Friday, June 5, 2015

Battled Subs From a Blimp-- Part 1: Joined Navy Because Friends Did

From the July 27, 2013, My Desert "World War II veteran battled subs from his blimp."

Richard "Dick" Wrigley was flight engineer aboard a Navy blimp on anti-submarine patrol.  He enlisted in 1942 because all of his buddies also joined the Navy.

The training camp in San Diego was full, so he was sent to Farragut, Idaho, where he had to battle temperatures of 40 degrees below zero.

In January 1943, he was sent to Memphis Naval Air Station in Tennessee where he became an aviation machinists' mate and went into the Blimp Service.

There were ten main blimp bases, five along the Atlantic coast, three along the Pacific coast and two in the Gulf of Mexico.

Wrigley was sent to Naval Air Station Lakehurst in New Jersey, site of the famous 1937 Hundenburg disaster.  Six years later, the spot where the Hindenburg had caught fire and crashed was still visible and the ground charred black.


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