Brigadier General Jack Cram Click to view article
Jack Randolph Cram
Airport Manager to USMC General
by Cal Taylor
Jack Randolph Cram was an aviation pioneer who made a substantial mark on Washington State, the city of Olympia, Marine Corps aviation and several levels of national aviation. His aviation career spanned at least thirty-nine years, during which he made key accomplishments at every stage.
Doing double duty as a state pilot and Olympia Airport manager, he promoted the value of aviation in the 1930s. CAA curricula for the CPTP helped insure that the United States had an adequate pool of pilots when WWII started. During two wars, Jack Cram’s skill, dedication and leadership were essential to successful Marine Corps air operations. Finally, as president of NANAC, he worked productively to mitigate the effects of jet aircraft operations on areas surrounding airports across the country.The Author, Cal Taylor
joined the USAF in 1963. After undergraduate navigator training, his first airplane was the B-52H. From there, he crewed in the C-141, AC-130, C-133, C-5 and C-130. Some twelve years were in AF intelligence at the Pentagon, Andrews AFB, Scott AFB and Osan AB, Korea. He retired in 1989. In 2006, he published Remembering an Unsung Giant: The Douglas C-133 Cargomaster and Its People
(available from Amazon), the definitive history of the airplane. Cal is a member of the American Aviation Historical Society and the Swedish Aviation Historical Society. He has had numerous articles in the journals of both and continues to research and write on aviation topics.
Training at NAS Fort Lauderdale
To NAS Ft. Lauderdale Historical Association:
"Hello, my name is Edward M. Steidler and I was in training at the NAS Fort Lauderdale in WW2. I volunteered for the Navy at the age of 17 and applied for the V-6 program which was the Aircrew. Got accepted, then on October 5, 1944 I was shipped to Millington, Tennessee by train. This was the Naval Air Technical Training Center where we took our boots and learned how to take code, etc. The next step was Air Gunnery School at Miami, Florida. Finally, we went to NAS Fort Lauderdale to Air operations where we were assigned a Pilot and became an Aircrew. Here we combined all the skills including torpedoeing ships, ditching procedures, etc. I was assigned to pilot Harry Allen III, from Richmond, VA. I became the belly gunner, and John Payne was the turret gunner.
I thought our training was inconsistent, in that operating the radio gear was skimpy. The TBM had a radio setup called GP which had several coils that you plugged into the radio to set your frequency. Most of us felt that particular session was not very thorough. All during this training, John Payne was chronically airsick and would throw up. Usually on me. I didn't complain because he was the only support for his mother and she needed his flight pay.
Remembering Flight 19 incident: On 5 December 1945, the Flight 19 incident occurred. The day was warm, clear, and beautiful. About supper time, a front came through and it became bitterly cold. We were told the lost flight would be in the water about 7pm. I remember how sorry I felt for them ditching in the dark, and even if they got into their rafts they would be soaking wet and freezing cold. Our crew took part in the search. As I remember, the total search was 5 days, and our crew flew 3 of the 5 days. Never saw a trace of them.
Hurricane Incident: I don't remember the dates, but a hurricane struck south Florida and destroyed a Blimp Hanger I believe, located in Hollywood. The personnel at the blimp base was set free and NAS Fort Lauderdale was to furnish guards, and we were asked to volunteer. I said I'm not volunteering for anything, but I was watching a movie when an SP came in and selected 12 of us for something. We were put in a dump truck and taken to the blimp base. The local officials put all their equipment in this immense hanger which was destroyed and burned up. The metal equipment was melted. All the food at the blimp base was spoiling, so the mess cooks set the grandest table of all time. From steak to lobster, but we couldn't even make a dent. On the way back to NAS Fort Lauderdale after several days, we were driven through a black district. The people were sitting in chairs out in their yards, their houses were gone, and the mosquitoes were coming out.
