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NAVY LOG
OF
STEPHEN HORVAT AMM-3

1 JOINED THE NAVY IN CHICAGO, IL ON SEPT.16 1942 AT THE OLD POST OFFICE ON STATE ST .DOWNTOWN IN THE LOOP.
I REGUESTED TO GO INTO NAVAL AVAITION, AND BECOME A NAVAL AERIAL GUNNER, TO GET BACK AT THE JAPíS FOR WHAT THEY DID TO PEARL HARBOR.
WELL I THAUGHT I WOULD GO TO GREAT LAKES FOR BOOT CAMP TRAINING SINCE WHEATON, IL WHERE I LIVED WAS ONLY 65 MILES AWAY.
WELL THE NAVY HAD OTHER IDEAS, ALL THE PEOPLE THAT SIGNED UP FOR NAVAL AVAITION WERE SENT TO NAVAL AIR STATION CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS, YA HUUU, I ALWAYS WANTED TO GO TO TEXAS AND BE A COWBOY, BUT TO BE A SAILOR IN TEXAS, I JUST COULD NOT PICTURE MY SELF AS ONE , BUT I WAS, AND FOR 2 AND 1/2 YEARS I WAS.
WE GOT ON THE ALTON R.R. AND OFF TO NEW ORLEANS, GOT OFF THE TRAIN TO STREACH OUR LEGS, AND REMEMBER LAYING ON THE GRASS , AND NEVER SAW SO MANY FROGíS IN MY LIFE, HOPPED ON AN OLD S.P. MILK TRAIN THAT TOOK US TO CORPUS, BOY, I THAUGHT WE WOULD NEVER GET THEIR, WE STOPPED AT EVERY TOWN ALONG THE GULF , BETWEEN N.O. & CORPUS.
WELL THE TRAIN PULLED IN TO CORPUS AROWND MIDNITE, THEN THEY PUT US ON A BUS TO GO TO THE MAIN BASE TO CHECK IN THEN PUT US ON ANOTHER BUS TO GO TO CABANISS FIELD CALLED P-2 A FEW MILES FROM THE MAIN BASE, WE CHECKED IN AND WERE ASSIGNED TO BARRACKES, BOY WHAT A LONG DAY THAT WAS.
AT CABANISS FIELD P-2 WHICH WAS A BASIC TRAINING FIELD FOR FLYING, WE STARTED OUR TRAINING , PHYSICALS, SHOTíS AND AFTER THE SHOTíS A LOT OF GUYíS GOT CAT FEVER, SORE ARMS, SO THEY GAVE US SOME SEMAPHORE EXERCISES TO WORK OUT OUR ARMS, WE HAD OUR MARCHING DRILLS, AFTER ABOUT 30 DAYíS OF BOOT CAMP WE WERE SENT TO THE MAIN BASE AND ASSIGNED TO SQUADRONS.
I WAS ASSIGNED TO 13-B AN INSTRUMENT TRAINING SQUADRON WHERE CADETíS LEARN TO FLY BLIND , [UNDER THE HOOD].
WE STARTED OUT IN THE ENGINEERING DEPT. WHERE THEY DID ALL THE MAINTENANCE ON THE SQUADRON AIRCRAFT, THE AIRCRAFT WAS THE SNV-1 A BABIC TRAINER BUILT BY VULTEE AIRCRAFT CORP. IN CAL. I WORKED AS AN A.M.M.STRIKER, CHANGING OIL, GREASE, TIRES, SPARK PLUGS, FIXING GAS LEAKS ON TANKíS, GREASE MONKY STUFF, BUT GOT TO KNOW THE AIRCRAFT VERY WELL, BETTER THAN THE PILOTíS DID.
THEN AFTER GAINING EXPERIENCE ON THE SNV-1, I WAS CHECKED OUT AS A TAXIE PILOT, AND THEN PLANE CAPTAIN, I HAD MY OUN PLANE ON THE FLIGHT LINE, THAT PILOTíS COULD USE TO FLY.AND TEACH CADETíS HOW TO FLY BY INSTRUMENTíS [UNDER THE HOOD] WHICH WAS A REQUIREMENT TO BECOME A NAVAL AVIATOR.
THE DUTIES OF A PLANE CAPTAIN WAS KEEP THE PLANE IN FLYING CONDITION, AT ALL TIMES FIRST THING IN THE MORNING AFTER MUSTER, YOU WOULD GOT TO THE FLIGHT LINE TO YOUR PLANE , UN TIE YOUR AIRCRAFT JUMP INTO THE COCKPIT MAKE SURE THE IGNITION SWITCH IS OFF HOP OUT OF THE COCKPIT, AND OFF THE WING, AND PULL THE PROPELLER THRU A FEW TIMEíS TAKE OFF THE PETOT TUB COVER [AIR SPEED INDICATOR TUBE] CHECK GAS IN TANKS TO SEE IF THEY ARE FULL, PULL THE STRANERS UNDER THE WING BY GAS TANKíS TO REMOVE WATER FROM GAS TANKS ON TWO SIDES, WIPE THE WIND SHIELD, AND GREEN HOUSE, SO PILOT & STUDENT CAN SEE OUTSIDE, JUMP IN COCKPIT, AND START AIRCRAFT, CHECK ALL INSTRUMENTS TO SEE IF THE ARE WORKING, GO TO FULL THROTTLE TO CHECK OUT MAGNITOS, AND HIGH & LOW PITCH, AND WHEN THE PILOT & STUDENT ARRIVED YOU HELPED THEM PUT ON THERE SAFETY HARNESS, AND OFF THE WENT, AND WHEN THEY GOT BACK YOU DIRECTED THEM TO YOUR TIE DOWN, AND THE PILOT WOULD SIGN A YELLOW SHEET& IF THERE WERE ANY PROBLEMS HE WRITE THEM DOWN AND ALSO WRITE THE FLIGHT TIME DOWN.THE YELLOW SHEET WAS TURNED INTO THE ENG.DEPT. WERE THEY KEPT TRACT OF TIME FLOWN, AND PROBLEMS.
