U.S. Naval Aviation In the South Pacific during WW II
Featuring the Lexington Aircraft Carrier
The Battle of the Marianas June 1944
Page 5 of 5 Pages
|Here are some facts about my squadron of 18 torpedo planes:
Made 653 strikes, dropped 480 tons of bombs, expended 53,600 rounds of ammo, fired 221 rockets, laid 35 mines, dropped 17 torpedoes damaged and destroyed 37 Japanese planes, sunk 93,500 tons of Japanese ships, damaged 30,500 tons of Japanese ships.
The whole Air Group 16: Shot down or destroyed 150 Japanese planes. The fighters were exceptional. Alex Vraciu shot down 23 planes - 6 in one trip and still had 150 rounds of .50 caliber ammo when he landed.
Last June 19, 2000, was 56 years since I spent that night swimming in the Pacific Ocean. During these years I continued to fly as a reserve Naval aviator for 26 years. I went to college twice and got two degrees, taught school along the way and then started my commercial aviation career in 1953.
I flew one year for American Airlines, 12 years for Central Airlines, and 16 years for Frontier Airlines
I tell you today that it is a miracle that I am here. I do have a wonderful family and now I have that cherished legacy I dreamed of while swimming in the deep waters of the Pacific Ocean.
Photo Ctsy. Warren McLellan
3 sons and wives, 6 grandchildren, 2 great grandchildren,
1 sister-in-law & 1 friend of granddaughter.
Warren’s 80th Birthday Party, Lake Texoma, August 2001
Editor’s Note: If you would like to view a few additional
|Since this is a Veteran’s Day Celebration, it is great to see what you are doing to recognize accomplishments of the generation that has been labeled "The Greatest Generation" by Tom Brokaw. Our struggle for freedom will always go on. There are those who want to take away our freedom. We must not - we cannot - let down our guard. This is the greatest nation in the world. We must hold on to our freedoms and cherish our freedoms and fight for our freedom. The USS Cole episode is the latest struggle with those people who would take away our freedom. It cannot happen - it must not happen - it won’t happen if we are vigilant and live like God intended for us to live. Listen to these words received in an e-mail from a friend in Fort Worth, TX:
"It is the military man or woman, not the reporter, who has given us freedom of the press. It is the military man or woman, not the campus organizer, who has given us the freedom to demonstrate. It is the military man or woman, who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffins draped by the flag, who allows the protester to burn the flag." We do not like to see our flag burned or desecrated. A constitutional amendment to ban it is debated even now in Congress. But, we do have the freedom, in this country, to express ourselves freely. May freedom never die. We will fight for freedom, forever.
Thank you and God bless you.
Warren E. McLellan
Commander USNR (Retired)
Chapter 2 End of Page 5 of 5 Pages Go to Chapter 3
Or This Story’s
Home - Contact Us - Cold War Hist. - 91st SRS Hist. - Stardust 40 Mission Story