Lyttleton Ballard was commissioned as an Ensign in the US Navy on November 24, 1941. At the time both the Army and Navy were trying hard to recruit people with radio experience because of the introduction of radar. Lyttleton was well qualified having earned a college degree in electrical engineering and having been an amateur radio operator since 1931. In 1942, after training at Bowden College on fundamentals of ultra-high frequencies he went on to more advanced training at Massachusetts Institute of Technology on radar. Graduates were assigned to ships and navy bases throughout the world and Lyttleton’s assignment was to Patrol Wing Four in the Aleutian Islands.
Lyttleton’s primary responsibility was to maintain the repair search radar sets installed in the PBY aircraft. He serviced all squadrons in PatWing Four between August 1942 and December 1943 proceeding from island to island in advance of the squadrons movements. His work was greatly appreciated and he received a letter of commendation for his service from Commodore Gehres. Photos, some memorabilia saved from the war and an interesting letter received some two years after it was mailed provide insights into the experiences of Lyttleton Ballard during WWII.
Did You Know?
At Dutch Harbor, some Marines enjoyed the Bachelor Officers Quarters (BOQ) of the Naval Operating Base. The BOQ 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.