Dean Douglas Abbott

Dean served in the US Navy from March 1942 until June 1965, during WWII and the Korean War, in the Pacific and Atlantic Ocean. He received the following medals: Naval Reserve Medal, Antarctica Service Medal, Navy Occupation-Asiatic-Pacific- 1 star Okinawa, National Defense- Navy Unit Commendation, Victory Medal, WWII American Campaign Medal, Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal, and Presidential Unit Citation.

"The squadron that I was in during the war was an observation squadron, the VOC-2. The V was for Various Aircraft, O for Observation, and C was for Composite Squadron. We had two different aircraft in the squadron. We had the FM-2 Wildcat, which I flew and the PBM’s that were torpedo bombers. We had half a dozen of them I think in the squadron.

I flew about 40 missions about 40 times over the island (Okinawa). This was the only time I saw combat. We were spotting gunfire from ships out at sea that were shelling targets of opportunity on the island. I did get hit one time and lost my rudder. I could still fly the plane. The US had already invaded the island and taken over Kadena Field, which is the first field they had taken over in Okinawa. I landed there. I was a little concerned about landing with no rudder and no vertical stabilizer but I was able to land and could use my brakes all right.

We went to Antarctica to supply the scientific people down there, the people who lived down there and counted the penguins. We just supported them, we flew them to the South Pole and brought them fuel. I made several trips down to the pole. There was one time and I couldn’t get my nose gear down, so I had to dump my load out. That was a different squadron in a different time. It was a good time. I enjoyed it down there."

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