CitizenSailor

Graduation picture from RTC Farragut Transport Airman 2nd Class Russell Schlosser
Graduation picture from RTC Farragut in 1943
Transport Airman 2nd Class
Russell Schlosser
 

On December 6, 1943 my grandfather, Russell Schlosser, enlisted in the Navy and shortly after was sent for recruit training at RTC Farragut, ID. Upon his completion of recruit training he was trained as a Transport Airman. Transport Airman was not a standard rate (a rate in the Navy is a job or what the other services call a Military Occupational Specialty or MOS). Because of the great need for logistics support during World War 2 the Navy created the Transport Airman rating which was classified as an ESR (Emergency Service Rate) which meant it was created for wartime.

Transport Airman 2nd Class Rating Badge

Transport Airman
2nd Class
Rating Badge
 

The job required him to act as an utility crewman (loading and transporting cargo) on the Navy’s version of a C-47 Skytrain (the Navy called it the R4D). All of the logistics aircraft that flew in support of the fleet were under the command of the Naval Air Transportation Service (NATS). During his time in the Navy, he was assigned to 3 different squadrons. His first was VR-10 based at in Honolulu, HI which was responsible for the major maintenance for the NATS fleet of aircraft in the Pacific. He also served at VR-12 which was attached to Headquarters, Pacific and where he spent a fair amount of time deployed to Los Negros Island in the Admiralty Islands. Before leaving the service, his final duty station was with VR-3 at NAS Olathe, KS. He was discharged from the Navy on December 8, 1945 as a Air Transport Specialist Second Class.

My graduation picture from RTC Great Lakes Airman David Khan
My graduation picture from
RTC Great Lakes in 1993
Airman David Khan
 

Upon my release from active duty, I affiliated with the Naval Air Reserve Center (NARCEN) in Olathe, KS before I later transferred to NAS Dallas and eventually into the VR community. The majority of my career has been spent two different VR squadrons flying the C-9B Skytrain II and its replacement, the C-40A Clipper. The missions I fly are in support of the Commander Fleet Logistics Support Wing and who’s missions are assigned from Naval Air Logistics Office (NALO) which is what NATS later become.

What is ironic is that I never knew all of this. My grandfather died long before I was born, and when my mother was still a child. The only details I knew of my grandfather as I was growing up were what my grandmother shared with me. She told me that he spend time in the Admiralty Islands in the South Pacific and that he left the Navy as a 2nd Class Petty Officer. Only a few years ago, I helped my mother request a copy of her father’s service record. The results were so surprising after I discovered how our careers had truly paralleled.

Naval Aviation and Logistics; a newly discovered family legacy. A tradition I am proud to carry on.

  • Ray V. Smith

    My Dear David..
    What an interesting blog and amazing coincidence. During WW2 my ship pulled in the harbour where your Grandpa was and we had a long visit. I cannot recall when this was but it was not the Admiralty Islands. He must have been on a mission away from his home base.
    I am so glad you were able to write such a remarkable parallel. You’re Grandpa was a great guy. See you soon.
    Uncle Jr.

  • Ray V. Smith

    My Dear David..
    What an interesting blog and amazing coincidence. During WW2 my ship pulled in the harbour where your Grandpa was and we had a long visit. I cannot recall when this was but it was not the Admiralty Islands. He must have been on a mission away from his home base.
    I am so glad you were able to write such a remarkable parallel. You’re Grandpa was a great guy. See you soon.
    Uncle Jr.

  • Tom Davidson

    David: My dad was in VR-3 also in Olathe in 1944. He was a office in “transportation” it said in the squarden book . VR-3 put out a “log book” in late 1944 with info on VR-3,pictures of personal,etc [I did not see your Grandfathers picture in the book however] I think this book “may” be on line if you rearch for “Check Point” VR-3 1944. If you go the website
    http://www.flyingtigerssurplus.com you can order patches for VR-3 and do a search for Olathe and they have the patch for the Olathe NAS. I have bought patches from them and they are VERY good quality and inexpensive. I had the pleasure this month to meet a pilot who was also in VR-3 same time as my dad and at Olathe. Small world. There is a fair amount of NATS material online I have found. There may still be a NATS museum out in Calif. I heard about it a few years ago, but have not seen it myself. If you have access to the email address I entered feel free to email me. Tom

  • Tom Davidson

    David: My dad was in VR-3 also in Olathe in 1944. He was a office in “transportation” it said in the squarden book . VR-3 put out a “log book” in late 1944 with info on VR-3,pictures of personal,etc [I did not see your Grandfathers picture in the book however] I think this book “may” be on line if you rearch for “Check Point” VR-3 1944. If you go the website
    http://www.flyingtigerssurplus.com you can order patches for VR-3 and do a search for Olathe and they have the patch for the Olathe NAS. I have bought patches from them and they are VERY good quality and inexpensive. I had the pleasure this month to meet a pilot who was also in VR-3 same time as my dad and at Olathe. Small world. There is a fair amount of NATS material online I have found. There may still be a NATS museum out in Calif. I heard about it a few years ago, but have not seen it myself. If you have access to the email address I entered feel free to email me. Tom

  • Hello,

    My dad also went through training at NTS Farragut, Idaho (he enlisted in June of 1943) and served in the Naval Air forces during WWII. Dad went through several radio, electronics, and “Special” schools and held the rating of Aviation Radio Technician (ART); he actually worked as a radar countermeasures technician but, anything to do with radar was classified and you didn’t even say the word “radar”. Dad ended his service with the rate of 1st Class petty officer. (see http://www.vpnavy.org/pix/DEATHERAGE.jpg).

    He was assigned to Patrol Bombing squadron VPB-119 in January, 1945 and served with that squadron through the end of the War flying as a crew member aboard PB4Y-2 ‘Privateer’ bombers. They operated out of Clark Field, Luzon Island in the Philippines. During their deployment to Clark they were station for a short time at Mokerang airstrip on Los Negros Island in the Admiralties.

    Here’s to the men who won that war …

    Best Regards,
    Dave Deatherage
    Son of Paul Deatherage, ART 1c, VPB-119, 1944-1945

  • Hello,

    My dad also went through training at NTS Farragut, Idaho (he enlisted in June of 1943) and served in the Naval Air forces during WWII. Dad went through several radio, electronics, and “Special” schools and held the rating of Aviation Radio Technician (ART); he actually worked as a radar countermeasures technician but, anything to do with radar was classified and you didn’t even say the word “radar”. Dad ended his service with the rate of 1st Class petty officer. (see http://www.vpnavy.org/pix/DEATHERAGE.jpg).

    He was assigned to Patrol Bombing squadron VPB-119 in January, 1945 and served with that squadron through the end of the War flying as a crew member aboard PB4Y-2 ‘Privateer’ bombers. They operated out of Clark Field, Luzon Island in the Philippines. During their deployment to Clark they were station for a short time at Mokerang airstrip on Los Negros Island in the Admiralties.

    Here’s to the men who won that war …

    Best Regards,
    Dave Deatherage
    Son of Paul Deatherage, ART 1c, VPB-119, 1944-1945

  • machinest mate

    To be stuck in such a lowly rating I served as a black shoe snipe in the engine room of a Frigate powered by steam… had I only been givin wings. That was before you were even in a diaper.

  • Joe Stephens

    what Company were you in, in 1993? Co. 025 Div. 8, AMS1 P.J. Rosino was my company’s PO…

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