Shelton II DD-790 - History

Shelton II DD-790 - History

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Shelton II DD-790

Shelton II(DD-790 dp. 2,425; 1. 391', b. 41', dr. 19'; s. 35 k.; cpl. 296, a. 6 5", 16 40mm., 10 20mm., 2 dct., 6 dcp.,10 21" tt.; cl. Gearing)The second Shelton (DD-790) was laid down on 31 May 1945 by Todd Pacific Shipyards Inc., Seattle Wash.; launched on 8 March 1946; sponsored by Mrs. Loretta Shelton Miller; and commissioned on 21 June 1946, Comdr. C. L. Werts in command.Shelton began her shakedown cruise on 20 July and returned to Seattle for post shakedown availability. She moved down the coast to San Diego on 12 October and on 9 November, stood out of that port en route to the western Pacific for her first tour of duty with the 7th Fleet. While serving with that fleet, she visited ports in China, Korea, and Japan. The destroyer returned to the west coast on 22 June 1947 and conducted local operations in the San Diego area. The destroyer underwent overhaul at Bremerton from January to April 1948. After moving to San Diego on 19 April, Shelton operated along the California coast until sailing for WestPac and the 7th Fleet on 1 September. The sevenmonth deployment ended on 24 April 1949 when she sailed back into San Diego.In June Shelton participated in a Midshipman training cruise which took her to Balboa, C.Z., and terminated in San Francisco at the end of July. She was in drydock there during October and November and, following sea trials, returned to San Diego in January 1950.Shelton sailed west again on 1 May 1950. When hostilities began in Korea, on 25 June, the destroyer was a unit of Task Force (TF) 77, the Striking Force of the 7th Fleet. She served on both coasts of Korea until returning to San Diego on 8 February 1951. After six months in the states, she was on her way back to the war zone in late August. As a fleet destroyer, she served with TF 72, 77, 95, 96, and 97.Shelton also participated in special bombardment missions. With Helena (CA-75) at Hungnam on 25 October, she was taken under fire by enemy shore batteries and sustained one near miss. She was assigned to the bombline with St. Paul (CA-73) in December; and, for a week, they shelled rail lines bridges, and other targets of opportunity. In January ;952, they bombarded the Songjin area.Assigned to TG 95 the following month, Shelto,, aided in the defense of Yang Do when North Korean forces attempted to land on that island. The action lasted from 0130 until 1100 and resulted in the landings being repulsed with heavy losses. Still in the area on the 22d, the destroyer was taken under fire by five communist batteries on the mainland. She sustained four direct hits and approximately 50 near misses. Her losses were 12 casualties and a five-foot hole in the bow, but she silenced the batteries and remained on station for two more days before retiring to Sasebo for repairs. She then returned to the Korean coast.Shelton returned to San Diego on 10 April where she began an upkeep period and then conducted local operations until 13 November. On that date, the destroyer sailed for its third tour of duty in the Far East during the Korean War. She arrived at Sasebo on 1 December 1952 for a three-day tender availability before joining TF 77. She operated with that task force for 40 days before entering Yokosuka for an upkeep period. Ready for sea on 26 January 1953, the destroyer joined the Formosa Patrol. Her next assignment was in Wonsan Harbor for 40 days, after which she again joined TF 95. Her deployment ended on the west coast on 29 JuneFrom 1953 to 1959, Shelton divided her time between deployments with the 7th Fleet and west coast operations. On her annual deployment in 1957, she rescued 120 passengers from a New Zealand merchant ship. She was on the west coast in 1960 and, from July to June 1961, she underwent FRAM conversion at the Long Beach Naval Shipyard. Shelton's home port was changed to Yokosuka, and she sailed from Long Beach on 6 January 1962 for that port from which she operated until early March 1964.On 5 March. Shelton was ordered to Subic Bay where she was joined by Blue (DD-744), Frank Knox (DD742), Bon Homme Richard (CV-31), and Cimarron (AO-22). All loaded to capacity with stores and consumable items and sailed, on 30 March. for the Indian Ocean on a six-week good will cruise. This was Operation "Handclasp" which was designed to aid foreign countries in the supply of consumable goods. The squadron visited Madagasear, Kenya, and Saudi Arabia before presenting a fire-power demonstration for the Shah of Iran on 4 May.The squadron was in Yokosuka two weeks later, but the deteriorating situation in Vietnam brought Shelton sailing orders to the South China Sea, and, on 2 June, she began a 28-day stay in the Tonkin Gulf. The destroyer sailed for the west coast on 18 July, via Pearl Harbor, and arrived at her new home port. San Diego, on 31 August 1964.Shelton operated from there until 24 August 1965 when she sailed to join the 7th Fleet off Vietnam. The destroyer provided antisubmarine protection and pilot rescue operations for Bon Homme Richard as well as firing numerous gunfire support missions. She was detached from the 7th Fleet on 1 February 1966 and returned to her home port the last of the month. The remainder of the year was spent in local operations with the exception of a Midshipman cruise to Hawaii in June.Shelton stood out of San Diego on 4 January 1967 and sailed for another tour off Vietnam. During the six and one-half months of her deployment, she performed such duties as: plane guard and ASW protection at Yankee Station; screening Long Beach (CG(N)-9) on Piraz Station, gunfire support off South Vietnam; and gunfire support off North Vietnam. She returned to San Diego on 18 June and resumed normal stateside operations. Shelton was deployed to Guam from 2 January 1968 to 9 April where she conducted operations in support of Polaris missile tests.Shelton was to return to Vietnam from 30 September 1968 to 2 May 1969; from 2 March to 3 September 1970; and from 6 April to 7 October 1971. She had six line periods during 1968-1969; four in 1970; and five in 1971.After Shelton returned to San Diego in October, she spent almost nine months operating out of her home port until she was notified that her services were again needed in Vietnam. The destroyer departed on 13 June 1972 on what was to be her last deployment to the western Pacific. She was back on the gunline on 10 July for a 25-day period. On 4 August, she was taken under fire by a barrage of approximately 40 rounds from a nearby wooded section of beach. Her gun crews quickly responded and were credited with destroying one of the enemy gun emplacements. Shelton and Providence (CLG-6) were taken under fire on 19 October when they were on an intercept mission five miles north of the DMZ. In the following 30 minutes, both ships fired over 120 rounds in an attempt to demolish the enemy sites. Immediately after observing four secondary explosions, Providence reported cross-fire from the island of Hon Co. Shelton bombarded the island and silenced the battery.On 5 December, Shelton joined TU 77.1.1 for a raid on targets in the vicinity of Hon Me Island. A barrage of return fire was received before counterbattery fire from Shelton and Henry B. Wilson (DDG-7) silenced the emplacements. Another raid near Hon Me, on 19 December, brought the heaviest hostile fire of the deployment: approximately 700 rounds, with many sp ashes only 50 yards from the ship. Shelton departed the Tonkin Gulf three days later and returned to San Diego on 13 January 1973 to prepare for decommissioning.Shelton was struck from the Navy list on 31 March 1973 and sold to the Republic of China the following month. She serves that government as Lao Yang (DDShelton received eight battle stars for service in the Korean War and eight for service in Vietnam.

