VP-5 Squadron Shipmates
VPNAVY Address

ShipmateUSS Curtiss (AV-4) ShipmatesShipmate

BALASI, PH2 Alfred c/o His Son Mark Balasi Shipmate Pix balasi@comcast.net "...My late father actually had a world wind tour of the Pacific from late 1944 to early 1946. He was a photographer's mate who shipped out to the Pacific in late 1944 to be assigned to a PB4Y squadron but got sent mistakenly to a PBY squadron - VP-71 initially. By then the Navy stopped assigning photogs to planes and he began flying with different PB4Y squadrons, but mostly with VPB-104. Dad then ended up with FAW-17 at Clark and finally on the USS Pine Island (AV-12) and USS Curtiss (AV-4) in occupation duty before returning to the states in early 1946. I'd be interested in word from anyone who might remember him..." [18NOV2002]

HILLIER, Bob Baronfitz@aol.com "...I was with FAW-14 (Hedron14) assigned to the USS Curtiss (AV-4) (after duty on NAS North Island, San Diego, California). On August 7, 1942, while the USS Curtiss (AV-4) was berthed at Espiritu Santos in the New Hebrides, the 1st Marine Division headed for Guadalcanal. As an Aerographers' Mate, I often flew in PBYs on their submarine patrols noting weather conditions every hour on the hour stting down latitude and logitude each time. Thses flights were a daily occurence and about a dozen planes would fan out on different sectors with the same mission. Are there any other FAW-14 "Wind Guessers" out there?..." [06MAR2001]

Memorial Picture "...KIMMONS, CAPTAIN George W. "Kim"...6/12/02 - Former Wing Commander George Kimmons Dies - SANFORD - Captain George W. "Kim" Kimmons, the last wing commander at Sanford Naval Air Station, died Monday, June 10, 2002. He was 79. Kimmons was first stationed at Sanford NAS in 1959 and was assigned to several leadership duties during his time in Seminole County. He was well respected in the community, and when Reconnaissance Attack Wing ONE was reassigned to a Georgia base from Sanford on May 1, 1968. Kimmons retired from the Navy in 1974 and eventually retired in Sanford in 1991. He was born in Akron, Ohio, on April 30, 1923, and dedicated himself to a Naval career during World War II. In 1942, Kimmons entered Naval flight training, winning his wings at Pensacola on February 6, 1945. Ensign Kimmons' first assignment was as a primary flight instructor. This was followed by a tour with Honolulu based Air-Transport Squadron Eight, during which time he participated in the 1948 Berlin Airlift. He subsequently attended Ohio State University Electronics School and the Navy's General Line School at Monterey, California. In December 1952, Lt. Kimmons reported for duty aboard USS Currituck II (AV-7), Flagship for the Task Group supporting Operation Castle, one of a series of atomic tests held at Bikini Atoll in the Pacific. Subsequent tours took him to the west coast's VP-9 and to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio as a Naval Bureau of Aeronautics Representative. In January 1959, LCDR Kimmons made his first appearance in Sanford Heavy Attack aviation. Completing the A3A Skywarrior syllabus in Heavy Attack Squadron Three, he reported to Heavy Attack Squadron One, later to become the Operations Officer and deploy to the Mediterranean as an 18-plane A3B squadron aboard USS Independence(CVA 62). Commander Kimmons reported to Heavy Attack Squadron Nine in June 1961 as Executive Officer and a year later assumed command of the squadron. Following this tour he served as Chief Staff Officer for Commander Attack Wing One. It was during this time that the change over to the RA5C (Vigilante) began with the wing. In December 1963, Commander Kimmons left the staff to assume command of Reconnaissance Attack Squadron Three, during which time the faithful A3B phased out and the RA5C became operational with the deployment of the first two squadrons. At the conclusion of this tour he reported aboard USS Coral Sea (CVA 43) as Air Operations Officer and later as the ship's Executive Officer, spending ten consecutive months in the western Pacific participating in action against North Vietnam. Captain Kimmons attended the Naval War College at Newport, RI. in 1965 prior to his assuming the duties of Commander Reconnaissance Attack Wing One at Naval Air Station, Sanford in 1967. On July 24, 1969, Kimmons assumed command of USS Kaskaskia (AO-27) and remained so until her decommissioning on December 19, 1969. Following his duty aboard Kaskaskia, Kimmons reported to the stall of the Chief of Naval Air Training in NAS Pensacola, Florida. During this time he participated in the formation of a new staff, Chief of Naval Education and Training, following which time he served as Assistant Chief of Staff for Administration. Kimmons retired from the Navy on May 31, 1974. His decorations include: the Legion of Merit, Air Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, Navy Unit Commendation, Humane Medal, American Theater, Victory, German Occupation with Airlift Clasp, United Defense, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal with 1 star, Vietnam Campaign Medal. Captain Kimmons retired in Sanford...http://www.seminoleherald.com/archive/kimmons.html..." [02JUL2003]

