shemya scrapbooks tony suarez - 1945-1946
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I enlisted in the navy on October 23, 1943, prior to my eighteenth birthday. I was sent to San Diego, Cal. where I served my basic training. Upon terminating my training, I was selected to attend aviation ordnance school at Norman, Okla. After completing my AOM classes, I was transferred to NAS Floyd Bennnet Field in Brooklyn, NY, and stationed there for about a year. After Floyed Bennet Field, I went to NAS Jacksonville, Fla, where I attended an advanced AOM school. After completion of the advanced school, I was transferred back to San Diego,Cal., where I was assigned to PATSU 10-44 and later on to F.A.W. 14, 4, with the PB4Y-2 Privateers on Shemya, which flew bombing missions against the Northern Kuril Islands of Japan until the end of the war. I was also stationed on Attu and Kodiak Islands. Tony Suarez
Tony Suarez Leaning On Vertical Tail of PB4Y-2, Shemya 1945-46. [Tony Suarez] Tony Suarez Leaning On Vertical Tail of PB4Y-2, Shemya 1945-46. [Tony Suarez]
1. That’s me, I am leaning on the vertical tail of one of our PB4Y-2 Privateers, No. 59807, on Shemya 1945-46.
PB4Y-2 Privateer On Shemya, Waiting Mission Pre-Flight Mission Checks. [Tony Suarez] PB4Y-2 Privateer On Shemya, Waiting Mission Pre-Flight Mission Checks. [Tony Suarez]
2. PB4Y-2 Privateer on Shemya, waiting to be checked out for next mission. 1945-46
Privateers Taking Off On Mission Against The Japanese Kuril Islands. Shemya 1945-46. [Tony Suarez] Privateers Taking Off On Mission Against The Japanese Kuril Islands. Shemya 1945-46. [Tony Suarez]
3. Privateers taking off on another mission against the Japanese Kuril Islands. Shemya 1945-46
Tail-end of PB4Y-2 On Shemya, 1945-46. [Tony Suarez] Tail-end of PB4Y-2 On Shemya, 1945-46. [Tony Suarez]
4. Partial view of PB4Y-2. Notice Dirt mounds around plane, this was done to hide our planes from the Japanese. They were also camouflaged by spreading huge dark nets over each plane. Shemya 1945-46.
PB4Y-2 Returning Home From Bombing Mission. [Tony Suarez] PB4Y-2 Returning Home From Bombing Mission. [Tony Suarez]
5. PB4Y-2 returning from a bombing mission, the ground crews are always glad to see them come back, this one looks OK. (God, I hope my machine guns didn't malfunction, I hope he was able to fire every 50 cal. round including the tracers, and that all the bombs detonated on impact!). Shemya 1945-46.
Ordnance Mate Ready To Load 50 Cal. Machine Guns On PB4Y-2 Turrets. [Tony Suarez] Ordnance Mate Ready To Load 50 Cal. Machine Guns On PB4Y-2 Turrets. [Tony Suarez]
6. Ordnance mate, getting ready to load 50 cal. machine guns on PB4Y-2 turrets. Notice the two oscillating guns on side blister turret. An ordnance man was responsible for all the armament on the plane, that is to say, all the offensive and defensive equipment. Shemya 1945-46
Tony Suarez Standing Along Side PB4Y-2. [Tony Suarez] Tony Suarez Standing Along Side PB4Y-2. [Tony Suarez]
7. Here I am standing along side of PB4Y2- I believe this is on Kodiak, when we were on our way to Attu and Shemya, 45-46.