USS Shelton (DD-790)

I was an STGSN (E-3) and did my overseas processing at Treasure Island, CA. I was then sent to Travis AFB to catch a C-135 to the Philippines Islands (PI).

The flight to PI was a picture of extremes. C-135s (Boeing 707) were Air Force cargo planes and not built for creature comfort. During the flight, all of the Air Force guys, who were in short sleeves, froze. They huddled and shivered under blankets while sailors were very comfortable in our dress blues. (notice - I did not say Cracker Jacks. Modern Cracker Jacks and Dress Blues are completely different uniforms, but that's another story) Then we landed at Wake Island - My first experience in the tropics - Wow! It was hot! But, then again, sailors prevailed. We just rolled up our bell bottom trousers and cooled off in the surf.

We finally arrived at Clark AFB, on Luzon Is. PI. and had a long bus ride - still in dress blues - to Subic Bay. It was a long, hot ride, but, the driver stopped periodically for some San Miguel beer and sweet Philippine bananas.

In the '60's, Subic Bay was not yet set up to handle transit personnel. We were billeted in what used to be a WWII POW camp. There were no lockers, so we lived out of our sea bags hanging from our bunks. The only running water was just a pipe that had holes every couple of feet, set over a trough. These streams of water was what one used for everything - washing, brushing teeth, etc., and the water had only one temp - cold. Our Boy Scout summer camp wasn't all that much different, so for me, it was summer camp all over again, just hotter.

