpus Christi (again an assumption on the location). with no notes at all, so it had to be a normal flight. I can’t find anything specific regarding the syllabus for a solo flight during that period, but I’m sure in included a variety of skills to be practiced.

Click for a larger image

Here’s some more historical video regarding Navy flight training, but not specific to the first solo flight.

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From the Desk of Col George Dodenhoff, USMC – Part 3

September 30th, 2015 by xformed


Subtitle: First Flight

On September 10th, 1943, Dode made his first recorded flight. He would have been sitting in the forward seat, with Lt Doran (service unidentified – it could have been wither a Marine, or, maybe more likely due to the missing “2” or “1,” may well have been a Naval aviator) in the rear seat as his instructor pilot.

Flying 1.5 hours, he began his career as a Marine Aviator. Without comment in the notes section, it must have been a routine flight.

Based on the equipment issued page (the one preceding this page), I’m going to presume the flight occurred at Naval Air Station, Corpus Christi, TX.

Click for a larger image

His aircraft logged was the ubiquitous N2S, the legendary primary trainer in WWII, but better known to many as the Stearman PT-17, Bureau Number (or “BuNo” in official abbreviation for future reference in this series) 07732. The particular variant, the -3 version, one of 1875 delivered to the US Navy, with the Continental R-670-4 Radial engine.

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“Boeing Stearman N67193” by Juergen Lehle – Own work (See also AlbSpotter Flugzeugbilder Aircraft Photos). Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons

The actual manufacturer’s formal designation was the Boeing-Stearman Model 75 The N2S was the Navy designation. for the aircraft. In this regard, he was having the common experience for the aviators of this time. This airframe was used by the US and Canadian forces, with over 10K of them being made between the production in the 30s and 40s. After WWII, they were sold as surplus, helping kickstart the General Aviation market for private pilots. These surplus planes were widely used for crop dusting and airshows for wing walkers.

Some of the type of training for flying Col Dodenhoff would have received would have been like what is contained in this WWII flight training video:

Category: Aviation, Col Dodenhoff, History, Marines, Military, Military History | Comments Off on From the Desk of Col George Dodenhoff, USMC – Part 3

From the Desk Of Col George Dodenhoff, USMC – Part 2

September 27th, 2015 by xformed

Subtitle: Gear issue

Click for the large image

I do not have any indication of the date of the picture, but judging from the flight gear (the headgear in particular), it would be pre-Korean War era, since hard style helmets were in place during those times based on my research. The plane is a Corsair airframe of some sort, of which his logs showed, across the many hours, both the F4U and FG-1 models, which would appear the same in this view.

From his DD 214: Born in Brooklyn, NY on 2February 28th, 1923, George also was claiming residence when he was commissioned in the Marines on June 1st, 1944, showing that as his home of record. I don’t have a record of his date of actual entry into service, but he must have been in an aviation cadet program of some sort, as you will see in his logbook as we explore his history. Other service noted was 1 year, 5 months, 23 days for his total service time. That would put him enlisting for his service on December 9th, 1942. He was 19 years old when he raised his right hand and took his oath of office for military service.

Opening the logbook, the first page is the record of equipment issued:

Click for a larger image

Note in the picture of the equipment issued, the rank of “A/Co” seems to be scribbled through and “2ndLT” written next to it. Equipment appears to be mostly issued ar Naval Air Station, Corpus Christi, TX on June 2nd, 1943 under the signature stamp of CAPT J.M. Easter (SC). That date aligns with the next important event in the retelling of the history of Dode.

A connected bit of history from the NAS Corpus Christi wikipedia page is George was on the base at the same time President George H.W. Bush was graduating from his fight training in June 1943.

Next stop: First flight!

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From the Desk Of Col George Dodenhoff, USMC – Part 1

September 24th, 2015 by xformed

This will be a series, combining hard copy personal historical documents, web based research and finally, the years of story telling I was so blessed to have been the recipient. Col Dodendhoff had had a full career of history making events, seemingly small at the time, and when they happened, seen by him as just another day at “work,” but in retrospect, when the larger record of the surrounding events and circumstances can be linked together, some remarkable stories appear.

First off: The previous post has the memorial service for Col Dodenhoff, where he was honored by his family, friends and neighbors.

For the last few years, when “Dode” couldn’t drive any longer, a few of us took turns being duty driver of the staff car to get him to our bi-monthly Saturday morning breakfast meetings. In the last year, I did it a bit more frequently than the others, and many days, upon return to his residence, I’d spend some time keeping his computer system running smoothly and helping him get the pictures of the association monthly art displays downloaded from his camera to be printed for the historical record of the activities of his building complex.

