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By William Wolf

Dying Rattlers: Marine Squadron VMF-323 over Okinawa

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50 caliber AA machine gun at a towed sleeve. On 15 January, the squadron sent out five search flights in an effort to locate a downed pilot (2Lt. John Webb) ofVMF-312 who safely bailed out of his aircraft and was rescued. 2Lt. Obie Stover. Courtesy of Norman Miller. 54 Death Rattlers: Marine Squadron VMF-323 Over Okinawa (L to R) John Strickland and Fred Zehring. Courtesy of Henry Brandon. 2Lt. Norman Miller. Courtesy of Norman Miller. On 31 January, Capt. Clarence Moore, the section leader, dropped a bomb at very low altitude and peppered his plane full of holes.

The quiet, unassuming Hood was considered an excellent pilot. He was able to safely land his Corsair after a screaming dive had ripped all the fabric off his elevators, leaving only the small 3x12 inch trim tabs to stabilize his fighter. Courtesy of Henry Brandon. Hank Brandon (L) and Jerry O'Keefe (R) dressed in open collar khaki officer's shirt and garrison cap. The light-colored summer, cotton cap, previously called a field or overseas cap, was piped in gold and black braid. Courtesy of Henry Brandon.

Jim Williams stayed behind at Guadalcanal to service some -323 F4Us which had problems on the way to Espiritu. Courtesy of Francis Maggliocco. Emirau - Tropical Sojourn 47 next morning to Espiritu Santo. It was a long nonstop hop totally over water with a Marine (ofVMR-952, which carried limited enlisted personnel and cargo) Curtiss Commando navigating for us. Since the flight was so long, the flight surgeon, Doc (Thomas) Dussman, handed out 'little pills' for the pilots to take before landing if they were feeling tired.

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Death Rattlers: Marine Squadron VMF-323 over Okinawa by William Wolf

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