Graduation picture from RTC Farragut in 1943  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. 

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