Transfer out: My pilot transferred to dive bombers which were a two-place aircraft. He kept me and let Payne go. We went into training near Virginia Beach, VA. We were assigned to Bomber Squadron 3, which was on the USS Yorktown. It was proposed to replace the SBD Dauntless dive-bombers with the newer SB2C Helldiver dive-bomber, but the Yorktown got sunk at Midway before the transfer was accomplished. The VB-3 planes were scattered over the surviving carriers, so VB-3 disappeared. We never got another carrier assignment so we stayed in training until discharge.
I have included my picture where I look awful young. I am 86 now and in fair health. I have been happily married for 65 years."
Aviation Radioman 3C
Holding a practice bomb in the NAS Fort Lauderdale area.
Please click on links or photographs to read the profiles
Naval Air Station Fort Lauderdale
Senior Flight Instructor
Our Open House for the Broward Goes to War Exhibit was a success! It was great fun to meet all the new people that found their way to the Museum. It was also very nice to see past and present members, and to reconnect with friends. Everyone was interested and complimented the volunteers for their hard work in helping to preserve our history. We had a full house! Thank you to Ken Kaye from the Sun-Sentinel newspaper for spreading the word! The Broward Goes To War Exhibit will be on display at our Museum until September 16, 2013.
Click here to read about the exhibit and to check for visiting hours
Online-Only Exhibit: Japanese WWII Mementos
Japanese mementos from a Sniper cave in Saipan were donated by WWII veteran Ray Rivera
. Ray Rivera joined the Navy at 16 years old, and was on his way to the South Pacific on the USS Bunker Hill
where he celebrated his 17th birthday. He became a 2nd class Petty Officer. Ray recalls that he was aboard this aircraft carrier on May 1945, when it was attacked by Japanese kamikaze pilots. He was below deck on his way to the galley, when the first plane hit the ship. He was immediately assigned to “damage control.”
The fires raged on deck, and heavy smoke infiltrated into the decks below. The crew of the Bunker Hill
lost 346 sailors and airmen, 43 missing (never found), and 264 wounded. The damaged ship returned to Pearl Harbor, and then onto Bremerton WA, for repairs. When the war ended, the Bunker Hill became a “Magic Carpet”
taking troops back and forth, throughout the South Pacific. It was on one of these trips to pick up
military personnel, that Ray had a close encounter with a Japanese sniper. As he recalls: "Our ship arrived in Saipan (Northern Mariana Islands) to pick up more of our troops. If we had to walk around, we were assigned a Marine escort because it was still dangerous as there were snipers hiding in caves. Some Japanese soldiers didn't know the war had ended, and we still had several incidents. A small group of us were walking around with our escort, and suddenly we got shot at. The shots were coming from a wooded area ahead of us. The Marine took aim in that direction, and then there was silence. We proceeded to the area and checked the perimeter, and we found several abandoned caves. It looked like someone had been living in them for a while. At that time it was customary to take "souvenirs" so I looked around and saw several torn pages from a photograph album. There were of young men, like us fighting the war, and I wondered if they had sisters, mothers, brothers. I also found torn pages from what it looked like Japanese propaganda from magazines. The pages had been perforated with one top and bottom hole and held together with shoelaces. I was drawn to the images and I wanted to safe-keep these mementos. I held to these pages for more than 60 years. I don't speak Japanese and don't know the names of the Japanese soldiers in the photographs, but it would be good if someone knows their families or recognizes them. "
Pages from a Japanese Photo Album
Click on thumbnails to view larger
Pages from WWII Japanese propaganda magazine
Click on thumbnails to read descriptions and view larger
The city of Lighthouse Point celebrated its Keeper's Day on February 10, with a weekend of events that included a Saturday morning parade followed by a family program at Frank McDonough Park. The event featured a business exposition, classic car
show, live entertainment and kids' activities. That evening people gathered at Dan Witt Park for a concert and fireworks. On Sunday, there was a family sports day at McDonough Park that allowed children to enjoy a series of fun athletic competitions. The Disabled American Veteran's Chapter 133 from Deerfield Beach
, participated in the parade with a float, to honor our WWII veterans. Visit the DAV Face Book page to view all 89 photos of the parade:https://www.facebook.com/DisabledAmericanVeteransChapter133
Thank you for your letters!