We were allowed liberty in town, but we had to be back by midnight (Cinderella Liberty) In those days we were required to wear uniforms on liberty and the main streets of Olongapo were not paved. Everyone came back with red clay of the streets all over their whites. I often went to the Enlisted Club and learned to enjoy Singapore Slings. I didn't think the bartender stirred them quite enough and used my finger to stir them up. It was sort of embarrassing to come to morning muster with my index finger stained bright red. I waited in transit for about 3 weeks.

The USS Shelton pulled into Subic Bay and nested alongside the, USS Piedmont. I reported aboard on Halloween Day, Oct 31, 1965.

Shelton left for Hong Kong and I experienced my first Typhoon. It was scary seeing the other ships completely disappear from view behind a wave and having the ship roll so far you're not sure if it will come back upright, but we we survived just fine and pulled into Hong Kong where I found that I had won the anchor pool by picking the exact mooring time. I had won a 4 day pass which I could use when ever I liked. Wow!

The Shelton then went to Vietnam as escort for the aircraft carrier USS Bon Homme Richard. In Dec '65 we returned to Hong Kong for R&R over Christmas followed by two weeks as Station Ship. After New Years 1966 we returned to Vietnam, providing coastal gunfire support along Yankee and Dixie station.

Shelton was an early FRAM and the aft 5"/38 gun mount had been removed. During gunfire support we did not go to full GQ. Instead, the only the gun stations were manned and condition Zulu was set forward of frame 74. Every one else went about their regular routine. There was almost always a sight seeing group on the fantail. (Subsequent FRAMs removed the second fwd gun mount and leaving the aft gun mount for rear protection.)

Shelton earned welfare/rec money by holding a weekly bingo game. Numbers were announced over the 1MC so sailors on watch could play as well. We even played during gunfire support missions and folks manning the gun mounts played as well. (They once called for someone to relieve the powder passer in gun mount 52 so they could check his bingo card.)

Spring of '66 Shelton returned to San Diego.

Shelton was in and out of San Diego and in Aug '66 was part of the Sea Fair Fleet in Seattle. I went home, using the 4 day pass I had won in the in the anchor pool in Hong Kong.

In Sept my Division Officer told me told that Shelton was planning a mini cruise to Mexico and that I would have to extend my enlistment in order to go. Since I did not want to extend my active duty for the cruise and I was transferred to USS John A. Bole (DD-755) in Oct 1966.


This section lists the names and designations that the ship had during its lifetime. The list is in chronological order.

    Gearing Class Destroyer
    Keel Laid May 31 1945 - Launched March 8 1946

Naval Covers

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This section lists examples of the postmarks used by the ship. There should be a separate set of postmarks for each incarnation of the ship (ie, for each entry in the "Ship Name and Designation History" section). Within each set, the postmarks should be listed in order of their classification type. If more than one postmark has the same classification, then they should be further sorted by date of earliest known usage.

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Product Description

USS Shelton DD 790

1958 WestPac

Bring the Cruise Book to Life with this Multimedia Presentation

This CD will Exceed your Expectations

A great part of Naval history.

You would be purchasing the USS Shelton DD 790 cruise book during this time period. Each page has been placed on a CD for years of enjoyable computer viewing. The CD comes in a plastic sleeve with a custom label. Every page has been enhanced and is readable. Rare cruise books like this sell for a hundred dollars or more when buying the actual hard copy if you can find one for sale.

This would make a great gift for yourself or someone you know who may have served aboard her. Usually only ONE person in the family has the original book. The CD makes it possible for other family members to have a copy also. You will not be disappointed we guarantee it.

Some of the items in this book are as follows:

  • Ports of Call: Pago Pago, Melbourne Australia, Subic Bay Philippines, Yokosuka Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
  • Cruise Chart with Dates
  • Crossing the Equator Ceremony
  • Divisional Crew Photos With Names
  • Many Shipboard Life Photos
  • Crew Roster (Names Only)
  • Many Crew Activity Photos
  • Plus Much More

Over 245 Photos on Approximately 60 Pages.

Once you view this book you will know what life was like on this Destroyer during this time period.

