• Image of four aviators at leisure, playing cribbage

    Aleutian World War II

    National Historic Area Alaska

VP/VPB-139, Part 1

 
"Oh, July 25th of 1945 Tom Anzalone and myself got the Purple Heart. A dressed up Admiral come by and they called everybody to shape up and stand in line while he awarded the Purple Hearts."
Joe Baldeschi, ARM2c, VPB-139, June 1943-June 1945
 
Joe Baldeschi receives a Purple Heart
Joe Baldeschi was one of the two members of the 139th Bomb Squadron to receive a Purple Heart for their World War II services.
Courtesy Joe Baldeschi, ARM2c, VB-139, June 1943-June 1945
 
"My standard remark to everyone is that the Japanese were not interested in shooting down an American airplane. They were interested in killing two Italians that were flying in airplanes."
Joe Baldeschi, ARM2c, VPB-139, June 1943-June 1945
 
Gaetano Anzalone receives a Purple Heart
Gaetano Anzalone “Tom” was one of the two members of the 139th Bomb Squadron to receive a Purple Heart for their World War II services.
Courtesy Susan Anzalone Sims, daughter of Ensign Gaetano “Tom” Anzalone, Co-Pilot, USN.
 

Joe Baldeschi and Gaetano Anzalone “Tom” were wounded on May 10th, 1945 while on a separate mission, to the Kurile Islands of Japan. Both planes were hit by Japanese anti-aircraft fire while they were flying over Paramushiro.

 
George Sproul (ARM) observes the fuselage nose art on one of the squadrons planes
George Sproul (ARM) observes the fuselage nose art on one of the squadrons planes. The words beside the art work read:
  “My daddy used to like my sweaters
  Better every day
  I’ve vowed to keep them all in shape
  Till he comes home to stay.”
Courtesy Will R. Swinney, ARM, VPB-139
 
Lewis Barnes puts his arm into the left wing of Lieutenant Glen A. David’s plane
Lewis Barnes puts his arm into the left wing of Lieutenant Glen A. David’s plane. The plane was hit by Japanese fire during a mission to the Kurile Islands.
Courtesy Will R. Swinney, ARM, VPB-139
 
Lieutenant Commander Glen A. David preparing for a mission
Lieutenant Commander Glen A. David preparing for a mission
Courtesy Will R. Swinney, ARM, VPB-139
 

Did You Know?

Photograph of Japanese pilots before the raid on Dutch Harbor, 6 June 1942

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.