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After 77 years I have found the son one of my Dad’s Squadron Mates


ewallover
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My dad was a member of the USS Yorktown’s (CV-10) VB-1 dive bomber squadron during the Marianas Campaign in 1944 as an ARM-3c radioman/gunner in a Curtis SB2C-1C Helldiver.  He was a member of Mulvihill’s Maulers and flew a verified 12 sorties with Lt. Francis Mulvihill’s Division.  From my research and my recollection of Pop’s remembrances, that number should be 14, but who’s counting?

 

I posted a Veteran’s Day memo/tribute about my Dad on the Yorktown Association’s Web page and I got a response a day later asking if Mulvihill’s Maulers was named for Lt. Francis G. Mulvihill?  I responded that I was pretty sure the answer was yes, but would check.  Checked the 1944 roster the following morning, and sure enough, it was!  I asked why the inquiry, and I was answered by the statement that Mulvihill was the fellow’s Dad!!!!  (I had to ask because his last name was not the same.)  

 

When you look at the missions these two heroes flew, (I have all the records), they were darn near identical.  Our Dads fought side by side through June and July in 1944 from the decks of the Fighting Lady.  I have begun sharing my research with him, but I have to meet this guy!

 

I sure wish Dad were still here, the stories would be incredible, especially with this new discovery!

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14 hours ago, ewallover said:

My dad was a member of the USS Yorktown’s (CV-10) VB-1 dive bomber squadron during the Marianas Campaign in 1944 as an ARM-3c radioman/gunner in a Curtis SB2C-1C Helldiver.  He was a member of Mulvihill’s Maulers and flew a verified 12 sorties with Lt. Francis Mulvihill’s Division.  From my research and my recollection of Pop’s remembrances, that number should be 14, but who’s counting?

 

I posted a Veteran’s Day memo/tribute about my Dad on the Yorktown Association’s Web page and I got a response a day later asking if Mulvihill’s Maulers was named for Lt. Francis G. Mulvihill?  I responded that I was pretty sure the answer was yes, but would check.  Checked the 1944 roster the following morning, and sure enough, it was!  I asked why the inquiry, and I was answered by the statement that Mulvihill was the fellow’s Dad!!!!  (I had to ask because his last name was not the same.)  

 

When you look at the missions these two heroes flew, (I have all the records), they were darn near identical.  Our Dads fought side by side through June and July in 1944 from the decks of the Fighting Lady.  I have begun sharing my research with him, but I have to meet this guy!

 

I sure wish Dad were still here, the stories would be incredible, especially with this new discovery!

Congratulations !   You must be on quite a high !

 

I wish my Dad would have told more stories of his time in the Paxific, and my Uncles, some who fought in Europe, and some who fought in both theaters.  One of my Uncles survived the Bataan March POW (he was the oldest) 

My Dad, who was still forging his birth certificate, was in the tail end of the War with Japan. (He was the second youngest)

 

I hope you guys stay in contact and become great friends.    :thumb:

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We’ll see, he has a brother too.  Looks like I hit the daily double!!!  


Mike’s Fees’ Dad won a DFC bombing Chichi Jima on July 4th 1944, the same day and possibly the same raid, my Dad’s Helldiver was hit in the tail with a 37mm AA shell while in their dive. Dad said it was coal black looking into the tail one moment, and Swiss cheese and daylight everywhere the next!  They pulled out about 500 feet above the deck and never got a foot higher on the flight back to the carrier.  The plane was so shot up Dad asked for the clock in the cockpit before it was jettisoned over the side.  (I still have that non-functioning clock.) VB-1 lost three crews that day, 6 KIAs on one mission. Usually an attack consisted of 12 aircraft, they lost 25% of that first attack of the day.  It was a rough day.  


Lt. Mulvihill sank a small vessel and strafed the seaplane base and was awarded a DFC for his skill and heroism that day.  Pop got a clock!!! (He later won the Air Medal for his actions bombing Guam on July 20th.)

Dad said Chichi Jima was heavily defended and he was glad he never had to go back!

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We’ll see, he has a brother too.  Looks like I hit the daily double!!!  