Additional Bonus:

  • 20 Minute Audio of a " 1967 Equator Crossing " (Not this ship but the Ceremony is Traditional)
  • 6 Minute Audio of " Sounds of Boot Camp " in the late 50's early 60's
  • Other Interesting Items Include:
    • The Oath of Enlistment
    • The Sailors Creed
    • Core Values of the United States Navy
    • Military Code of Conduct
    • Navy Terminology Origins (8 Pages)
    • Examples: Scuttlebutt, Chewing the Fat, Devil to Pay,
    • Hunky-Dory and many more.

    Why a CD instead of a hard copy book?

    • The pictures will not be degraded over time.
    • Self contained CD no software to load.
    • Thumbnails, table of contents and index for easy viewing reference.
    • View as a digital flip book or watch a slide show. (You set the timing options)
    • Back ground patriotic music and Navy sounds can be turned on or off.
    • Viewing options are described in the help section.
    • Bookmark your favorite pages.
    • The quality on your screen may be better than a hard copy with the ability to magnify any page.
    • Full page viewing slide show that you control with arrow keys or mouse.
    • Designed to work on a Microsoft platform. (Not Apple or Mac) Will work with Windows 98 or above.

    Personal Comment from "Navyboy63"

    The cruise book CD is a great inexpensive way of preserving historical family heritage for yourself, children or grand children especially if you or a loved one has served aboard the ship. It is a way to get connected with the past especially if you no longer have the human connection.

    If your loved one is still with us, they might consider this to be a priceless gift. Statistics show that only 25-35% of sailors purchased their own cruise book. Many probably wished they would have. It's a nice way to show them that you care about their past and appreciate the sacrifice they and many others made for you and the FREEDOM of our country. Would also be great for school research projects or just self interest in World War II documentation.

    We never knew what life was like for a sailor in World War II until we started taking an interest in these great books. We found pictures which we never knew existed of a relative who served on the USS Essex CV 9 during World War II. He passed away at a very young age and we never got a chance to hear many of his stories. Somehow by viewing his cruise book which we never saw until recently has reconnected the family with his legacy and Naval heritage. Even if we did not find the pictures in the cruise book it was a great way to see what life was like for him. We now consider these to be family treasures. His children, grand children and great grand children can always be connected to him in some small way which they can be proud of. This is what motivates and drives us to do the research and development of these great cruise books. I hope you can experience the same thing for your family.

    If you have any questions please send us an E-mail prior to purchasing.

    Buyer pays shipping and handling. Shipping charges outside the US will vary by location.

    Check our feedback. Customers who have purchased these CD's have been very pleased with the product.

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    This CD is for your personal use only

    Copyright © 2003-2010 Great Naval Images LLC. All rights reserved.

    Early life Edit

    Merriell Shelton was born on January 21, 1922, in Louisiana. Of Cajun descent, Shelton was described as speaking with a "thick accent". He served in the Civilian Conservation Corps in his youth. [2]

    Military career Edit

    Shelton enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1942 and completed boot camp in San Diego. He was assigned to K Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division (K/3/5) and served as a mortar man. He participated in the Battle of Cape Gloucester alongside Romus Burgin.

    In the book The Marines at Peleliu, 1944--The Bloodiest Battle of the Pacific War, author Bill Sloan describes Shelton as a "whiz at poker, but otherwise his talents involved getting confused, lost, in trouble, and generally fouled up. He would argue about anything at the slightest opportunity, and when he was agitated or inebriated, all those tendencies grew more pronounced. They were also magnified by Shelton's inability to speak understandable English at such times". Sloan also describes how Shelton gained his nickname of "Snafu" after a fellow Marine asked him how much money he had while they were on a train in Melbourne:

    "I t'ink I got maybe aroun' two pounds and ten ounces-plenty for some drinks an' poker, eh?" to which Burgin replied, "You know what you are, Shelton? You're just one big snafu lookin' for a place to happen" [3]

    He met replacement, Eugene Sledge, on Pavuvu and the two saw action under the command of Andrew Haldane during the Battle of Peleliu. Sledge's book details his experiences and friendship with Shelton on Peleliu and Okinawa and Shelton would give Sledge the nickname "Sledgehammer". He was discharged from the Marine Corps in 1946 with the rank of corporal.

    Later life and death Edit

    He returned to Louisiana after the war and worked as an air conditioner repairman and in the lumber industry. He was married to Gladys Bowman-Shelton [4] until his death and they had two sons, Allen and Floyd the latter of which died before his father, in 1990. [5] He and Sledge did not speak for over thirty-five years until he read Sledge's book and the two reunited.

