Monday, May 31, 2010

Thank a Vet for their service

Here's my Dad, Sgt. M.C. Mallory, USMC working on his AD-W3 in 1953. He was a crew chief.  I'm not sure if he's on the USS Bennington, a carrier in this picture, or at the US Naval Base Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The AD3W, made by Douglas (before it became McDonald-Douglas) toward the end of WWII and the first bit of Korea. Like a Corsair or a Hellcat, but it could carry as much weight as a B-17, and sat 3 (pilot, radio man, and mechanic- like Dad). Same engine as a B-29 (only just one, not four- obviously).

Air Reconnaissance squadron. VMC-2 was the original composite squadron in Marine Corps aviation. It was commissioned at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point on September 15, 1952 evolving from the former Airborne Early Warning and Electronic Counter Measures section of the Wing Headquarters Squadron. 

VMC-2 was part of the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing. VMC stands for "Visual Meteorological Conditions," but VMC-2 and VMJ-2 were known for electronic and photo reconnaissance missions. On the one hand, I figure my dad was fortunate to be an aviation mechanic in the Caribbean instead of an infantryman in Korea. On the other hand, he tells stories of surviving hurricanes that overturned planes and trucks and tossed around jeeps.  

VMC-2 merged with VMJ-2 and became the VMCJ-2 in 1955. My Dad was still on reserve duty when VMCJ-2 documented the buildup of Soviet supplies in Cuba in 1960. He expected to get called up to active duty during the Cuban Missile crisis.

Turned out that dad had an allergy or bad skin reaction to something in jet fuel as opposed to whatever they used in these WWII era prop planes, so he didn't continue as a mechanic- but he did work for American Airlines for more than 40 years mostly in their air freight.

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