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Park Gets Re-Dedicated After Former Commanding Officer

Posted by Alan Stinar on May 29, 2017 at 6:20 PM Comments comments (1)

If the purpose of Memorial Day is to never forget those who served our nation and died during service, I'd say it was a success.

Around 10:00 this morning, I received a call from Pam Morin in Lake Luzerne, NY. She asked for me by name and then informed me that the Lion's Club in her town was re-dedicating a memorial to a Marine named Colonel James Priddy. When she looked on Google to research his name, the Battleherks came up.

Colonel James Reed Priddy was once the Commanding Officer for VMGR-152 in the mid 60s and his service record will astound you.

During his service from 1941 to 1968, Col. Priddy served in the Coast Guard, Navy, and the Marines. He saw combat in WWII, China, Korea, and Vietnam. Tragically, he died in a plane crash at Battle Mountain, Nevada on January 10th 1968 with 19 others.

49 Years later, the town he graduated high school from hasn't forgotten his name or his service.

Three new cases this week.

Posted by Alan Stinar on March 17, 2016 at 10:45 PM Comments comments (0)

It's been a busy week here at the Marine Battleherk Project HQ.

Very early this week, I was tagged in a Facebook post by John Hall that told the story of a young woman in search of information on her grandfather, Staff Sergeant Daniel M. Edwards. He served with VMR-152 from 1952 to 1956. I'm working on supplying her with the VMR-152 war diaries for those years as well as any media from that era. She in turn is working on making digital copies of what she has from her grandfather and will email them to me so that they can be shared with th transport community.

Monday I sent off an email to VMGR-152 about 4 Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals and one Navy Commendation Medal from 1968 that were approved at every level up the chain of command, but never awarded to the 5 Marines listed in the citation. The source documentation, flight logbook entry from Mort Sanford, and the October 1968 Command Chronology were forwarded to VMGR-152. Cross your fingers for these men to finally receive their medals after 48 years.

Tuesday evening this week I was contacted by the grandson of Technical Sergeant Harold C. Hunter, who served as a rear gunner with VMSB-234 during the Guadalcanal campaign. We'll also be sharing historical documents and media with each other. The grandson, Jack Hunter, has provided me with at least 12 leads on new historical information for my records and it will help VMGR-234 learn more about their WWII history.

Today brought great satisfaction, but also sadness. From information submitted by Jack Hunter, I discovered that there was another crash in VMSB-234 which I had no knowledge of. On January 13th, 1943, 2ndLt. Samuel S. Rogers and his Gunner, PFC. James K. Michot, crashed NE of Espiritu Santo in the South Pacific in their SBD-4 aircraft, BuNo 06786.

It is always a sad moment to add more names to my casualty list, but I couldn't help but feel satisfaction in that they are now remembered forever. Of course, these cases would never have happened without the support of those who follow this website and the Marine Battleherk Project on Facebook. You, reading this now, made this possible. These families are learning more about their ancestor who served in the squadrons we once, or currently are, serving with.

Semper Fi,

Alan


Marine Navigator Gets a Mountain Named After Him

Posted by Alan Stinar on November 22, 2015 at 1:05 AM Comments comments (0)

You never know what you'll find digging through history.

Recently I found out something interesting about a place that only a fraction of the human race has ever been to. Antarctica. Search for "Mt. Strybring" or find it in Google Earth. What's interesting about this mountain is that it's named after a Marine Corps Navigator.

Master Sergeant Henry Strybring (retired), was a Marine Corps Navigator who served from 1941 to 1961 and once served with VMR-352 at MCAS Ewa, HI, and VMR-152 at MCAS El Toro. After serving as an instructor at the Navigation School at Cherry Point from 1953 to 1955, he was assigned to Naval Squadron VX-6 at Quonset Point for duties as a lead Navigator for Operations Deep Freeze I, II, III and survived an emergency crash landing in Antarctica on January 21st 1958 where he and his team built igloos and a cook shack from ice blocks until they were rescued.

During one of his exploratory flights, a new mountain range was discovered and each crew member had a mountain named after him. Mt. Strybring is 10,500 feet tall about 3 miles Southeast of Mt. Craddock on the Southern part of the Ellsworth Central Range.He eventually returned in October 1958 to what would be his last Marine Corps transport squadron, VMR-352, and retired on February 28th, 1961.

Marine Transporter Becomes Mayor

Posted by Alan Stinar on November 21, 2015 at 1:20 AM Comments comments (0)

After you leave the service, you realize that the Marines taught you everything about how to put the uniform on. However, they forget to really teach you how to take it off.

So what do you do when you leave the service? There's always that itch to continue serving, but nothing to scratch it with.

Not in the case of Denis Shorter, BGen USMC (retired), a former KC-130 Pilot who served 32 years in our Corps and once served as the Commanding Officer of VMGR-234.

If serving his country for 32 years wasn't already enough, he decided to continue his service and run for mayor of Dunwoody, GA, and won the election.

Watch his acceptance speech below.



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Determination and Perseverance

Posted by Alan Stinar on November 12, 2015 at 1:15 AM Comments comments (0)

Late last night I received a message that reminds me to never give up on my historical research. The decedent of one of our fallen Marines thanked me for keeping his grandfather's memory alive.

His grandfather, Master Sergeant Robert Lewis Jonasson, from VMR-252, died in an R4Q crash on February 7th, 1951, near Eastville, VA. The cause was due to severe weather and high winds.

The gratitude he shared with me belongs to all of you who have followed this page and my research. Because of your moral support and profits from the Marine Battleherk store, I have had access to major resources like Fold3, Ancestry, Newspapers, and paid for historical documents and media. Because of these resources, I discovered the names and surrounding events of that crash as well as others.

Today, after 6 years, that information has come full circle because another person has found information on their family member. It was a very good Veterans Day to say the least.

Looking deeper into MSgt. Jonasson's past, I found he was in our community as early as 1938 with VMJ-1, which later was re-designated as VMJ-152 and deactivated in the 1950s.

If you've taken the time to read this entire post, thank you for your time and support. It makes a difference in people's lives, and drives me to continue what I do.


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