US Navy Photo Albums
The men on this page went to sea on the USS Gilbert Islands. Mike Mitchell sailed in the 1950's while the others are from WW2. Any vet or family member of a man from the USS Gilbert Islands or USS Annapolis is invited to contact me and make a contribution.
Howard 'Reds' Arrington found the website and he and wife Margaret sent some photos from Reds' days aboard the USS Gilbert Islands. The Gilbert Islands was Reds' first ship and he was a plank holder. Many assignments were shuffled after the surrender (men with enough points could leave) and Reds joined the cooking crew as a baker. After being discharged in June 1946, he went to work at the White House where he stayed for 34 years, serving 7 presidents. Reds retired as the plumbing foreman. Howard Arrington passed away in March 2007. Rest in Peace, friend. Please click on his picture to see the photos.
Harry Christen was a Yeoman on the USS Gilbert Islands. He started in the Air Officer's Office then moved into the Executive Officer's Office. Before his assignment to the Gilbert Islands Harry sailed on the USS Adhara, AK-71, a Liberty Ship. After the hostilities ended in August '45 he was shifted to the battleship USS Alabama. There he served for 6 more months before finally being discharged from service. Harry is active in the Adhara's reunion organization and also keeps in touch with friends Joe Roletto, Al Richardson and Bill Ross from the Gilbert Islands. Harry sent some vintage photos of Navy crewmen, including some from Joe and Al. Not everyone is identified, and some that are show only nicknames or last names. If you can add information send me a message through the email link on the home page. I'd be very glad to put more detail in here. Click on Harry's picture to see his photos of USS Gilbert Islands men.
served aboard the USS Gilbert Islands as a pharmacist mate
in the Navy's medical department, 'H Division'. He was a
plank owner and one of two corpsmen sent to the Seattle Naval Hospital
for training as surgical assistants while the ship was being put into
final shape for sea duty. After the war he helped mothball the
USS GI and left active duty in 1946 as a Pharmacist's Mate Third
Class. He graduated from the University of Alabama in 1950, the
same year he was called back for the Korean War.
Roger Fleming, only seventeen at the time, served aboard the USS Gilbert Islands in 1945 - 46. His son Doug sent this excellent group photo of the ship's complement taken in Jan 1946, just after the carrier returned to the US. Click on seaman Fleming's photo from basic training to see the pictures of Roger and the crew. The picture of the crew is rich in detail and it's a large file, about 250Kb.
Robert Graves was a Navy Lt. in the ship's Combat Information Center (CIC). He earned a BS in Pharmacy from USC in 1937, went to work for Eli Lilly & Co and when the war broke out joined the navy. He was commissioned an ensign in 1942 and his wartime specialty was Fighter Director, having been trained at Norfolk in 1943. Ensign Graves' first Pacific assignment was in Argus unit #8 (land based fighter director) on Nanomea in the Ellice Islands. After 9 months at that small atoll he was sent back to St. Simons GA for refresher training augmented by training as a Night Fighter Director. By August '44 he had achieved the rank of Lt (jg), was sent to the USS Gilbert Islands as the Night Fighter Director and he was eventually promoted to Lt. After the war Lt Graves returned to the Eli Lilly & Co. as a retail salesman but later owned and operated his own drug store. Lt. Graves' daughter Marilynn sent some photos of him and the seldom seen CIC which you can get to by clicking on Lt. Graves' photo.
John McGuire was the helmsman on the USS Gilbert Islands. As he put is "I had to keep the carrier headed into the wind as those fellows took off". A little later on the same cruise John joined up with the cooks. After the war he got a degree from the College of William and Mary and eventually retired in 1986 as a school teacher. John sent a few photos of his days in the navy. Please click on his portrait to see the other pictures.
Mike Mitchell served on the USS Gilbert Islands 1953-4 as a Firecontrol Technician. At that time the carrier was assigned to conduct Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) and was based at Quonset Point, RI. The USN squadron flew hunter/killer teams with the Grumman AF-2W equipped with radar (the hunter) and the Grumman AF-2S with bombs, homing torpedoes and depth charges (the killer). Mike says jets were never stationed on the carrier, but his photos include touch-and-go exercises conducted in Chesapeake Bay with Navy F9F Cougars. The Gilbert Islands was little more than half as long (888' vs. 557') and half as wide (147' vs. 75') as an Essex Class carrier, so it must have been quite a challenge for the F9F pilots! Mike's duty included a tour on the carrier USS Lake Champlain, leaving as Firecontrol Technician 1st class. After his Navy service he spent 36 years with IBM where he participated in the development of the Air Force's 'SAGE', the first national-scale Command Control and Communication System. SAGE linked all US-based search radars together via digital computers. Click on Mike's picture.
This site was last updated 11/26/07