VMB-443 Insignia

MARINE BOMBING SQUADRON FOUR FORTY-THREE

SQUADRON LOG BOOK





COMMENTS:
My father, Sergeant First Class Walter LeRoy Pray, is listed on the roster of Marine Bombing Squadron 443 as an Aircraft Armorer. I understand that in the air he served as a toggleer. He was proud of his service to our country, but reluctant to take the credit he deserved for his contributions. In this sense, he was typical of so many of you who, although just a bunch of kids, undertook jobs that were demanding and exposed you to mortal danger. You did what you were asked to do, then came home and resumed your interrupted lives. You started the families you wanted so badly, struggled to find jobs, and quietly and courageously met the demands of peacetime.

What most impresses me is that you seldom reminded us what you had accomplished. We rebellious youth saw you, our fathers, as the old folks we would replace. We learned too late that your generation would be impossible to replace.

I salute every one of you and sincerely hope your families fully appreciate the sacrifices you made so long ago. I will do my best to make sure my children and grandchildren understand what you did.

My beloved father died in 2000, and I have dreams in which I take his head in my hands, look into his eyes, and ask him, “Do you know how much I love you?” You outstanding men of the MAG 61 knew my father. You worked alongside him. If you get to heaven before me, please tell him how much we all loved him.


Added: March 21, 2013
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COMMENTS:
My father was George F. Matthews III. He was a gunner and mechanic in Squadron 443. After the war he became a Navy pilot. He flew Grumman Bearcats and A/D Sky Raiders. His Sky Raider Squadron was Composite Squadron 33. I think they were stationed in New Jersey for anti-submarine patrol. My father died in 1959 at the age of 34 of Hodgins disease. I was only 5 but I have some good memories of him. I really appreciate your website.

Added: March 18, 2013
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COMMENTS:
My uncle, George McDerment, served with the 433. I wish I had the URL to this site a few years back. A so-called military expert tried to convince me the Marines never had a bomber group. I new better but was unable to prove it to him. Thank you for posting all the info about these wonderful people who served.

Added: January 7, 2013
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COMMENTS:
My wife, Julie A. Booth, is the younger daughter of William E. Booth. Bill died a few years back, but his wife Dorothy Booth, is still living and we see her regularly. If anyone knew Dottie and would like to send her a message, please send it to me and I'll see that she gets it.

Added: August 31, 2012
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COMMENTS:
One of my boyhood hero was my uncle, Paul N Kezerian. He is always remembered with great fondness and respect along with all the men and women who served the United States in World War II. Paul's nickname was the Hawk. He loved his fellow Marines and we hope to get to the island in the South Pacific where he lost his life. We had in our possession his insignia, flight jacket and other photos of his experience and squadron. Thank you for documenting his squadron and fellow marines. I have taken extra care to find and see the aircraft he flew in airshows around the world. The PBF Avenger, the Dauntless Dive Bomber, the Corsair and the PBJ-1. We honor these great men and their magnificient machines and cherish our freedoms. God bless these young men who served in the Pacific and may God bless America.

Added: July 12, 2012
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COMMENTS:
I was just trying to find out more about my grandfather Sgt. Stamato. If anyone knows anything please email myself.

Added: June 12, 2012
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COMMENTS:
My father was Frank Stimac. Records indicate that he was a Corporal and assigned to the Marine Bombing Squadron 443 in October 1943. Prior to that the records indicate that he was a Private First Class with Aircraft Engineering Squadron 21 stationed in San Diego. My father died January 29, 1977 (throat cancer). I was the third of his three daughters and he did not speak about his time in the military except for sporadic stories. He had a hatred for pineapples which was from that period? I am searching for any information that anyone could provide about that period.

Added: May 25, 2012
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COMMENTS:
I know that it has been a while since I have had contact with some of you. I have not made, but one of the reunions due to my military service. I will be moving to the DC Area in the Summer. If anyone plans on getting together, please let me know. i will be in a job that will give me some time off.
I also wrote the USMC Historical Society to obtain some additional information on the unit. I am pleased to announce that I have some people's offical war diaries from VMB 443 as well as some additional information. Please contact me if anyone is interested. I also have some original photos recently found inthe last year of Emireau.


Added: May 16, 2012
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COMMENTS:
My father, Januarius Molinari was a member of Squadron 443. I would love communication from anyone who remembers him.

Added: March 27, 2012
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COMMENTS:
Great website in honor of an outstanding Marine unit during the war. I have had the pleasure of knowing and even hearing some stories from one of the enlisted bomb navs named George Bartlett who retired as a BRIG GEN and still tries to ski like a seventeen year old. You guys need a few more stories on hitting Rabaul. You do very good work and Semper Fi to all the Marines who served and are still serving our great country.

Added: January 30, 2012
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