The book shelf above the computer and monitor held several models, mostly factory type carved wooden ones, which represented a small portion of his flying career. I asked for more detail, and in addition to the trips to and from breakfast, I received even more data points.

His wife, Priscilla, has graciously given me his models, his log books, snap shots taken while on cruise, some military and civilian newspapers and a coveted trophy he won in a bombing competition in 1955.

In a serial manner, I will try to summarize the Col’s 29 years in the service of our nation as a Marine Aviator, pulling together what I can document, find and recall to provide some context of his place in history as a Marine, and as an aviator.

In any case where I place a picture within the post entry so it fits the page restrictions, I will post the full sized version that can be seen via a link with the picture. Logbooks being logbooks, they are hand written, so a good quality picture is the best way to see what it says and OCR is out of the question.

With that intro, look forward to checking back regularly to see the additional posts in the series, and I will publish the recountings in the timeline sequence in which that actually occurred. Please, if you have supporting information, post it in the comments to connect any other dots with documenting!

Click the picture for the full sized image

Click the picture for the full sized image

What’s inside? Return for the full accounting of the real life adventures of Col Dode.

Category: Aviation, Col Dodenhoff, History, Marines, Military, Military History | Comments Off on From the Desk Of Col George Dodenhoff, USMC – Part 1

Fair Winds and Following Seas: COL George Dodenhoff, USMC, Ret

September 18th, 2015 by xformed

20150813_135408

“Dode” was a WWII veteran, joining the Marines in 1942. His first combat was on Okinawa with VMF-311, the Hell’s Belles, flying CAS missions in the F4U-8. Of note, VMF-311 were the first to use the F4U in the close air support role. His career later had him assigned to the famed VMF-214 in Korea, flying CAS for the Chosin Reservoir battle. He continued on to complete a 29 year career, comprised of a cross training assignment with the USAF flying the F-86 and serving in the Congo, Vietnam, and other duties that included a tour at the Naval War College. He passed away August 6th, 2015.

I have been provided access to the items from his desk, where I spent a number of hours, working on his computer and listening to the stories of an old warrior and leader over about a decade. My intention is to put together as much material as is possible from his notes, log books and models and document my recollection of his career oral history I was able to hear.

For the first stop, with his wife, Priscilla’s permission, is to share the memorial service for Col Dodenhoff.

More to follow in a series I’ll post as “From the Desk of Col D.”

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AAFMAA – Another Resource for Military Members and Families

October 1st, 2013 by xformed

Via na email request, I found another organization that is of help to our service members and their families.

A fact website is here. Take a look at the description of an financial services company that has been in place since Custer’s Last Stand in 1879.

This is not an endorsement, nor do I use them, nor did I get compensated. I like to share resources when I run across them with my readers.

Here’s Kara’s intro from the website:

Secure our Military Families during Reduction in Force

In my job at AAFMAA, I get calls from friends in the military seeking guidance about what to do for their families if they are affected by the drawdown—big choices about life insurance, retirement benefits, survivor services and much, much more. Many military members across our country face choices in the days ahead that could have a permanent impact on the security of their families. The costs of poor decisions could be high and they know it.

As a blogger on the issues facing our military service members, you know that poor decisions are caused by bad information. You can help protect these men and women by informing them about their rights and their options. We at AAFMAA believe that the only way to combat uncertainty is with certainty.

I’ve assembled a few potential storylines below about the questions many will be asked and how AAFMAA can help answer them. Any of these stories could be the difference between a secure financial future for your readers and one that is less so.

I hope you can help spread the word that members of the military do have rights and they do have a choice.

I know I speak for many when I say that if you served your country—if you put your life on the line for your country—then household budget issues like higher life insurance premiums should never stand in the way of family security. Have a look and feel free to borrow anything you like, or to contact me if you need any additional information.

Thank you.

Kara

Take a look and see if they can help you and/or your friend and their familes out.

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PTSD Research study conducted by an OIF Vet. Pass the Word!

June 18th, 2013 by xformed

Received via email, from and OIF Vet who is conducting a study on PTSD. PLease give it some consideration to 1) Participating if you fit, and 2) passing the word!

Here’s the DesMoines Register article discussing his background and the project he’s taking on and why: “YP Spotlight: Iraq War vet turned Drake professor explores inconsistency of PTSD”.

Attention Military Veterans: A research study examining military experiences (including deployment experiences) of those who have served (or are currently serving) is being conducted by Dr. Steven L. Lancaster, a professor at Drake University. This online survey assesses experiences with stressful life events (including military events, such as combat exposure), current mental health experiences, coping skills, and thoughts related to these events and how your time in the military has affected you. If you are a military veteran who is 18 years or older, you are eligible to participate.