Mike’s Fees’ Dad won a DFC bombing Chichi Jima on July 4th 1944, the same day and possibly the same raid, my Dad’s Helldiver was hit in the tail with a 37mm AA shell while in their dive. Dad said it was coal black looking into the tail one moment, and Swiss cheese and daylight everywhere the next!  They pulled out about 500 feet above the deck and never got a foot higher on the flight back to the carrier.  The plane was so shot up Dad asked for the clock in the cockpit before it was jettisoned over the side.  (I still have that non-functioning clock.) VB-1 lost three crews that day, 6 KIAs on one mission. Usually an attack consisted of 12 aircraft, they lost 25% of that first attack of the day.  It was a rough day.  


Lt. Mulvihill sank a small vessel and strafed the seaplane base and was awarded a DFC for his skill and heroism that day.  Pop got a clock!!! (He later won the Air Medal for his actions bombing Guam on July 20th.)

Dad said Chichi Jima was heavily defended and he was glad he never had to go back!

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I had a great conversation with Lt. Mulvihill’s son.  Turns out his Dad stayed with VB-1 to the end of the war, won another DFC attacking the Japanese home land in 1945 flying off the USS Bennington.  After the war he was a Navy test pilot at Pautexet (sp?) River NAS until his release to Lockheed  in the late 40s where he was a test pilot for early jet development. As I suspected, he was killed during a test flight in Southern CA when Mike was just 22 months old.  Tragic loss and a shame he never really knew his father.  Information will be flowing in two directions!  It turns out Mike’s brother donated all of Lt. Mulvihill’s flight  logs dating back to 1940 to the Naval Aviation Museum at Pensacola, FL.   I’m calling back down there on Monday!  
 

Absolutely miraculous that we have found each other and we are both willing to learn more about our Fathers from each other… This is an example of where social media can work.  Hopefully we won’t be banned for asking questions about true Patriots.  Just kidding, I think…

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks Matt:  His Son shared that with me.  We have had some great conversations already.  Such a small world. LCDR Mulvihill was still with Air Group VB-1 on the USS Bennington CV 20.  He scored a direct hit on a Japanese Battleship with his 1,000 pound bomb.  I believe he ended the war as a LCDR.  Post war started his test pilot career with the Navy.

 

My Dad was with VB-19 in Alameda, CA, raised in rank to ARM2c and was headed back to Pearl on the CVL USS Langley just before the dropping of the bomb on Hiroshima.  Their deck was loaded with F8F Bearcats and SB2C-5s.  The F8Fs never saw combat in the war.  Pop stayed in Hawaii through the end of 1945 and separated from the Navy in early 1946 as an ARM1c.then headed back to Architectural School at Carnegie Tech in Pittsburgh, PA.

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On 11/18/2021 at 4:51 PM, ewallover said:

We’ll see, he has a brother too.  Looks like I hit the daily double!!!  


Mike’s Fees’ Dad won a DFC bombing Chichi Jima on July 4th 1944, the same day and possibly the same raid, my Dad’s Helldiver was hit in the tail with a 37mm AA shell while in their dive. Dad said it was coal black looking into the tail one moment, and Swiss cheese and daylight everywhere the next!  They pulled out about 500 feet above the deck and never got a foot higher on the flight back to the carrier.  The plane was so shot up Dad asked for the clock in the cockpit before it was jettisoned over the side.  (I still have that non-functioning clock.) VB-1 lost three crews that day, 6 KIAs on one mission. Usually an attack consisted of 12 aircraft, they lost 25% of that first attack of the day.  It was a rough day.  


Lt. Mulvihill sank a small vessel and strafed the seaplane base and was awarded a DFC for his skill and heroism that day.  Pop got a clock!!! (He later won the Air Medal for his actions bombing Guam on July 20th.)

Dad said Chichi Jima was heavily defended and he was glad he never had to go back!

That's close! My uncle (USMC) was KIA (actually DOW - died of wounds - lived to get to the aid station then succumbed to his injuries) on Guam on July 21 1944,during the fight for the island. Your dad was softening up the island for Marines to invade.

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