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   xoxoxoBruce  Thursday Jul 17 11:02 PM

7-18-2014: Great Lakes Training

I received an email with a story I'd never heard before...

The Great Lakes provided vital support for the war effort in WWII, from building 28 fleet subs in Manitowoc to providing the bulk of US industrial output, we could not have won the war if not for the benefits of the Great Lakes and their related industry.
Well maybe, that's a pretty strong claim, but I have visited the submarine museum at Manitowoc.
However there was another benefit of the lakes that is often overlooked. Japan quickly lost the war because, among many other things, its navy could not replace its carrier pilot losses. We could. But how did we train so many pilots in both comfort (calm seas) and safety (no enemy subs)? We took two old side-wheel Great Lakes passenger steamers and turned them into training carriers on Lake Michigan!
Well I'll be damned..

Never heard of this before...
Virtually every carrier pilot trained in the war got his landing training on these amazing ships! Sadly nothing, but these great photos and the wrecks of the aircraft that ditched alongside them, remain to tell their fascinating story!

This link to Warbird Info Exchange has a lot of pictures and more information.

sexobon  Friday Jul 18 12:48 AM

... Among the thousands of pilots who qualified in the USS SABLE was a then 20-year old Lieutenant, Junior Grade, future- President George H.W. Bush; depicted here later in the war, flanked by his two aircraft crew members. ... President Bush recalled his initial carrier qualification training experience: "I remember those Great Lakes flights very well in the open cockpit that winter. Coldest I ever was in my life." ...
Attachment 48631

Griff  Friday Jul 18 06:28 AM

Hey! The good Bush, I remember that guy.

Cellar deja vu.

glatt  Friday Jul 18 08:53 AM

They were smart back then.

xoxoxoBruce  Friday Jul 18 08:58 AM

Hey! The good Bush, I remember that guy.
You mean the better Bush.

Most likely it's not, but sexobon's picture looks like the faces have been pasted on.
Must be the chin shadows.

Diaphone Jim  Saturday Jul 19 01:27 PM

Bruce: Don't feel too bad about Pa George's face. His family comes with a second one on the other side.
I wonder if his crew in the picture were lucky enough to fly with him in the Pacific.

xoxoxoBruce  Saturday Jul 19 11:38 PM

heh heh heh

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