THE AIRCRAFT WENT INTO TO THE HANGER TO BE CHECKED OUT EVERY 30, 60, 90, & 120 HRíS OIL CHANGES EVERY 30 HRíS SPARK PLUG CHANGES EVERT 60HRíS.
YOU AS A PLANE CAPTAIN TAXIED YOUR PLANE FROM THE FLIGHT LINE TO THE HANGER AND WAS PUSHED INTO THE HANGER, AND A DRIP PAN WAS PLACED UNDER THE ENGINE, TO KEEP THE HANGER DECK CLEAN, WHICH WAS PAINTED BATTELSHIP GRAY, AND WAS WASHED EVERY FRIDAY [FIELD DAY] WITH SOAP, BRUSHES, SWABíS & WATER HOSEíS, AIRCRAFT WAS ALSO INSPECTED, YOU WERE RESPONSIBLE TO KEEP YOUR AIRCRAFT CLEAN INSIDE & OUT. THE MAIN BASE HAD 3-LAND PLANE HANGERS, AND 3 SEAPLANE HANGERS, AND A HUGE A & R SHOP WHERE THEY COULD COMPLETELY OVER HAUL ALL THE DIFFERENT AIRCRAFT FLOWN AT ALL THE AIR STATIONS.
A SEAPLANE HANGER COULD HOLD A SQUADRON OF SEAPLANES THATíS 16 PBY CATALINAíS WHICH HAD A 104 FOOT WING SPAN. AFTER I RECEIVED MY A.M.M-3 RATING, I WAS ENTITLED FLIGHT SKINS, 4-HOURíS OF FLIGHT TIME PER MONTH, FLIGHT PAY WAS 1/2 OF BASE PAY, A.M.M-3 GOT 98 BUCKS A MONTH. I WOULD FLY AS OBSERVER IN SNV-1, SNJ-5, N3N YELLOW PEARL, PBY-2, 3 [FROM PEARL HARBOR] AND OSTU-1 KINGFISHER SCOUT OBSERVATION SEAPLANE AIRCRAFT, SOME OF THE PILOTíS GAVE ME STICK TIME, LET ME FLY THE PLANE. AFTER THAT I WAS SENT TO AERIAL GUNNERY SCHOOL IN KINGSVILLE, TEXAS. CALLED P-5 ANOTHER SMALL NAVAL AIR STATION ABOUT 25 MILES FROM THE MAIN BASE CORPUS, IT WAS USED TO TRAIN FIGHTER, AND DIVE BOMBER PILOTS, AND AERIAL GUNNERS. KINGSVILLE WAS THE HOME OF THE KING FAMILY, THE OWNERíS OF KING RANCH, THE LARGEST RANCH IN THE COUNTRY WERE THEY RAISED TEXAS LONG HORNED CATTLE & RACE HORSES, ALL THE NAVAL AIR STATIONíS WERE LOCATED ON KINGíS RANCH. THE P-FIELDíS WERE NAMED AFTER HONORED PILOTíS, SUCH AS:
P-1 RODD FIELD
P-2 CABANESS FIELD
P-3 CHASE FIELD
P-4 CUDAHAY FIELD
P-5 KINGSVILLE
P-6 WALDRON FIELD [NAMED AFTER COMD.WALDRON OF TARPEDO SQUADRON #8 BATTEL OF MIDWAY LOST ALL ITíS PLANES] THIS FIELD TRAINED TARPEDO BOMBER PILOTíS
BEEVILLE FIELD TRAINED MULTI-ENGINE TRANSPORT PILOTíS , AND LAND BASE BOMBER PILOTíS IN SNB-1 TWIN BEECH AIRCRAFT. AERIAL GUNNERY SCHOOL WAS LOTíS OF FUN, A DREAM COME TRUE, I WAS FINALY GOING TO BE A NAVAL AIR GUNNER, WHAT I SIGNED UP FOR IN THIS MANíS NAVY, WE GOT TO SHOOT TRAP & SKEET ON THE RANGE, FREE STYLE, AND SHOOT GUNS MOUNTED ON TURRETíS, OUR INSTRUCTOR WAS N.Y. STATE CHAMP AND COULD SHOOT FROM THE HIP, FUN STUFF. WE GOT TO SHOOT 30 & 50 CAL BROWNING AIRCRAFT MACHINE GUNíS, SINGLE & TWINíS IN FIXED POSITION ON HIGH SPEED GUNNERY RANGE, WHERE A SLEEVE ATTACHED TO SMALL RAIL CAR RUNíS ON AN OVAL TRACK, WHICH YOU SHOOT AT, AND SEE IF YOU CAN HIT IT, WE WERE SCORED, WE LEARNED HOW BREAK DOWN, AND ASSEMBLE ALL THE GUNS BLIND FOLDED, FIX GUN MULFUNCTIONS, TURRET MANIPULATION, TAIL, TOP, AND FRONT, CLASS ROOM PROBLEMíS FROM THE COMBAT AIRCREW PRIMARY GUNNERY MANUAL, 35 MIL GUN SIGHT, AMO.AIRCRAFT RECOGNITION, AND VISUAL COMMUNICATIONíS. THEN WE GOT TO GO UP IN A PBY-5A CATALINA, AND SHOOT SINGLE 50 CAL. FROM THE BLISTER AT A SLEEVE IN FLIGHT, AND GRADUATED AS COMBAT AIR CREWMEN AND RECEIVED OUR WINGíS.