    Shelton died on May 3, 1993 in Jackson, Louisiana. Sledge was one of his pallbearers. He is buried at the Bowman-Dedon Cemetery, in West Feliciana Parish, Louisiana alongside his wife. [6]

    Shelton's home was later the residence of serial killer Derrick Todd Lee. [7]

    By Peggy Smith-Hake

    The Shelton family of Miller County comes from a long lineage of exciting English ancestry - from Crusaders, Knights and Barons to New World immigrants. Theirs is an interesting family history that began with the birth of Robert de Sheldonne I who was born in England in 1033 and died there in 1070. The Shelton clan resided in Suffolk County, England for a few generations and later Sir John De Shelton I (1080-1150) - 1st Baron of Shelton - migrated into Norfolk County before the turn of the 12th century. For the next 480+ years the Shelton family would reside over Shelton Manor, built before the year 1145. at least for the Miller County branch of Sheltons who came to America in the early 1600s. Upon Thomas Shelton's arrival [before 1630] in the New World he settled in Colonial Maryland Thomas was born 1606 in England and died 24 Oct 1683 in Cecil County, Maryland. His son, James Shelton (1630-1720), would leave Maryland in the mid-late 1600s and move into Colonial Viginina and there the family remained for the next 140+ years.

    John Shelton, son of Roderick Shelton (1754-1816) and Sarah Ursula Briggs (1755-1820) who moved to North Carolina sometime in the late 1700s, was born in Shelton Laurel, North Carolina in 1778. John would leave the coastal state of North Carolina and head towards Tennessee around the turn of the 19th century and laid down temporary roots in McMinn County. Sometime in the mid 1830s John uprooted his family once again and migrated into Miller County, Missouri and there laid down permanent roots. John Shelton's family consisted of his wife, Elizabeth [Smith] (1779-1855) and nine children, including his son, George Washington Shelton (my great-gr-gr-gr grandfather). John died 31 July 1855 and his wife, Elizabeth, died sometime after 1855. Both are most likely buried in unmarked graves in Duncan Cemetery, which is located near the Miller/Maries County line.

    George Washington Shelton was born in McMinn County, Tennessee around 1810. He married 1) Canzada Roberds around 1831 and 2) Celia Burks on 10 April 1834. Both marriages were performed in McMinn County, Tennessee. Canzada evidently died as a young woman before George left Tennessee for Missouri with his second wife and two young sons (by first wife, Canzada) - John Shelton (1832-1922) and Edmund F. Shelton (1834-1836). The Shelton family settled in eastern Richwoods township before 1840 and were most likely farmers by trade. I am sure that George and Celia had children of their own even though the following names are a calculated guess, I believe they were: 1) Nancy Emeline (1843-1929) 2) Allen Taylor (1852-1934) 3) Sarah Adeline (1855-1953).


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    Before and during World War II the military purchased or leased a number of municipal or local airports in Washington for use as military airfields. The army and navy expanded runways, built hangars, and made other improvements. During the war the airfields served as fighter bases, bomber-training facilities, and patrol bases. At the end of the war the airfields were returned to their previous owners for use as civilian airports again.

    From Civilian to Military

    In the 1930s, a number of Washington communities, using funds provided by the Depression-era Works Progress Administration (WPA) and Public Works Administration (PWA), built or purchased existing airports, in large part to accommodate postal service flights. Even before America's entry into World War II, fears of attack on the Pacific Northwest led to many of these airports being quickly converted to military fields.

    In Washington state, at least 17 municipal or local airports became army and navy military airfields. They were:

    Arlington Naval Air Auxiliary Facility (NAAF)/Arlington Airport and Industrial Park

    In August 1940 the navy purchased the Arlington airport, originally opened in 1934. Located three miles southwest of Arlington in Snohomish County, the field became a carrier-pilot training facility. The runway was painted with lines to match those on aircraft carriers so pilots could learn how to land on the small, seagoing decks.

    Following the June 1942 Japanese attacks and invasions in the Aleutian Islands, the army brought in bombers for coastal defense. In 1943, with the Aleutian threat diminished, the army moved out and the navy returned to the Arlington field.

