Military Records

pers-rec.jpgOne of the items on my ‘things I need to do before I retire’ list was to obtain a copy of my Military discharge record (DD-214). While I was at it, I asked for the contents of my military personnel record, containing things like training records, performance records, enlistment agreement and so forth.

Right: cover letter and records

The records showed up last week, about six weeks after I sent the fax with my authorizing signature to the records center. I dug through the package – boy, was that a trip down memory lane. Page after page of forms and records documenting my time as a Sailor. Seeing my (immature 17 year-old) signature on the enlistment papers brought back that moment in time when I sat in the recruiting office and signed.

I was in the U.S. Navy (Naval Reserve, to be exact) for six years, three of those on active duty. I signed up when Eisenhower was in the oval office and mustered out when LBJ was busily ramping up the war in Vietnam.

I never regretted my military service to the country. My career benefited from military training in electronics and aviation plus the G.I Bill paid for much of my education. I have never had a problem finding employment, often working two jobs simultaneously (when I was much younger and ambitious).

If you’re a veteran or the immediate survivor of a veteran you can order these records online at The National Archives eVetRecs website. Ordering them is fairly simple; you will need to sign a form they email to you and fax it to them.

Dad and Navy Patrol Squadron VP-26

VP-26 EmblemIt has been over sixty years since Verna’s Dad served in the U.S. Navy. He was stationed at Gibraltar in 1948 where Navy Patrol Squadron 26 had a detachment at the time.

The Cold War was fully in progress, and Dad’s Squadron was right in the thick of it all. He was a flight crew member and flew missions on the Navy version of the old B24 – the PB4Y-2 ‘Privateer.’ He flew missions all over the Mediterranean, Europe, the North Atlantic Ocean and back to the US for logistics and repairs.

PB4Y-2 Privateer
Image: PB4Y-2 similar to ones in Dad’s squadron.

I did the research on his old squadron and brought him a package of information and history about VP-26, complete with pictures and the squadron patch seen above. That triggered a lot of old memories and discussions with Bill about his adventures in VP-26.

This mission statement is taken from the VP-26 Website:

Patrol Squadron VP-26, a member of Patrol Wing FIVE, is a Maritime Patrol Squadron with a worldwide theater of operations. Mission areas include: Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW), Anti-Surface Warfare (ASU), Command and Control Warfare (C2W), Command, Control, and Communications (CCC), Intelligence (INT), Mine Warfare (MIW), and Mobility (MOB). Although the “TRIDENTS” are homeported at U.S. (Naval Air Station) NAS Brunswick, Maine, their reputation is known throughout the world. The Tridents have demonstrated success in all of these tasks and in all the services performed, one thing remains constant: Team Trident is at the ready, supporting the mission… Anytime… Anywhere!

I downloaded the history file that I found on the VP-26 website and have made it available here in case you want to read about Dad’s old squadron. Click here for the Complete VP-26 History (PDF).

Light Cruiser USS Brooklyn

This is the USS Brooklyn, CL-40 with Palisades Park in the background, as she cruises along the Hudson River near New York City. My Dad was an Electricians Mate, First Class, on this vessel.


The Brooklyn departed from Norfolk for the Mediterranean on 24 October 1942. My 20 month old brother, Billy, and Mom were in Norfolk to give Dad a send-off. Mom and Billy then took the train back to California, where I was born about 9 months, or so, afterward.

Dad did not meet me until I was 18 months old, since he and the Brooklyn were engaging the Axis in the Mediterranean. Rommel was there, Montgomery was there, Patton was there and the USS Brooklyn’s 5 and 6 inch guns were there helping the Allies to victory.

Silent Service Aloha Shirt

reyns-sub-shirt.jpgOne of the two new shirts to Bob’s Aloha shirt collection is this nice print which is a tribute to the United States Navy’s Submarine Service. These beautiful denizens of the deep look really sharp as they are depicted in framed panels on the blue shirt. Click on the thumbnail for a closer look.

This article from came out in August of 2006 when the collection was announced:

Military Service Inspired Aloha Shirts

Reyn Spooner introduces two new military service-inspired aloha shirts: The Silent Service design features the evolution of the U.S. Navy Submarine Service and highlights the USS Bowfin, the 63-year-old submarine now on view at Pearl Harbor. The shirt is available on a blue or khaki background and in pullover or full button front style

Spooner introduced Vintage Propellers at the same time – Bob’s looking for one of those also.

Open Lighthouse

The second Saturday of the month, the US Coast Guard and the CG Auxiliary open the gates to the Point Vicente Lighthouse. While we were out running errands today, we stopped and visited the station and I took a photo of this picturesque landmark. Click the picture for the full sized image in the viewer.


Military Assets

Last weekend we attended the exhibition after the Armed Forces Day Parade. All the services brought their showbiz stuff as well as some of their Military assets. In this picture, four valuable assets can be seen: a Howitzer cannon, a heavy troop transport utility vehicle and two United States Marines. God Bless all of ’em.