I RETURNED TO MY SQUADRON 13-B, AND WAS TRANSFERRED TO A PBY-5A SQUADRON 17-A WHICH WAS THE NEXT HANGER OVER FROM 13-B. AS SOON AS I REPORTED TO SQUADRON 17-A, I WAS CHECKED OUT AS A FLIGHT ENGINEER A 2nd MECH, AND THEN AFTER A FEW TRAINING FLIGHTíS MADE 1ST.MECH., AND WAS ASSIGNED A PLANE AND MADE PLANE CAPTAIN, MY PLANE NUMBER WAS P-19 AND WAS CALLED THE G.I. DATE WITH A BEAUTIFULL BLOND PAINTED ON THE NOSE, WE DID ANTI-SUB.PATROL TRAINING MISSIONS SUCH AS HI, AND LOW BOMBING, TOUCH AND GO LANDINGS, WEATHER HOPíS , HURRICANE HUNTERíS REPORTING LOCATION, AND RADIOING BACK TO MAIN BASE, AIR SEA RESCUE, AFTER ABOUT 6 MONTHíS OF THAT I WAS TRANSFERRED TO LOS ALAMITOS NAVAL AIR STATION IN CALIFORNIA STILL IN PBYíS, WE DID SOME ANTI SUB PATROL WORK, AND THEN TRANSFERRED TO C.A.S.U.-33 GOT CHECKED OUT AS TOP TURRET GUNNER IN TBM AIRCRAFT, AND THEN MOVED TO THE ENG. DEPT.DOING MAINTENANCE ON F6F-HELLCAT AIRCRAFT, AND SENT TO MEMPHIS TECH. TRAINING CENTER FOR F6F HELLCAT LINE MAINTENANCE SCHOOL, CAME BACK AND WAS TRANSFERRED TO THE BENNINGTON CV-20.

