Crusty old Joe's

Kodiak Alaska Military History

The official web site of the Kodiak Military History Museum

Leslie E Gehres
Fleet Air Wing FOUR
Album 3
Album 3     FAW4      L. E. Gehres

0170 inside front cover 13.25x10.5 landscape
     drawing of U.S.S. Gillis AVD-12 with citations and
     Aleutian engagements listed

0171 8x10.5 cartoon by Milton Caniff N.Y. May 12, 1943
     Navel Orientation Manual

0172 10.25x10.5  L.E. Gehres in waist gunner/observer seat of PBY
     by Life Magazine photographer.  Identical to 0227.  (note 1.)

0173 10.25x10.5  L.E. Gehres in waist gunner/observer seat of PBY
     by Life Magazine photographer (closer than 0172)
     "and this one for you.  I've sent one like this to Virgie[?]
     for my aunt Floru[?] as she asked."  (note 1.)

0174 8x10  "Moss, Gehres, Lt Cdr Burns, Horton"  "He [Burns] relieved
     Whitey at Banana River."  Jan 14, 1944  Group of officers near
     PBY on slush, others in background.

0175 8x10  "Horton, Burns, Moss, Gehres" Jan 14, 1944
     Four officers under PBY wing, on slush.  Burns's back to camera.

0176 8x10  "Dick Moss, Gehres, Lt Cdr Horton, Lt Cdr Stevens"
     "Me in my favorite stuffed suit."  Jan 14, 1944  
     Four officers posed next to PBY.

0177 8x10  Officers under PBY wing next to jeep on slush. Jan 15, 1944
     "Disgusted!  Slushy runways do this!  (This was not my plane.)"

0178 8x10  Gehres and others standing on runway.  Quonsets in back.
     Jan 15, 1944

0179 8x10  Gehres and others standing on runway.  Quonsets in back.
     Jan 15, 1944

0180 8x10  "My room from davenport"  Quarters furnishings & telephone.

0181 8x10  "My room from entrance door"  Radio and view out window.

0182 8x10  "My room looking from desk."  Radio, view out 2 windows.

0183 8x10  "My room looking from side window.  See your pictures?"
     Stickey note: "Qtrs of L E Gehres -- wife Rhoda and daughter on wall."

0184 8x10  "Living room from dining room."

0185 8x10  "Living room from chairs by bookcase."

0186 8x10  "Living room from front entrance."

0187 8x10  "Living and dining rooms from corner radio."

0188 8x10  "Dining room from my seat."

0189 8x10  "Dining room from 'foot'."  Call button hangs over Gehres's seat.

0190 8x10  "Galley"  Kitchen Aid, refrigerator, canned food stock.

0191 8x10  "Mess servants"  Seven mess attendants and two oil cook stoves.

0192 8x10  "Galley from scullery side" Kitchen Aide, two oil stoves, sink.

0193 8x10  "Stores pantry and scullery from galley side."  Food shelves,
           plates, cups, saucers, bread box, Kitchen Aide, clock.

0194 8x10  "Galley"  Table, chair, plywood cabinets, Kitchen Aide, can opener.

0195 8x10  "Wine mess pantry.  Lucas and Mingfoot II[?] officiate."
           Kopke, of Portugal, is known for fine Port wines.

0196 0197
1557 1562

0196 4x5   Gehres, officers, PBY, command car.

0197 4x5   same setting as 0196

1557 4x5   FAW4 1 of ?  Jan 29, 1943  "Commanding Officer Fleet Air Wing
           4 Capt. L.E. Gehres presenting citation to Lt.(jg) Duffy VP-41."
           Inside Quonset hut.

1562 4x5   FAW4-1562  "Commanding Officer Fleet Air Wing
           4 Capt. L.E. Gehres presenting medal to Lt.(jg) R.G. Johnston 
           VP-43." Inside Quonset hut.

1560 1568
1561 1565

1560 4x5   FAW4-1560  "January 29, 1943  "Commanding Officer Fleet Air Wing
           4 Capt. L.E. Gehres presenting citation to H.H. Eggersqluss 
           AMME/C VP-43."  Inside Quonset hut.

1568 4x5   "Commanding Officer Fleet Air Wing
           4 Capt. L.E. Gehres presenting citation to R.P. Fitzpatrick
           (CAP) VP-43."   Inside Quonset hut.