Jim Nesta said: "I was a student of the first class of Dania-Stirling Sr. High at the NASFL station in the fall of 1966. We voted on a name for the school mascot and chose the Spartans. During PE, when the teacher was out, we would roughhouse in those old WW2 era barracks and would sometimes punch holes in those old walls, to the consternation of the teacher! After the first semester, I later transferred to Stranahan Sr. High. In my electronics class at Stranahan we would get old electronic communications gear from the NAS, as our teacher was a retired major from the army signal corps and had some pull with the military. When I entered the Army in 1969, we trained in the same kind of barracks that were at NAS."Hillar Brandt said: "It is indeed exciting to see something like this after so many years. I attended Florida Military Academy as of summer of 1959 until 1962 when they moved to Plantation. I still remember airplanes taking off after warming up their engines at 5am. Of course at the time we could still climb and look around inside the abandoned Catalina's and naval fighter planes there. I spend most of the time in Miami and will make a point to visit in Feb/March when I get back to the US. If I am not mistaken, the barracks were those at the lower left side of the shown picture, Thanks for the pleasant memories."Albert Harris said: "You should know that from 1966-68 it was also a high school Dania-Sterling High School. I came from Attucks Jr.-Sr. High School in Dania FL and we were all black. My Sophomore year at that school was my first time to go to school with white kids and we were all Sophomores. The 68-69 school year we were the first class of the new school Hollywood Hills High School. It was ruff at first but it turned out to be the best two years of school in my life. That old Naval Air Station had no air, no heat in those old barracks lol. You should know this do not forget us the class of 66-68 and the class of 67-68 the Jr. and So. class of Dania-Sterling High School and the Sr. and Jr. class of Hollywood Hills High School 1969 and 1970. Thank You Albert L. Harris U.S.Army and USAF Vet. class of 1969. Oh yea by the way, on my So. year my football teammate who was a running back named Bucky Dent never knew that he could play baseball for the New York Yankees.
"Robert Walsh said: "My father James Walsh signed up for the US Navy with George F. Devlin in Brooklyn NY. My father signed up as Edward J Walsh (alias) at age 15. They were childhood buddies. They both paid a Notary Public 50 cents to have their names and age changed. My father ended up serving on the USS Harry F. Bauer DE 26 with participated in the battle of Iwo Jima and Okinawa. My father always talked about George Devlin being in the crew of Flight 19 and their adventure of signing up for the Navy underage during WWII."
Bryan Ilyankoff said: "Very nice article about the Photographer who took pride in his work! Photos that he took are great! Wish I could of met him and talked about his experience! I currently show a WWII Navy Photographer's Mate display at military shows and events here in the Seattle area. So, I gladly honor those who came before me in my rate. Thanks for sharing his time in the Navy!
Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class,
U.S. Navy Reservist
(former Photographer's Mate)
In reply to What a find! Mitchel Johnson, Sr. is my grand...
, Darrell Johnson said: "That's my daddy & uncle. Mitchell (Sr.) is my granddaddy. I remember that Navy ship visit (referred to by Cheree in the above post.) It's good that legacies are remembered. Those who don't write their own stories are subjected to others, retelling of them."Ralph Flaherty said: "Just came across this site. I am now 84 and remember my days at NAS FT Lauderdale. I joined the Navy at age 17 in 1944 as an air-crewman. After aom school in Norman OK I went to gunnery school at the Emory Riddle bldg on 27th ave in Miami. It was there that I met Whitey Thompson (Flight 19), a marine who had just come back from the fleet. He and the rest of the marine group were there for a refresher course. Anyhow, we finished gunnery school in August 1945 just as the war ended, and ended up in the last class to go through operational training at Ft Lauderdale. On the day that whitey was lost I had just come back from a morning flight and Whitey was on the flight line waiting for his flight. I was probably the last one to talk to him before they left. The next morning I was on the first search flight out of Ft Lauderdale. I remember it well: it was a very lousy day, real bumpy and the reason I was still at the plane when Whitey arrived is that I had thrown up right behind the pilot where I was standing during the flight. I remember a very angry pilot who ordered me to clean up the mess and make sure there was no smell when he got back. Obviously I got out of there, so I did not have to go on the next flight with him. So much for my story. I just want to end by saying we were all just kids and though Whitey was the only one of the marine group that I knew, he was really quite a guy. Although he did not talk about the war I heard from others that he was on the USS Franklin when she got hit and he was trapped for 4 hrs below deck while she was burning. I can't verify that fact but that's what I remember. My best to all and thanks for all that you do......R Flaherty"
Lance corporal Janos Victor Lutz, with his dog Kobe.