WE PACKED UP OUR SEA BAGíS HOPPED ON A GRAY GOOSE AT LOS ALAMITOS N.A.S. JUST AFTER CHRSITMAS , AND JUST BEFORE NEW YEARíS, AND HEADED FOR TERMINAL ISLAND AND GOT ONBOARD THE BENNINGTON. JUST AFTER NEW YEAR 0F 46 WE SHOVED OF TO PEARL HARBOR WITH A 3 STAR ADMIRAL ABOARD, AND CAPT. BRAUN AS OUR SKIPPER, SOME SAY THE ADMIRAL WAS 'BULL' HALSEY I DO NOT KNOW WHAT THE ADMIRAL'S NAME WAS, BUT I DO RECALL SEEING A 3 STAR FLYING IN THE BREESE, WE WERE THE FLAG SHIP OF THE 3RD. FLEET, AND IT TOOK ABOUT 6 DAYíS TO GET THERE, AND WHEN WE PULLED IN TO PEARL ALL THE SHIPíS WE PASSED WERE BLOWING THERE HORNíS, AND SALUTING US AS WE PASSED BY AS IF WE WERE THE CONQUERING HEROíS OF THE WAR, THAT WAS THE BEST FEELING I EVER HAD IN MY NAVY CAREAR, SO WE WENT BY THE OLD ARIZONA, AND PARKED ALONG SIDE THE ADD. BLDíG AND SECURED THE SHIP, AND WENT ON LIBERTY.

WHEN WE GOT BACK ABOARD SHIP WE HEADED OUT TO SEA AND CRUISED AROUND MAUI CHECKING OUT 2 AIR GROUPíS WITH TBMíS, SB2CíS, F6F-5 & THE NEW F8F BEARCAT, WELL I WAS PLANE CAPTAIN OF A F6F HELLCAT, AND WE DID SET A NEW RECORD FOR THE PACIFIC FLEET IN LAUNCHING AIRCRAFT, I THINK IT WAS ONE EVERY 3 MINUTEíS.