Memorial Picture "...PHILLIPS, Earl...My brother, Earl Phillips, passed away April 13, 2010. Earl served aboard the USS Curtiss (AV-4) from 1952 to 1954. He was in Anartica with Admiral Byrd during one of his expeditions, loved the Navy and was very proud to have served his country. I would like to hear from any of Earl's former Shipmates. Kate Cogan kpcogan@yahoo.com..." [15APR2010]

Memorial Picture "...RASSIEUR, REAR ADMIRAL William T...From a contemporary press report: May 22, 1993 - Rear Admiral William T. Rassieur, who left St. Louis as a teen-ager for a life at sea, died May 14, 1993, at the San Diego Hospice in San Diego, California. He was 93 and had lived in retirement in Rancho Santa Fe, California. After graduating from Cleveland High School in 1918, he joined the Navy as a radioman for service in World War I. He was among 600 enlisted sailors who took the Navy's test for Annapolis - and among 25 who passed. Admiral Rassieur graduated in 1923 and got his naval aviator's wings of gold in 1926. His first command was of VP-14 - a job he left to become executive officer of the seaplane tender USS Curtiss (AV-4) , at Pearl Harbor, just in time for the Japanese attack. For the rest of his life, Admiral Rassieur kept as a souvenir a piece from the propeller of the Japanese plane that crashed on the Curtis' deck. He wore two other souvenirs - the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star. He was the first commanding officer of NAS Patuxent River, Maryland, where today the community center bears his name. In 1944, he got his wartime command at sea - the escort carrier Sargent Bay, which took part in the fighting at Saipan, Palau, the Philippines and Iwo Jima. Admiral Rassieur's postwar career alternated between special duty as a nuclear weapons expert and commands - of the attack carrier Kearsarge, of the Navy's Middle East Force and of the naval air stations in the Hawaiian Islands. Admiral Rassieur retired at Pearl Harbor in 1952 with two-star honors. In retirement, he painted (seascapes and sailing ships), played the piano (ragtime) and entertained his guests with sleight-of-hand. The admiral enjoyed public speaking and took pride in his brevity...http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/rassieur.htm..." [24JUN2003]

UPDATE "...I am the great-granddaughter of the brother of Retired Rear Adm. William T. Rassieur (NAS Patuxent River, Maryland, VP-14 and USS Curtiss (AV-4)), a wonderful man who I was fortunate enough to meet while he was still in good health. First, I would like to say, he is not forgotten. Second, I would like to thank ALL servicemen for their help in protecting our country. Third, does anyone know if his wife, Iris, is still alive and where?...Constance Rassieur Parsons Meech connieisnow@aol.com..." [11MAR2004]

SCHULLER, AD1 Mike C/O His Son Mike Schuller firebug100@alltel.net "...My father, AD1 Mike Schuller, was stationed on the Currituck in 61 and 62 I think. Dad was/is a big time golfer. During his navy career he was on the golf team..." [13MAY2001]

SHIELDS, Robert G. "Dad" oshiel@comcast.net "...I served aboard the USS Curtiss (AV-4) and USS Kenneth Whiting (AV-14) from 1950 to 1954. We participated in Operation Greenhouse and servicing planes over in Korea. I was washed overboard two seperate times. Anyone remembering me, please drop me a line..." [26JAN2008]

SKIRVIN, AETM2 Stanley C. jasskirv@earthlink.net "...I served aboard the USS Curtiss (AV-4) in V Division from early October 1945 to a bit past mid-May 1946. I went aboard as ART-2/c and departed as AETM-2/c. We circulated between Okinawa, Shanghai, and Japan. The first anchorage in Japan was in Tokyo bay off the Dai Nippon seaplane facility. The second, from which I departed the Curtiss to return to the USA, was at the Sasebo Naval base at the southern tip of Kyushu. Anyone interested in the USS Curtiss Association, which seems to have gathered up former crew members from earlier years, can contact USS Curtiss AV-4 Association (http://www.usscurtissav4.com, Joe Connolly, 4273 Amber Dr., Eagan, MN 55122-2058. Dues is $15.00/yr..." [10MAY2004]

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