From the Article by Mike Clary
, Sun Sentinel Newspaper
4:38 a.m. EST, January 16, 2013
As a machine gunner in the U.S. Marine Corps
, Janos Victor Lutz called John or Johnny, survived combat tours in Afghanistan
while earning 13 service commendations and the respect of his buddies. "He was a Marine to the fullest,"
said fellow Marine Kevin Ullman. "He was someone who could lighten any situation with witty sarcasm."
Ultimately, however, Lutz could not escape the demons he carried back home to Davie after his discharge 18 months ago. On Saturday January 12, just hours after a lunch with his mother in which he chatted about his classes at Palm Beach State College, Lutz swallowed a handful of pills VA doctors had prescribed to help him cope with post-traumatic stress disorder
. Lutz died in his bedroom, in the house where he grew up. He was 24.
" The front page article, Marine Loses His Battle with the demons of war in today's Sun-Sentinel is just so powerful and sad. It stopped me cold. Now I send you a poem to share, which seems to speak for this issue."
--from Poet David Plumb to the NASFL Museum
News On A March Full Moonby David Plumb
Somewhere in a nearby yard a blue jay
yaks and yaks the morning quiet
way beyond the clicking news of smiles
and banks washing profits off casket walls.
Mid morning and the news reads
Sarandrea, Jessica Y., 22, Pfc, Army; Miami
First Cavalry Division. Killed in Iraq.
Marjorie Pollock is text messaging
by the organic oranges at Whole Foods.
Neal Bellenger holds a two pound
ground buffalo package in his left hand
a cell phone in his right.
The newlyweds contemplate organic cane
sugar as second ingredients in yogurt.
Daniel B. Hyde, 24 First Lieutenant, Army,
Modesto, California is dead in Iraq.
Beyond the three dollar collard greens
traffic zips and tears the afternoon.
No need to signal or cut off the competition.
It’s only three lanes and four hundred yards
to the gas station and a cheap hoagie.
A homeless man passes out a newspaper
at the traffic island. Put a little in the pot
please, and God Bless you Jeffrey Reed 23
Army Sergeant, Chesterfield, Virginia dead in Iraq.
Late afternoon stuffs the mind, wipes
pleasure off a job that may or may not
exist in a few days, or tomorrow.
Lorna Guzman, social worker for Women
in Distress hopes Day Care is taking care.
Keisha wants to tell the M.D.
with 40 patients a day that
she missed another period.
She has to get home.
She has a class tonight.
Patrick De Voe, he’s dead in Afghanistan
Twenty-seven, Private First Class
from Auburn, New York.
You know where that is, but then
It’s almost dinner time and Shirley
brings in take out hot and sour, lo mein
a side of barbecued wings.
Did you hear Tiger’s back?
TVs blink the news, the news, the news.
Who did what and who said if?
She’s a Democrat underneath.
How about that short horse in England?
They think it’s stuck in mud.
George Clooney may show up on ER.
You know Rush Lim and the other one
who took all the rich guy’s cash.
He’s going to plead and Jay Leno
will have his say later on.
By the way, it’s a full moon.