1561 4x5   "Commanding Officer Fleet Air Wing 4 Capt. L.E. Gehres 
           presenting citation to S.W. Cobean AOM 2/C Silver Star Medal
           VP-43.  This boy saved us all when the - was torpedoed by - 
           leaping overboard to extinguish a flare burning on the oil
           and gas covered water."  Inside Quonset hut.

1565 4x5   January 29, 1943  "Commanding Officer Fleet Air Wing
           4 Capt. L.E. Gehres presenting citation to H[?].C. Grizzell
           (CAP) VP-43."

0198 8x10  L.E. Gehres, Marjorie Reynolds, Himes, standing by nose of PBY.
           [looks like Life photographer style] Stickey note:
           "Movie actress Marjorie Reynolds ("Holiday Inn" with 
           Crosby and Astaire)"

0199 8x10  L.E. Gehres, Marjorie Reynolds, close up, Reynolds looking
           toward camera smiling.

0200 8x10  Volleyballl game on rough ground near Quonset.  About 70 guys.

0201 8x10  Similar to 0200.

0202 8x10  Same event as 0200, chow and beer counter next to Quonset.
           On food containers: Thompson's Candy House, Ritz, Manhattan 
           Beer, Officer In Charge Navy Provisions Pier - - 
           China Basin, Feb 1943 Crescent Mfg Co, [on jacket] BASS, 
           Sunshine Stringless Beans.

0203 8x10  Similar to 0202.

0204 8x10  Command car & driver?  On jacket "N. ALT, Fleet Air Wing Four."
           On car: "R21 Fleet Air Wing"

0205 8x10  Similar to 0202.  On cans: "EVA BRAND EVAPORATED MILK"

0206 8x10  Seven officers standing, seven sitting (Gehres in center).
           Blackout curtains?  Unit insignias on wall: VP-45, VP-62,
           VP-41, Hedron, 136, VP-42, VP-43, P51.

0207 8x10  Same as 0206 with hats on.

0208 8x10  (portrait)  Vice Admiral Frank Jack Fletcher? [see 0222] 
           entering hangar with pomp.

0209 8x10  Officers at atttention inside hangar.

0210 8x10  Awards ceremony.  Band.

0211 8x10  same as 0210 except looking away from band.

0212 8x10  more of ceremony.

0213 8x10  more of ceremony.

0214 8x10  more of ceremony.

0215 8x10  more of ceremony.  Gehres front and center.

0216 8x10  more of ceremony.  Gehres front and center.

0217 8x10  more of ceremony.  Gehres front and center.

0218 8x10  (portrait) more of ceremony.  Award being pinned on Gehres.

0219 6.25x9.5 no border (portrait) more of ceremony.
           Award being pinned on Gehres.

0220 (same album page as 0219) citation letter: 
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the
for service as set forth in the following CITATION:"
  "For exceptionally meritorius conduct in the performance of outstanding
services to the Governmant of the United States as Commander of a Patrol
Wing and later as Commander of a Fleet Air Wing in action against enemy
Japanese forces in the Aleutian Islands.  Despite extremely unfavorable
weather conditions and limited communication facilities, Commodore
Gehres directed the operations of his planes with such excellent tactical
skill and sound judgement as to enable them to locate, attack and destroy 
hostile ships and installations, and to provide our forces with vital
weather data and detailed information of enemy activities.  The expert
professional ability and valiant devotion to duty of Commodore Gehres
greatly contributed to the success of his command in frustrating
Japanese plans for invasion of the eastern Aleutians."  For the 
President, (signed) Frank Knox, Secretary of the Navy.

0221 8x10 (portrait)  Gehres in center, two officers, saluting camera.