Tony Suarez Resting Against Top PB4Y-2 Gun Turret. [Tony Suarez] Tony Suarez Resting Against Top PB4Y-2 Gun Turret. [Tony Suarez]
8. On this one, I am resting against the forward top turret between two 50 cal. machine guns on a PB4Y-2 Privateer (notice snow on plane). Usually, after we finished checking all the armed bombs, shackles, guns, turret operation etc. and generally getting the plane ready for the Kuril Islands next bombing mission, we hung around and wait for chow time (you know, "do-do” on a shingle. Shemya, 1945-46. [That would be SOS! gls]
View Of PB4Y-2 Looking Towards The Vertical Stabilizer From The Nose Of The Aircraft. [Tony Suarez] View Of PB4Y-2 Looking Towards The Vertical Stabilizer From The Nose Of The Aircraft. [Tony Suarez]
9. This picture was taken by standing on top of the nose facing the top turrets and tall rear fin of our PB4Y-2 on Shemya (the Black Rock), Alaska. 1945 or 1946.
PB4Y-2 Parked On Shemya Runway, 1945 - '46. [Tony Suarez] PB4Y-2 Parked On Shemya Runway, 1945 - '46. [Tony Suarez]
10. Here is a rear view of a PB4Y-2 parked on Shemya, 1945 or 46. I notice some folks refer to our planes as B-24s. We called them our big ocean blue birds, our “Navy Privateers." That single tall tail fin and long body, side blister turrets, were easy to identify, and made the major difference between the two heavy bombers. Shemya 1945-46. [The PB4Y-2 is a derivative of the B-24. gls]
PB4Y-2 Parked On Shemya. [Tony Suarez] PB4Y-2 Parked On Shemya. [Tony Suarez]
11. Another view of the PB4Y2 on Shemya. Notice "Ball" nose turret located directly above the bombardier's compartment. Shemya/1945-46.
Tony Suarez Sitting Astride A P-38 Lightning. [Tony Suarez] Tony Suarez Sitting Astride A P-38 Lightning. [Tony Suarez]
12. That’s me on top of the famous Army’s twin fuselage P-38 Lightning. Shemya 1945-46.
Ordnance Men With Their Amphibious PBY Catalina. Shemya 1945-46. [Tony Suarez] Ordnance Men With Their Amphibious PBY Catalina. Shemya 1945-46. [Tony Suarez]
13. Two ordnance men & Amphibious PBY Catalina. Shemya 1945-46.
Ordnance Man & PBY Catalina. Shemya 1945-46. [Tony Suarez] Ordnance Man & PBY Catalina. Shemya 1945-46. [Tony Suarez]
14. One ordnance man & the Flying Boat PBY Catalina. Shemya 1945-46.
Road To Fuel Storage Area. Shemya 1945-46. [Tony Suarez] Road To Fuel Storage Area. Shemya 1945-46. [Tony Suarez]
15. Lonely road to fuel storage area on Shemya 1945- 46.
Fuel Storage Area. Shemya 1945-46. [Tony Suarez] Fuel Storage Area. Shemya 1945-46. [Tony Suarez]
16. Fuel storage area/Shemya 1945-46.
Shemya's Chapel. Shemya 1945-46. [Tony Suarez] Shemya's Chapel. Shemya 1945-46. [Tony Suarez]
17. Shemya’s Chapel, where my buddies and I visit to get our spiritual strength, and pray for each other. May God bless the good ministers of all faiths, that were along side of us when we most needed them, remembering, that they also made great sacrifices for our country.
Privateers Aviation Ordnance Dept.; Front: James Ledbetter. To His Right: Walter S. Atha, To His Left: Tony Suarez.  [Tony Suarez] Privateers Aviation Ordnance Dept.; Front: James Ledbetter. To His Right: Walter S. Atha, To His Left: Tony Suarez.  [Tony Suarez]
18. This photo was taken in our hut while on the Rock. Sitting on chair is; James E. Ledbetter, behind him and to his right; Walter S. Atha, and myself. Privateers Aviation Ordnance Department. Shemya 1945-46.
Loading Bombs On Privateers Destined For Raids On Northern Islands Of Japan Using Bomb-Truck. [Tony Suarez] Loading Bombs On Privateers Destined For Raids On Northern Islands Of Japan Using Bomb-Truck. [Tony Suarez]
19. I am unable to identify the two ordnance mates behind me due to the marks and damage to the picture. We loaded a great number of bombs with this Bomb-Truck on our privateers destined for raids on northern islands of Japan. Shemya 1945-46.