Look out the window at the perfect sky but
don’t forget the names whispered in the stars.
Jessica, Daniel, Jeffrey, Patrick
echo in blood, in guns, in storms.
They’re coming home.
Thank you for all.David.
Copyright © David PlumbThe Lost Pilot, poem by David PlumbDavid Plumb's Bio
Image Copyright © David Baum
67th Anniversary US Navy Flight 19 Memorial
Honoring the WWII servicemen
During WWII, the Military had to mobilize with speed and urgency, thus the number of casualties at military bases was on the high side. A sad but equally historic note is the fact that 95 Americans lost their lives at the NAS Fort Lauderdale base during 1942-1945— the three most intensive training years of the war. The Naval Air Station Fort Lauderdale Historical Association proudly salutes all of the service members who perished while serving at this naval air station.
Memorial Ceremony Program Sample
- Click for larger view -
The historic WWII Naval Air Station Fort Lauderdale Museum hosted the 67th Anniversary of the US Navy Flight 19 Memorial, on 5 December 2012. The Master of Ceremony was Donald Prichard, Vice President of the NASFL Historical Association. In attendance were Broward County Aviation Department Directors, several historians and local politicians, including Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler, Broward County Commissioner Chip LaMarca and retired Mayor Jim Naugle, whose uncle Thomas "Tex"
Ellison was a flight Instructor at this naval base. In all, about 160 people attended the ceremony. Among the attendees were many veterans of wars
, five of them were personnel of the former NAS Fort Lauderdale
: Lt. David White
, TBM flight Instructor who participated in the search for Flight 19; George Lord,
Aviation gunner's mate on TBMs; Henry Torres, Sr.
, who was in charge of the Machine Shop at the Beach Target Range; Floyd Johnson, TBF Gunner; and Allan McElhiney
USNR aboard the USS Asheville, a ship that tested weapons for this naval base. Also, Officers and crewmen of the USS Taylor
(FFG-50) The Proud Defender
participated with Commander Dennis Volpe, as well as members of the Stranahan High School Marine Corps JROTC Color Guard. The vocalist for this occasion was professional singer and entertainer Frank Loconto and the bugler assembly and TAPS was performed by Robert Young. This event was covered by the media. Honoring Allan McElhiney
This Museum began with the vision of one man, who was a sailor in World War II, aboard the USS Asheville: Allan McElhiney
, who in the course of more than 30 years has compiled a vast amount of documents, photographs, articles and artifacts for the institution he founded. This Museum is on the National Register of Historic Places, the only military museum in Broward county, and the only remaining WWII military building left in Broward county, thanks to his efforts. We salute you Allan McElhiney.
Historian Anthony Atwood & NASFL Museum President Allan McElhiney. Photo by Minerva Bloom.
Gallery of Images Copyright © David Baum Click for larger view
Joe Cobb served in the Navy during World War II on the USS Maryland battleship. En route to Japan, the war was declared over. He shares his Christmas memory from 1945.
The USS Maryland (BB-46), also known as "Old Mary" or "Fighting Mary" to her crewmates, was a Colorado-class battleship during World War II. She was commissioned in 1920 and, serving as the flagship of the fleet, cruised to Australia, New Zealand and Brazil. She is most notable for her service in World War II. She was present on Battleship Row during the Attack on Pearl Harbor, and was lightly damaged by Japanese bombs. Returning to duty in 1942, she saw service in the Pacific War, first supporting the rest of the fleet at the Battle of Midway, and then patrolling the Fiji Islands to guard against Japanese incursion. Next, she went on the offensive, commencing shore bombardments in the Battle of Tarawa and later in the Battle of Kwajalein. During the Battle of Saipan she took torpedo damage to her bow, necessitating repairs and refits. She then participated in the Battle of Leyte Gulf where she was hit by a kamikaze. She took another kamikaze hit at the Battle of Okinawa, and was in for repairs at the end of WWII. After service in Operation Magic Carpet, she was decommissioned in 1947. She received seven battle stars for WWII service.