Howard Fuller Collection
I am an old man, I served at NARB Grosse Ile from about August 13 1939 until March 13 of 1940 when I sought and was given a Special Order Discharge so that I could enlist in the Regular Marine Corps. While in the Reserves at Grosse Ile, I served in the Ordnance Section of VMS5R, the Marine Reserve Squadron. While we had no planes of our own the Navy was kind enough to loan us theirs for one week end a month.
I enlisted in the Marine Corps on 14 March 1940, after Boot Camp, spent a very short time at the Sea School Detachment, was lucky and secured a transfer to VMS-1 at Brown Field , Quantico, Virginia. in early June 1940, VMS-1 transitioned from that designation to VMSB-131 and a week after December 7th., we were on our way to N.A.S. North Island at San Diego. We finally got to Hawaii and were given the Douglas Dive Bombers, had them a week and they were taken and replaced with TIFF the Grumman Avengers. Arrived on Guadalcanal on November 12th. 1942, stayed until May of 43. Back to the States for spitting up and forming two new Torpedo Bombing, Designation finally switched to VMTB-131. By now I was a Staff Sergeant, a few months later promoted to Technical Sergeant. Back overseas in January of 1944. Had a dispute with the C.O. and was transferred to Headquarters Squadron MAG (Marine Air Group) -14, three weeks later promoted to Master Sergeant and assigned the Flight Section as Chief. Took part in the capture of Peleliu. The Group secured an R4D same as an Army C-47, kept rank and served as Crew Chief. One flight into Iwo Jima to remove wounded to Guam. Returned stateside in mid 1945, Stationed at Naval Auxiliary Air Station, Kingsville, Texas as 3rd. Asst. Night Engineering Chief. After V-J Day all the reserves were released who had sufficient points. I was a Regular ended up Leading Chief in a Marine Night Fighter Operational Training Unit, we had the F7F's Tiger Cats. Unit closed down, transferred to N.A.S. Vero Beach, Florida, Took my Honorable Discharge on 17 March 1946. I stayed in the inactive Marine Corps Reserve, never recalled, and was placed on the Retired list in October of 1957.Was given credit for some National Guard time and the Reserve time prior to enlisting in the regulars. Permanent Master Sergeant.
Returned home to Detroit, place of my birth. Within six months had met the most wonderful Girl on earth, we were married on November 16th. Spent the next 58 years of a Wonderful Marriage, until the Lord took her on 14 July 2005.
We had moved from Detroit because of her health in 1964 to Riverside, California. and I still live here
Kindest Regards, Howard J. Fuller
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Revised: August 05, 2010