• Image of four aviators at leisure, playing cribbage

    Aleutian World War II

    National Historic Area Alaska

VP/VPB-139, Part 2

 

"Seeing the AA fire coming up toward the plane looking like white orange red peppermint candy sticks then burst a large fiery bloom. That’ll get your attention."

Will R. Swinney, ARM, VPB-139

 
VP-139 crew by plane
Standing from left to right: Elmer Hedrick, Co-Pilot & Navigator; Boris Georgeff, Pilot; and Erwin “Bud”Hanson, Co-Pilot & Navigator . Kneeling from left to right: Dewey A. Tarkington “Tark,” Top Turret Gunner (AOM); Robert Johnston “Smokey,” Mechanic (AMM) & Dorsal Tail Gunner; and Will R. Swinney, Radio & Radar Operator (ARM).
Courtesy Will R. Swinney, ARM, VPB-139
 
Crew posing by plane
Standing from left to right: Ensign Gaetano “Tom” Anzalone, Co-Pilot & Navigator; Carl Heikkinen, Pilot; and Robert Andrews, Navigator. Kneeling from left to right: Jack Miller, Mechanic; Charles Rowles, Radioman; and James Sarvis, Ordinance.
Courtesy Will R. Swinney, ARM, VPB-139
 
Crew by a plane
A PV-2 crew during their second tour of duty in Alaska with VPB-139. From left to right: Sutton, Radioman; Yakich, Navigator; Potter, Co-Pilot; Becnel, Mechanic; Jenkins, Ordinance; dog (unknown) and Bradbury Jr, Pilot.
Courtesy Will R. Swinney, ARM, VPB-139.
 
Men in front of a plane
Standing from left to right: Ensign Richard D. Switzer, Co-Pilot; Lieutenant A. Paul Stehle, Pilot; and Ensign Henry T. Jenssen, Navigator. Kneeling from left to right: Arthur G. Molten, Crew Chief (AMM1c); Chet E. Silas, Ordnance (AOM2c), and Joe Baldeschi, Radio & Radar (ARM2c).
Courtesy Joe Baldeschi, ARM2c, VB-139, June 1943-June 1945.
 
Three men in front of a plane
Arthur G. Molten, Crew Chief (AMM1c); Chet E. Silas, Ordinance (AOM2c); and Joe Baldeschi, Radio & Radar (ARM2c).
Courtesy Joe Baldeschi, ARM2c, VB-139, June 1943-June 1945
 

Did You Know?

A PBY plane surrounded by crew

A PBY plane piloted by Lt. Jean Cusick was sent from Dutch Harbor, on June 3, 1942, to locate Japanese forces in the Pacific. He was shot down by enemy fighters en route. Five men out of the seven-man crew survived the crash and got into life rafts. Cusick and his enlisted pilot died on the rafts from their wounds. The other three were captured by the Japanese, and became the first prisoners of war in the Aleutian Campaign.