Miscellaneous Photos 4
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The four images that follow are from the scrapbook of James Codd, 20th Combat Mapping Squadron photo lab technician.

20 CMS SoftballSoftball - Pikes Peak to Fujiyama. From Colorado to Japan, the 20th's softball teams were among the best.

USS Westpoint.The U.S.S. Westpoint (AP-23) in camouflage paint. This ship carried the ground echelon from Camp Stoneman, California to Sydney, Australia in the fall of 1943. None who experienced it have forgotten the 15-day transit, stuffed into H Deck, 40 feet below the waterline.

The Westpoint itself has an interesting history. It was launched at Newport News Shipbuilding & Drydock Co. in August 1939 as the cruise ship S.S. America. At 723 feet overall length and 34,000 tons displacement, it was the largest merchant ship built in the United States. Designed to carry 1200-1500 passengers at a cruise speed of 22 knots, it was pressed into war service and converted to a troop ship in mid-1941. It carried more than 400,000 troops in Atlantic and Pacific ocean crossings by the end of the war. In one notable Atlantic crossing it carried 9,000 (miserable, to be sure) troops.

After the war it was returned to cruise service and operated until 1980. In 1994, while under tow in the Canary Islands, the tow rope broke, the ship grounded and broke up. Its hulk lies there still.

Chow line, Julita, Leyte, PIChow line, Dulag (Julita), Leyte.

There is universal agreement that Leyte was the muddiest place the squadron was stationed.

LST 669 landing at OkinawaLST-669 lands the squadron at Okinawa.

LST-669 was launched by the American Bridge Co. in May 1944. It was 327 feet long, displaced 4,000 tons fully loaded, "cruised" at 9 knots, and topped out at just under 11 knots.

The next photos are from the collection of Joseph Lacharite, 20th CMS/RS aerial photographer, and were provided by his son, Rich Lacharite

Photo class at LowryLowry Field was the training base for Army Air Force photographers.

They learned to use an 8x10 view camera first.

Joe Lacharite as student at LowryJoe Lacharite as student at Lowry.

Photo lab at LowryPhoto lab at Lowry. It was never like this overseas!

A-2 trailer at LowryPhoto class roughing it--at least for Lowry. Trailer is an A-2 portable photo lab.

Joe Lacharite at LowryJoe Lacharite at Lowry --dressed for flying. Looks like a K-20 hand held camera.

Lowry from the airAerial photo of Lowry Field and surrounds.

This photo is from Frank Pallone, 20th gunner, via his nephew, Jerry Viracola.

Essig crew, Davis-Monthan, AZEssig's crew poses with B-24 #19 at Davis-Monthan AAB, Tuscon, AZ, late 1944. In mid-December 1944, rather than going overseas as a bomber crew, they were instead ordered to report to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on Christmas Day for reconnaissance crew training. They joined the 20th CMS overseas about May 1945.

Standing, L-R: Robert W. Essig - pilot, John R. Ziegler - copilot, Kurt F. Rupke - navigator, H. Albaugh - bombardier(?)
Kneeling, L-R: James C. Cook - engineer, R. Nudo - gunner, Frank J. Pallone - gunner, Raymond E. Zech - gunner, Anthony J. Marchione - gunner, Edwin "Ted" Angle - radio operator

Twenty nine veterans of the 20th were able to make it to a final squadron reunion, held September 6-8, 2001 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

(Tripp Rives photo, September 2001)

Las Vegas reunion group photo

Mike Velemirov and Bob ToyeMike Velemirov, left, meets his father's pilot, Bob Toye. Between August 1944 and March 1945, Mike's dad, Dan Velemirov, flew 43 missions as Lt. Toye's nose gunner. Fifty-seven years later Mike and Bob Toye shared some stick time together over Iowa. Mike, en-route to the 2002 Oshkosh fly-in detoured to Ankeny Regional Airport north of Des Moines to link up with Bob. (Mike's plane is a 1961 Piper Colt.)

Mike Velemirov photo, July 2002

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This page was last updated August 14, 2010