Privateer's Ordnance Department. Shemya 1945-46. [Tony Suarez] Privateer's Ordnance Department. Shemya 1945-46. [Tony Suarez]
20. This photo shows the ordnance department for the privateers. Its impossible for me to recall every individual’s name after 56 years. I am on top, directly behind Tim Hagerty, he is the one leaning with his elbows on the cab. Ronald Dusty Rhoads (Bottom row/center) is the only one I have managed to contact. Shemya 1945-46.
B-17 "Searchin' Virgin" & Tony Suarez. Shemya 1945-46. [Tony Suarez] B-17 "Searchin' Virgin" & Tony Suarez. Shemya 1945-46. [Tony Suarez]
21. I am not aware as to how many B-17s were on Shemya, but I do know there was the “Searchin- Virgin.” And I managed to have my picture taken with this beautiful (Flying Fortress) lady, once upon a time on the Rock. Shemya 1945-46.
22. This is one of my friends who was on the Rock with me, William J. Weber AOM3/c (N.Y). We drank our weekly allowance of Topac beer in our hut, and listen to Charlie Barnett play Cherokee over and over again, until we ran out of beer and hit the sack.
William J. Weber, AOM3/c (N.Y.). [Tony Suarez] William J. Weber, AOM3/c (N.Y.). [Tony Suarez]
Ordnance Men On Top Of Their Hut "The Hacienda." [Tony Suarez] Ordnance Men On Top Of Their Hut "The Hacienda." [Tony Suarez]
23. Group of ordnance men, on top of our hut, the Hacienda…ala Blue Room. Shemya 1945-46.
Privateer Ordnance Department Inside Their Hut Playing Stud Poker. [Tony Suarez] Privateer Ordnance Department Inside Their Hut Playing Stud Poker. [Tony Suarez]
24. Privateers Ordnance Department inside our hut, getting ready for another game of Stud Poker, while taking a break and listening to Artie Shaw, Begin the begin or Perry Como sing Till the end of time. I am in the middle of the three standing. Shemya 1945-46.
Privateer Naval Pilots Planning, Smoking...Before Next Mission. [Tony Suarez] Privateer Naval Pilots Planning, Smoking...Before Next Mission. [Tony Suarez]
25. Privateer Squadron Naval Pilots, having a smoke and planning before taking off on next mission. Shemya/ 1945-46
Watching The Waves Crashing On The Rocks. [Tony Suarez] Watching The Waves Crashing On The Rocks. [Tony Suarez]
26. Watching the waves on the Rock. Shemya 1945-46.
Three Privateer Ordnance Men; Ledbetter, Atha, And Unk. [Tony Suarez] Three Privateer Ordnance Men; Ledbetter, Atha, And Unk. [Tony Suarez]
27. Three privateer ordnance men. Left to right: James E. Ledbetter, AOM 2/c, Ga. Walter S. Atha, AOM 1/c, Ark. Sorry, but I cannot recall the third mate’s name. However, I can remember he had a bunch of hash marks on his dress uniform and he was one of the older guys in our outfit. Shemya 1945-46.
Ordnance mates Morressy and Sutton. Shemya 1945-46. [Tony Suarez] Ordnance mates Morressy and Sutton. Shemya 1945-46. [Tony Suarez]
28. Two ordnance mates; Morressy and Sutton. Shemya 1945-46.
For additional photos/information about the “Privateer,” Click HERE.
B-29s on Shemya, 1945-1946. [Tony Suarez] B-29s on Shemya, 1945-1946. [Tony Suarez]
29. The B-29s visit our 2 by 4 mile Island prior to the end of WW 11. After circling the "Rock", a B-29 lands on Shemya. Obviously, we were capable of accommodating the "Superfortresses" landing on our 10,000 ft. runway. We also had several huge hangers. Shemya 1945-1946.