    The navy built a hangar, added two runways, and stationed patrol planes, and later, carrier aircraft at the site. In July 1946 the navy closed the airfield and returned it to the City of Arlington. The World War II hangar, parachute loft, and fire-station buildings survive within what is today the Arlington Airport and Industrial Park.

    Bellingham Army Airfield/Bellingham International Airport

    A grass field was constructed four miles northwest of Bellingham in 1936, using Works Progress Administration (WPA) funding. In 1940 the runway was paved, and in 1941 the site was expanded. The airport opened as a civilian facility on December 7, 1941, the very day of the Pearl Harbor attack.

    Three days later the army moved in and would go on to construct 38 additional airport buildings. Throughout the war, the military used the Bellingham facility to house bombers and fighters defending the Puget Sound area. It was returned to civilian use in October 1946.

    Bremerton National Airport

    In 1939 the Kitsap County Airport opened at Bremerton. During World War II, the navy used the airport as an Outlying Field for Naval Air Station Seattle. It has continued to serve civilian and military aircraft since the end of the war.

    Ellensburg Army Airfield/Ellensburg Airport/Bowers Field

    In the 1930s an airport was constructed two miles northeast of Ellensburg, Kittitas County. In 1943 it became an Army Air Force flying school operated under the Air Force Technical Service Command. The army constructed buildings and a hangar, and army antiaircraft units trained nearby.

    In 1948 the airfield was returned to the town and renamed Bowers Field to honor Ellensburg resident Ensign Robert K. Bowers (1915-1941), U.S. Naval Reserve. Bowers, an observation-aircraft pilot aboard the USS California, was killed in action on December 7, 1941, at Pearl Harbor. A World War II hangar survives at the airfield today (2012).

    Ephrata Army Airfield/Ephrata Municipal Airport

    The Ephrata Airport, located two miles southeast of the town of that name in Grant County, opened as a civilian facility in 1933. In early 1942 the 4th Army Air Force acquired the field for bomber training. The base was operated as the 355th Army Air Force airfield. Pilots and crews trained there in B-17 and B-24 bombers.

    The U.S. Air Force retained it for possible base use until 1953 and then returned it to civilian use. A World War II hangar survives at the field, which is today operated by the Port of Ephrata.

    Felts Field, Spokane

    In 1927, the Spokane Municipal Airport, four miles northeast of Spokane, was renamed Felt’s Field and was home to the Air National Guard/116th Observation Squadron. In 1927 the National Guard constructed a headquarters building that survives today (2012). The airfield was named to honor Buell Felts (1896-1927), a National Guard pilot killed in a May 30, 1927, crash.

    An impressive Art Deco-style terminal building went up in 1932, and the field served military and civilian aviation. In 1939 a memorial clock tower was dedicated to Lieutenant Nicholas Bernard Mamer (1897-1938), a distinguished Washington pilot killed in a 1938 crash.

    During World War II the field served as a Civilian Pilots Training Program/War Training Service school. This civilian program provided thousands of pilots to the war effort.

    Today the Felts Field Historic District contains structures listed on the National Register of Historic Places. These includes three hangars, the terminal building, National Guard headquarters building, a small storage building, and the Mamer clock tower.

    Quillayute Naval Auxiliary Air Station, (NAAS)/Quillayute State Airport

    Because the existing airport at nearby Forks could not be expanded, the navy in 1941 began construction of a new airfield southwest of Quillayute on the Olympic peninsula. Prairie land was purchased for the new field and construction started in the summer of that year. Following the December 7, 1941, attack at Pearl Harbor. the army requested joint use of the field. The army constructed barracks and other facilities.

    Today (2012) this is Quillayute State Airport and has four surviving buildings dating from World War II.

    McAllister Flying School, Yakima/Yakima Air Terminal, McAllister Field

    In 1926 Charles McAllister (1903-1998) cleared sagebrush for a landing strip three miles south of Yakima and opened a flying school. The first McAllister building was completed in 1928, still survives today, and is listed on the Washington State Heritage Register. In 1932 two gravel runways were completed.

    During World War II the McAllister School of Flying became part of the Civilian Pilot Training Program/War Training Service to teach flying. The McAllister Museum of Aviation is located at the airport.

    Moon Island, Hoquim/Bowerman Field

    Located two miles west of Hoquiam, the Moon Island Airport became an army airfield in 1942. The army built two runways and expanded the field to serve as a patrol base. In 1953 the field was named to honor First Lieutenant Robert C. Bowerman (1921-1952) a co-pilot killed in a Korean War crash. The airport was transferred to the Port of Grays Harbor in 1962.

