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?
When the Japanese invaded the islands of Attu and Kiska in June, 1942, it was the first time that an enemy occupied American soil since the War of 1812.