The survey is completely anonymous and takes approximately 45 minutes to complete. As an incentive to participate, all participants will be given the chance to enter a raffle drawing for a $50 online gift certificate to Amazon.com awarded to 6 randomly selected participants. The drawing database is maintained separately from, and is not in any way connected to, survey information submitted; therefore your participation will remain anonymous. If you would like to participate in this research study, please click the link below.

This will take you to a consent form and questionnaire. You will have a chance to enter the raffle after completing the questionnaire.

This research has been reviewed and approved by the Institutional Review Board for protection of human subjects at Drake University.

Please feel free to forward this announcement to eligible friends/colleagues/military members you know who may wish to participate. Thank you in advance for your help with this project. We are going to publish the results in scientific journal with the goal of better understanding the post-deployment experience of military service members.

If you desire to participate please copy and paste this URL into your browser (no http:// is necessary):
bit.ly/TMvKpx

Sincerely,

Steven L. Lancaster, Ph.D.

Department of Psychology
Drake University
Phone: 515-271-2844
Email: lancasterlab@drake.edu

Category: Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Education, Leadership, Marines, Military, Military History, Navy, Public Service, Science, Supporting the Troops | Comments Off on PTSD Research study conducted by an OIF Vet. Pass the Word!

Public Service Guest Post: Are Veterans at Risk for Mesothelioma?

August 20th, 2012 by xformed

The below post was sent by Doug Karr, a former Navy Second Class Petty Officer, who asked if I would share this information. He can be contacted at doug.karr.usn @ gmail.com for more information

Are Veterans at Risk for Mesothelioma?

Most people know that exposure to asbestos can create various health problems. This compound was used for many different reasons up until the mid-80s, and very few businesses warned their employees about the risks of exposure. However, today it is widely known that asbestos exposure can lead to such serious conditions as mesothelioma, or asbestos cancer.

Persons at High Risk
If people worked within such fields as maintenance, construction or sanitation when asbestos was widely used, they may have been exposed to it. However, recent research has proven that many military veterans have also been exposed to asbestos, especially those who worked on or repaired Navy ships. This leaves all of these persons with a high risk for mesothelioma.

How Were People Exposed to Asbestos?
The main reason asbestos was used years ago was because it helped make various compounds stronger. With that said, it was commonly found in many different construction supplies such as insulation, drywall, fireproofing materials, caulking and joint compounds.

Whenever people handled these materials by way of installations, sanding or removal, asbestos fibers were released into the air. With asbestos dust being so tiny, it was easy for people to inhale it, and it often remained in the air long after people were finished with their work.

Since the dust remained in the air so long, even people who were not involved with the construction work were often exposed to the chemical. People who unknowingly inhaled asbestos included cleanup crews, inspectors, sellers, buyers and even customers. The risks on navy ships were even greater.

The reason that seamen were more at risk was because of the tiny enclosed spaces onboard, which made it even easier for them to inhale asbestos fibers. In open spaces, asbestos has a chance to dissipate over time; however, this was not the case on navy ships. The fibers remained in the air, increasing people’s risks of developing mesothelioma.

Indirect Exposure
People who were in situations where they may have worked with asbestos directly, should certainly get tested for mesothelioma. However, even those who did not work with the chemical, but were in the vicinity at a time where they could have inhaled them, should be tested for asbestos cancer as well. This definitely includes veterans.

Many doctors suggest that even family members of people who were exposed to asbestos may be at risk. This is because asbestos fibers can cling to clothing for a long time, and they could dislodge in a totally different area from where the original contamination occurred.

How Does Mesothelioma Develop?
Years ago, when veterans inhaled these harmful fibers they did not know that the chemical could cause a deadly disease such as cancer. This is sad considering most construction product manufacturers knew that if people inhaled asbestos dust, they could develop cancer.

The mesothelium are mucus membranes that line most every organ in the human body. When people inhale asbestos fibers, the dust agitates the mesothelium, encouraging abnormal cell growth. Malignant mesothelioma is commonly found in the linings of the lungs; however, it has been known to develop in the heart and stomach as well.

What makes this form of cancer so deadly is that it can quickly spread throughout the body. While it begins as tiny tumors within the mesothelium, it tends to spread rapidly to surrounding tissues. It is essential to note that mesothelioma is not lung cancer; however, it can spread and develop into lung cancer.

Mesothelioma Legal Cases
If veterans or their family members have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, they should highly consider hiring a qualified attorney to help them get the compensation they deserve. Even though asbestos was banned years ago, it can take several years for mesothelioma to develop.

Mesothelioma is a deadly form of cancer that can affect people who were exposed to asbestos. Many of these people are veterans, and most of them served in the Navy. Since it can take several years for asbestos cancer to develop, it is best for people to be tested for the disease as soon as possible.

Thanks, Doug!

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