    Olympia Army Airfield/Olympia Regional Airport

    The Olympia airport is one of the oldest in the nation, constructed in 1911 at Bush Prairie. In 1928 the City of Olympia purchased the field and paved its runway. It functioned as a municipal airport until World War II. During the war the Olympia Airport served as the 33d Army Air Force base, a satellite base of McChord Field.

    At the end of the war it was sold as surplus to the City. In 1963 the Port of Olympia obtained the airport. It is located in Tumwater and puts on an annual aviation show in June. The Olympia Flight Museum is located at the airport, and a historic hangar survives.

    Pasco Naval Air Station (NAS)/Tri-Cities Airport

    The Pasco Airport opened in 1932 as the Franklin County Airport. In early 1942 the navy purchased the airport for $1 an acre. Military construction started in March 1942 and the field was commissioned on July 31, 1942. Five months later the field became the first to receive a contingent of Navy Waves (Women Accepted for Volunteer Service). As the Pasco Naval Air Station, it served as a primary training field. At its peak in 1943 the station had 189 instructors, 800 students, and 304 aircraft.

    The navy ended operations by December 1945 and the base was inactivated on July 1, 1946. The Naval Air Station commander, Basil. B. Smith (1894-1977), settled in Kennewick after retirement and served as mayor from 1955 to 1960. Several World War II buildings survive on the facility's north end and are still used for general aviation purposes.

    Port Angeles Army Airfield/William R. Fairchild International Airport

    The Clallam County airport, located west of Port Angeles, was built in 1934. The army acquired it during World War II as a fighter field. P-38 fighters operated out of the base to defend Washington.

    The airfield was returned to the county after the war. In 1953 former Coast Guard pilot William R. Fairchild (1926-1969) started Angeles Flying Service there with flights to Washington cities. He also became a famous glacier pilot. In 1969, while taking off from Clallam County Airport piloting a commercial flight, Fairchild crashed and was killed. The airport was named to honor him.

    Port Townsend Army Airfield/Jefferson County Airport

    The Army Air Force constructed a grass runway near Port Townsend shortly before World War II and during the war the army kept a few fighters there. Following the war it was returned to the town. Since 1959 it has been operated by the Port of Port Townsend.

    Shelton Naval Auxiliary Air Station (NAAS)/Sanderson Airport and Industrial Park

    In 1927 Mason County constructed an airport outside Shelton. In July 1942 the navy purchased the airport and land and developed a joint army-navy field that opened in March 1943. However, by the time it opened the army did not need it as an interceptor field. The navy took over, added blimp facilities, and commissioned the field on July 7, 1943. It was closed on December 15, 1945 and returned to the county.

    In 1966 the airport was named in honor of Shelton-born Marine Corps Major General Lawson Sanderson (1895-1976). Sanderson joined the Marine Corps in World War I as a private. Shortly after the war he attended flight school. During World War II he served in aviation units on Guadalcanal and other Pacific Islands. In 1943 he was appointed commanding general, Marine Fleet Air, for the entire West Coast. After the war he continued in Marine Corps aviation commanding air wings and other assignments.

    Skagit Regional Airport

    The Works Progress Administration (WPA) built an airport near Burlington. The navy took over the field and used it as an Outlying Field for Naval Air Station, Whidbey. It remained in military use until 1958 and then became the Skagit County Airport.

    In 1965 the airport became a Port of Skagit operation.

    Walla Walla Army Airfield/Walla Walla Regional Airport

    The army acquired the municipal airport, three miles northeast of Walla Walla, for an airfield in 1942. It would be the largest of the state's municipal airports to be converted to military use in World War II. During the war nearly 300 buildings were constructed and runway improvements made. The base unit was the 357th Army Air Force and the first major unit to train here was the 91st Bomb Group (Heavy), with 2,700 men and 72 B-17 Boeing Flying Fortress bombers.

    The 91st was assigned to Walla Walla on June 26, 1942. They were ordered overseas on August 24, 1942. With their departure, Walla Walla Army Airfield stood vacant for a time. In 1944 the 4th Air Force arrived and the facility became a B-24 bomber training base. During the war approximately 8,000 officers and enlisted men trained there. In World War II the 91st Bomb Group had the greatest number of losses for heavy bomb groups.

