Bob was serving an apprenticeship in a machine shop in Ohio
when he signed up as an Aviation Machinists Mate for the Navy. Little did he
know that an AMM in the Navy was an aircraft mechanic! He trained in PBYs and
was assigned to VP-61 on Attu and Amchitka and then went on to the South
Pacific. With VP-61 Bob flew dozens of missions to the Kurile Islands and lived
to tell about them. A PBY he flew in the Aleutians is now at the Palm Desert
Air Museum – still a functional, flying aircraft, with Bob’s name penciled in
The interview is also available in smaller portions, with the relevant transcript
available for each clip. Each audio clip is less than 1 MB, facilitating
access for slower internet connections.
Did You Know?
At Dutch Harbor, some Marines enjoyed the Bachelor Officers Quarters (BOO) of the Naval Operating Base. The BOO was the officers' club, holding a long bar, nice lounge area and fire place. In the center of the floor laid a terrazzo symbol of the Alaskan Sector Command (ALSEC). This terrazzo symbol was designed by Armand Rizan, and was laid in 1943. Today, it is located at the Museum of the Aleutians.