0222 typed text:  "Vice Admiral Frank Jack Fletcher's remarks on
presenting the medal of the Legion of Merit to Commodore Leslie E. Gehres
January 19, 1944"    "It has been my privilege and my pleasure to present
decorations and awards on a number of occasions.  None has given me more 
satisfaction than in the case of the officer who is awarded this decoration.  
When the history of this war is written, I am confident that the recipient 
of this medal will be credited more than any other officer with the defeat
of the Japanese in the Aleutians.
     When a commanding officer is awarded a decoration, it is the reflection
and reward for an entire command.  No one knows better than you men of Fleet
Air Wing FOUR how much cooperation and teamwork mean to the success and 
conduct of war.  An effective combat unit depends upon the complete 
performance of duty of every man from the lowest rating to the highest rank.
The outstanding performance of Fleet Air Wing FOUR proves that every man
in the organization has carried on with the complete devotion to duty not
only through fog but through ice, wind, and snow, in addition to the perils 
of combat.  Many men in Fleet air Wing FOUR have given their lives for their
country and added to the tradition of our naval service,  I am proud of 
their record in the past and I look forward to a successful career in the 
future.  I congratulate you all for a commanding officer who has withstood 
the acid test of two hard, grueling years of combat.
     In the name of the President of the United States, I have the honor to
present the Legion of Merit to Commodore Leslie E. Gehres.
(Follows reading of citation by SecNav)"

0223 8x10 (portrait) L.E. Gehres and medal, outdoors.

0224 8x10 (portrait) L.E. Gehres and officer saluting, outdoors.

0225 8x10 L.E. Gehres, 2 officers saluting, outdoors.

3480 10.5x11.75 L.E. Gehres at desk, closeup, shirtsleeves.  (note 1.)

3479 10.5x11.25 (portrait) L.E. Gehres at desk, closeup, shirtsleeves.
       (note 1.)

0226 11x11 Gehres at desk, closeup, jacket.  Search plan maps showing Attu 
         to Kamchatka.  (note 1.)

0227 10.75x11  Gehres in flying gear at waist gun/bubble seat in PBY.
     Identical to 0172.  (note 1.)

3357 8.25x8.25 Gehres closeup in fur-lined hood squinting into sun.
        Stickey note: Photos by Life Magazine photographer" [probably
applies to 3480, 3479, 0226, 0227, 3357, 0228]

0228 10.25x10.5  Officer standing at PBY waist gun.  (note 1.)

0229 0230
0231 0232
Stickey note on this page: "USO"

0229 4x5  Entertainment gathering same setting as 0233.

0230 4x5  Entertainment gathering same setting as 0233.

0231 4x5  Entertainment gathering same setting as 0233.

0232 4x5  Entertainment gathering same setting as 0233.

0233 0234
0235 0236

0233 4x5   VP-64's breaking up party July 15, 1943.

0234 4x5   Fancy bar, same setting as 0233.

0235 4x5   Officer's mess.  (Identical photo as 0023.)

0236 4x5   Officer's mess.  (Identical photo as 0024.)

0237 8x10 (portrait)  Four cartoons.  "J B Nunn"
     A "RANK"
     B ...attempt to write...
     C fit you...
     D "This is the army Miss Smith"

0238 8x10 (portrait)  Four cartoons.  "J B Nunn"
     A K.P.
     B (sneak past guard)
     C Tech Supply...
     D ...your experience...

2 blank album pages

0239  8x10  (portrait)  laundry cartoon  "J B Nunn"

0240 8x10   Four cartoon series. MY DAY "J B Nunn"

0241 8x10   Four cartoons.  
     A Dog: Rugged Life!  Eh what, Jackson?
     B 404th bomb unit insignia.
     C Poem (below)  
     D Mid-night mission

 Alltho We all can't be 4 Fer's
 And make the Money Galore,
 Maybe We can, even as privates -
 Do a better job by doing a little more.

 Ya'know it takes us all
 Especially Guys like you and me,
 To accomplish what the Army wants,
 And that is ultimate Victory.

 We sometimes say without a thought
 That We don't give a damn,
 But Hell, even I know that
 We'd all like to see the Ol' home Town.

 Some Guys risk their necks each day
 While taking a poke at Nip.
 Now I ask you, are we doing it right
 If for a day we lean on our hip?

 Most of us work very hard,
 While a few run pell mell.
 Now Le's all get together
 And give our enemy hell.

 Consider this a Pep Talk,
 But myself I'll protect -
 I'll tell you the honest truth Pal -
 We'd rather go home - sooner than We expect!

       my apologies to the poets
       (signature) "J B Nunn"

0242 8x10 (portrait) cartoon by Throck.  "The 'USO girls' hit Adak."

0243 8x10 (portrait) cartoon by Throck.  "Bad case of vertigo I guess."
        "Adak '43"

0244 8x10 cartoon 3 sequence by Throck.  "Contact report!"