    The U.S. Air Force identified the base as surplus in 1947 and turned it over to the city and county. In May 1965 the U.S. Air Force returned with a $4 million construction effort. The Walla Walla Airport became a joint-use field with fighters from McChord Air Force Base stationed there. The concept was to have aircraft dispersed so a ballistic missile attack at McChord would not wipe out its entire fighter force. The construction included alert hangars, munitions bunkers, and rehabilitated barracks. The dispersal airfield closed in about 1971.

    In 1989 the Port of Walla Walla took over the airport and industrial park. Several World War II buildings survive including hangars and barracks. A memorial to the 91st Bomb Group is located at the airport. Six alert hangars and the munitions bunkers from 1965 survive.

    Willapa Airport

    The Pacific County Airport was established near South Bend. During World War II the military started improving and expanding the airport, but it was unfinished at the end of the war.

    Runway, early military airstrip (current site Jefferson County International Airport), Port Townsend, 1945

    Marguerite Wilson Pelouze 1836–1902

    Marguerite Wilson was the daughter of a very wealthy British chemist and engineer who made his fortune in the gas industry. Orphaned by the age of ten, Marguerite and her brother Daniel came under the protection of their mother’s brother Antoine Mathieu Casenave.

    In 1857, Marguerite married Eugene Philippe Pelouze, a doctor, and son of the chemist Théophile-Jules Pelouze. She and her brother sold their inherited ownership of the Paris gas works, and in 1864 Marguerite bought Château de Chenonceau.

    Marguerite was passionate about restoring the château to the way it was in the 16th century when Diane de Poitiers owned it. She hired architect Felix Roguet to help with the effort and, from 1867 to 1878, worked on the project. In the process, they removed many of the changes Catherine de’ Medici had made.

    Having been divorced from Dr. Pelouze in 1869, Marguerite, much like former resident Madame Dupin, enjoyed the company of many of the celebrated artists and high-ranking individuals of the day.

    Marguerite gave French composer Claude Debussy a job as resident pianist at Château de Chenonceau during the summer of 1879. It was there he is said to have acquired a life-long appreciation of luxury and beautiful things.

    In 1887, Margurite entertained the Sheikh of Palmyra at Château de Chenonceau, but by 1888, she was bankrupt and had to sell the home she loved so well.

    In 1913, the château passed into the hands of businessman and adventurer Henri Menier, heir to the Menier Chocolate fortune. When Henri died childless, his brother Gaston took possession. His heirs still own it today.

    The 45,000-square foot Texas Military Forces Museum explores the history of the Lone Star State’s militia and volunteer forces from 1823 (date of the first militia muster in Stephen F. Austin’s colony) to 1903 when the Congress created the National Guard. From 1903 to the present the museum tells the story of the Texas Army and Air National Guard, as well as the Texas State Guard, in both peacetime and wartime. The museum displays dozens of tanks, armored personnel carriers, self-propelled guns, trucks, jeeps, helicopters, jet fighters, observation aircraft and towed artillery pieces. Permanent exhibits utilize uniforms, weapons, equipment, personal items, film, music, photographs, battle dioramas and realistic full-scale environments to tell the story of the Texas Military Forces in the Texas Revolution, the Texas Navy, the Texas Republic, the Mexican War, the Battles along the Indian Frontier, the War between the States, the Spanish-American and Philippine-American Wars, World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Cold War, Peace Keeping Deployments and the Global War on Terror. Living history programs, battle reenactments and other special events take place throughout the year. Admission to the museum is FREE.

    Visit The Museum


    Here are detailed directions on how to get to the museum.

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    The library and archives are open by appointment for research to all members of the public. Please call for an appointment. The museum maintains an incredible archive of various materials including:

    World War I Service cards for every Texan who served

    • Extensive research library
    • World War II card file for the 36th Infantry Division. Link to PDFs- 36th Infantry Division Roster WWII
    • Thousands of original documents from the Texas National Guard from 1910 to the present day
    • Photo archive of pictures related to the Texas Military Forces

    Contact Us

    Office staff can be reached Monday to Friday, 8 am to 5 pm.

    Phone: 512-782-5659
    Email: [email protected]

    Mailing Address:
    P.O Box 5218
    Austin, Tx 78763

    Watch the video: SHELTON DD