• Image of four aviators at leisure, playing cribbage

    Aleutian World War II

    National Historic Area Alaska

VP/VPB-61, Part 2

 
“Matter of fact, I would . . . in the morning before we’d take off, I mean, it was our job - the mech’s job - to get in the plane and start the plane up and run the engines, check the engines out, check the plane visually all over and well, I used to call it bleeding the automatic pilot. When the pilots would come out, why, they’d get in and you’d tell them everything was all right, that would be it.”
Robert Buchanan, VP-61, 1944

 
Kenneth Claypool and crewmember Shaffer eat lunch while on patrol at Dutch Harbor.
Kenneth Claypool and crewmember Shaffer eat lunch while on patrol at Dutch Harbor.
Courtesy Ken Claypool, VP-61, Jan-Dec 1944
 
Crewmen in front of a Quonset hut on Attu
Some of the VP-61 crewmembers in front of a Quonset hut on Attu during the summer of 1944. Standing from left to right: Norman Surface; Herb Rowe; Jack Finley; and Jim Ryckman. Kneeling from left to right: Leonard Banach; Rich Payne; & Kenneth Claypool.
Courtesy Ken Claypool, VP-61, Jan-Dec 1944
 
A captain crouches on his plane
Plane Captain from one of the VP-61 crews at Dutch Harbor in 1944.
Courtesy Ken Claypool, VP-61, Jan-Dec 1944
 
Crewman in front of his plane
Brookover, 1st radioman, VP-61, Dutch Harbor 1944.
Courtesy Ken Claypool, VP-61, Jan-Dec 1944
 
A PBY plane
Kenneth Claypool and his crew’s PBY is now on display at the Palm Springs Air Museum in Palm Springs California. Robert “Bob” Buchanan wrote his name in the planes tower during World War II and it was found by the museum during the restoration process.
Courtesy Ken Claypool, VP-61, Jan-Dec 1944
 

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