Men of VMTB-143 (1945)
One of the pilots from VMTB-143 (USS Gilbert Is tour, 1945) asked if I had found any others. They had not kept in touch as a group and for some their last contact was in 1945. I had to answer 'no' and sensed he was disappointed. I set out to see what I could do about it. Fortunately, Sgt Eddie Seamands gave me a roster of the officers and enlisted men dated July 1, 1945. Armed with the names I made some progress.
After a while I found lists of the replacements so now I can give the names and ranks of all the men who served in VMTB-143 aboard the carrier.
The composite officer's list has 21 men. Here's the status today. Seven are alive (I have their addresses and telephone numbers), 3 are currently not located, and 11 are deceased. If you can shed any light on ones not located please let me know and I'll update the listings. Naturally, if you are one of the missing your mates would be delighted to hear from you! Just drop me a line with this email link ... firstname.lastname@example.org ... and I'll give you the contact information. Listed ranks are for July 1945. All are named in the group photos ... click on them to see these full scale.
I have a few WW2 era studio portraits. Some were taken during the 1944-45 deployment at Goleta and others were earlier. Lt. Cox was the Intelligence officer and the rest were TBM pilots.
The living officers of VMTB-143 from the USS Gilbert Islands cruise in 1945 are:
Officers who have not been located:
Those who are at rest in peace are:
All but nine of the enlisted men were flight crew for the TBMs and all but 3 were Sergeants. Click on Sgt. Martin's picture to go to the page of their photos. Eddie Seamands tells me only a few stayed in touch and there are many who have not been found. The total number of enlisted men assigned to VMTB-143 during the cruise of the Gilbert Islands comprises 41 aircrew and 9 support personnel. I'm always looking for photos of the men especially those with a (p) after the name. I hope you will let me know if you have one.
These 8 are alive and I can give you contact information through the email link above. All were Sergeants.
The whereabouts of these 27 enlisted men is unknown. If you're on this list please get in touch with me. These were all Sergeants except Cpls. Mahoney, Wood and Jennings and Pfc. Danielson:
And the Sergeants who have taken their final flight are:
Papers from the files of Lt. Cox the intel officer list the TBM crew pairings, gunner's assignments and makeup of the flights as:
Most of the replacements arrived onboard in August '45.
One of the nice things about having this web site is I get a chance to reconnect old friends. I hope one of you 'lost' ones from VMTB-143 found your way here and will contact me.
This site was last updated 08/19/08