B-29s On Shemya, 1945-46. [Tony Suarez] B-29s On Shemya, 1945-46. [Tony Suarez]
30. One B-29 parked on Shemya. Notice other B-29s in the background to the left and right of it. The Superfortress had a range of over 3200 miles. It was the B-29s that turned the tide of the entire WW 11 and allowed us to go home sooner, (if one had the "points"). Shemya 1945-1946.
B-29 Number 8, Shemya, 1945-46. [Tony Suarez] B-29 Number 8, Shemya, 1945-46. [Tony Suarez]
31. B-29 Number 8, with large bombay doors opened. This plane carried a crew of ten, and a bomb load of 20,000 pounds and had a cruising speed of 220 miles. Shemya/ 1945-1946.
B-29 #38 Being Checked Over By Other Squadron Pilots. [Tony Suarez] B-29 #38 Being Checked Over By Other Squadron Pilots. [Tony Suarez]
32. B-29 number 38, being checked over by other squadron pilots. The B-29 was equipped with a Fire control system with remotely controlled gun turrets. Shemya 1945-1946.
B-29 Refueling Prior To Takeoff From Shemya. 1945-46. [Tony Suarez] B-29 Refueling Prior To Takeoff From Shemya. 1945-46. [Tony Suarez]
33. B-29s being refueled prior to taking off from Shemya. Unknown to us at that time; two B-29s, the "Enola Gay" and "Bocks Car," were being modified to deliver atomic bombs ("Little Boy"&"Fat Man") from the Mariana Islands to Hiroshima and Nagasaki that would eventually bring an end to WW 11. Shemya 1945-1946.
B-29 #38 "Fresno" Gets Final Inspection By Its Pilots. [Tony Suarez] B-29 #38 "Fresno" Gets Final Inspection By Its Pilots. [Tony Suarez]
34. B-29 number 38 "Fresno" gets a final inspection by its pilots. It is said that the Army's initial plans were to use the B-29s on Shemya to bomb Japan. However, the B-29s did not remain on Shemya, and after they left, the PB4Y-2s continued bombing Japan's northern Islands. Shemya 1945-1946.
A Navy PV Ventura Light Bomber Lands On Shemya. 1945-46. [Tony Suarez] A Navy PV Ventura Light Bomber Lands On Shemya. 1945-46. [Tony Suarez]
35. A Navy PV Ventura light bomber lands on Shemya. This navy plane also played a very important role in the Aleutian Campaign. It appears that the top gunner is in his turret. 1945-1946.
A PBY Catalina On Shemya, 1945-46. [Tony Suarez] A PBY Catalina On Shemya, 1945-46. [Tony Suarez]
36. A PBY Catalina on Shemya. This was not an offensive navy plane, but served as a long distance reconnaissance, U-boat patrol, and a mine layer sea plane. Shemya 1945-1946.
A PBY Catalina On Shemya, 1945-46. A PBY Catalina On Shemya, 1945-46.
37. Another shot of the PBY. The "Cats" were also used as path finders for our bombers, and rescue operations for our down pilots. Shemya 1945-1946.
38. Another close up photo of the "Flying Boat" with three unidentified sailors. The Catalina was very slow, but was suitable for long patrols over the ocean. Shemya 1945-1946.
William J. Weber, AOM 3/c, From Mt. Vernon, N. Y.  [Tony Suarez] William J. Weber, AOM 3/c, From Mt. Vernon, N. Y.  [Tony Suarez]
39. My friend, William J. Weber, AOM 3/c from Mt. Vernon, N.Y. Shemya 1945-1946.
Tony Suarez, Shemya 1945-1946. [Tony Suarez] Tony Suarez, Shemya 1945-1946. [Tony Suarez]
40. Yours truly, 50 years ago and far away, serving my time on the "Rock.” Shemya 1945-1946. [Note: as of today’s publishing date (7/25/2016], it would be 70 years ago! gls]