2 blank pages

0245 8x10 (portrait)  Four cartoons.  "J B Nunn"
     A Any mail today Sarge?
     B When Drippy "Comes Marching Home"
     C mattress, wink, girl
     D Be nice to the soldier...

0246 8x10 (portrait)  Four cartoons.  "J B Nunn"
     A ...Adak soldier with 15 minutes leave!
     B Cooperation, (The Army and Navy Forever)
     C ...checking up on these 4F'ers , honey!
     D Aw -- I don't want a lolly pop!

0247 8x10 (portrait)  Four cartoons.  "J B Nunn"
     A Payday recreation
     B ...blackjack game and I can't miss it!
     C ...darling! What a bold man...
     D Aw -- veal cutlets! C'mere

0248 8x10  "These are large murals on walls of Bomber Command Officers Mess -
     painted by a bomber pilot.  All the photographed cartoons are also \
     painted 1/2 life size in the same mess!"  J.B. Nunn artist.  Titles:
     "Squadron Activity  -  A Soldiers Utopia"  6/26/43

2 blank album pages

0249 8x10 "Hedron 4 New Years Eve 1944"  Large Quonset movie theater.

0250 8x10  "New Years day 1944 Just starting.  Place was crowded a little later."
       Gehres and 7 officers looking a little drunk.

0251 5x7   "Jan 1943  Fort Greely presentation of medals to Army airforce
      & Canadian airforce pilots."

0252 8x10  12 officers outside posed.

Note 1:  Oversize print partially scanned.

end of album 3.
research:  Jake B. Nunn  Maysville Georgia
Copyright "The Shemya Mailbag," Vol.8, No.2, June 1994, Dan Lange, Editor
Published in Electronic Web Format with permissions by George L. Smith, 2 
August 1998  has photo
Jake Nunn (1920-still living)

Native Georgian, J.B. "Jake" Nunn was born in Athens, May 5, 1920, but spent 
his youth in the small north Georgia town of Maysville.  It was there that 
"some of the finest people to inhabit this earth" encouraged him to develop 
his artistic abilities. They were amazed by his ability to draw almost 
anything--from memory.
      A well-known illustrator in the Atlanta advertising community since 
1945, J.B. established  himself in the fine arts world with remembrance 
paintings such as "Maysville Spring."
Retired advertising illustrator JB Nunn, 81, of La Fayette GA, will be the 
featured artist for the cover. Nunn was born in Athens May 5, 1920, the son 
of Thomas F. Love Nunn and Maebelle Parks Nunn. He graduated from Maysville 
High School.

The "Real" Story on how the unit ended up with the
           "Pink Elephant" as the Squadron Emblem 

               From the Official History of the 11th Air Force...

    On July 8th (1942) the 404th Bombardment Squadron arrived in the Alaskan 
theater with B-24 aircraft originally destined for the North African 
theater.  The Liberators, brand new, were painted with a brilliant pink 
camouflage, satisfactory for desert warfare and admirably unsuited for 
Alaska use.  The squadron appropriately was nick-named "The Pink Elephants" 
and the unit insignia, a flying pink elephant with  fifty-caliber machine 
guns for tusks and carrying in his raised trunk a bomb, rampant upon a blue 
background, became one of the most familiar in the Alaskan Theater. 
    Sgt J. B. Nunn, one of the outstanding cartoonists was responsible for 
this nightmare which was approved as the squadron's official insignia. 

The book "Combat Squadrons of the Air Force - World War II published by the 
Department of the Air Force describes the emblem of the 404th BS as follows: 

Over and through a light green disc, bordure black, piped white, a 
caricatured white elephant running, wearing aviators goggles with gold rim 
trimmed black, black belt about the the waist, holding two machine guns 
pointing to rear, grasping a large yellow aerial bomb upraised in trunk, 
having two black machine guns for tusks and ears in shape of wings, soles of 
hind feet brown. (Approved 21 Nov 1942) 

Note:  The comments in the official history report the elephant to be Pink, 
while the approved patch has a White elephant and the official history 
report says the background of the patch is Blue while the approved patch has 
a Green background. 

* (Note: If largest photo version doesn't load, it may be only available on our CD-ROM of the website.)

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