THE F8F BEARCAT HAD A TOUGH TIME THE FIRST 5 PLANEíS THAT LANDED WERE BARRIER CRASHEíS
WHICH I TOOK PICTURES OF, (SEE PAGE 4)
WHAT HAPPENED WAS THE ARRESTING HOOK HAD A DESIGN PROBLEM THE ANGEL WAS TOO STEEP, SO WHEN IT DRAGED ALONG THE FLIGHT DECK TO PICK UP THE CABLE IT RIPPED UP THE STEEL TIE DOWN STRIPíS, AND THE PLANE NOSED OVER AND THE PROP HIT THE FLIGHT DECK, AND IN DOING SO SPLIT THE HALLOW STEEL PROP, AND THE FRONT END OF THE PROP FLEW INTO THE AIR LIKE A BOOMARANG, WHAT A SIGHT.SO AFTER THAT WE HEADED BACK TO PEARL TO GET OUR FLIGH DECK REPAIRED, AND COMPLETELY REPAINTED FROM FOWARD TO AFT, SO WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE PICTURE OF THE CV-20 PARKED ALONG THE ADD.BLDG. ON FORD ISLAND SHE HAS A FRESH COAT OF PAINT ON THE FLIGHT DECK.

THE MARINES HAD A BEER PARTY ONE WEEK END SO WE HAD TO TAKE OVER THERE DUTIES, SO I GOT TO BE THE CAPTAINíS ORDERLY, AND I DIDNíT GET TO KNOW THE SHIP THAT WELL, HELL I DIDNíT EVEN KNOW WHERE THE CAPTíS QUARTERíS WHERE, BUT I FOUND OUT IN A HURRY, SO THERE I AM FOLLOWING THE CAPTAIN AROUND THE SHIP, WITH A 45 ON MY HIP 5 PACES BEHIND, AND RUNNING ARROUND TAKING AND RECEIVING MESSAGES FOR HIM.

I DIDNíT KNOW IT AT TIME WE WERE DOCKED AT FORD ISLAND, THAT ADMIRAL 'BULL' HALSEY GAVE UP HIS COMMAND ABOARD THE BENNINGTON, NOW THATíS QUITE A HONOR FOR A SHIP TO HAVE, FOR THE COMMANDER OF THE PACIFIC FLEET IN WW2 TO GIVE UP HIS COMMAND ON.

WELL WE WENT BACK OUT TO SEA AND QUALIFIED THE AIR GROUPíS, AND THEN HEADED TO SAN DIEGO, ARRIVED THE LAST OF MARCH, AND THEN WENT TO GREAT LAKES FOR HONORABLE DISCHARGE ON APRIL 6, 1946.

I WONDERED WHAT HAPPENED TO THE SHIP AFTER I GOT OFF, AFTER READING THE BENNINGTON BOOK SHIPMATE FRED GERISCHER MAKES A STATEMENT THAT THE CV-20 TOOK A LOAD OF PBYíS THROUGH THE PAMAMA CANAL UP THE EAST COAST TO GET MOTHBALLEíD.

THE PICTUREíS I GOT OF THE CV-20 DURING 1944-45 WW2 YEARS (SEE PAGE 3) WERE TAKEN BY RICHARD H. SMITH SR, HE GAVE THEM TO ME WHEN HE & I WERE ABOARD ON THE 46 CRUISE, AND I TOOK THE PICTURES OF THE 46 CRUISE WITH THE F8F BEARCATíS..

SO THE BENNINGTON BOOK HAS DONE ITíS JOB OF SEEING SHIPMATES OF THE PAST, FINDING OUT WHERE THE SHIP HAS BEEN FROM YEAR TO YEAR.

I HOPE I HAVE FILLED IN SOME OF THE GAPíS THAT ARE NOT IN THE BOOK, THAT ARE GREAT HISTORICAL MOMENTS THAT HAPPENED ABOARD OUR GREATíLY HONERED SHIP THE USS-BENNINGTON CV-20.

SHIPMATE,
STEPHEN HORVAT A.M.M.3/C CV-20






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