Dave Stokes Collection

Dave Stokes enlisted in September 1954. He was recruited by his uncle Norman Wahla. Dave took all the photos except the P51, Avenger, and TBM. Shipboard photos were taken on the USS Essex CVA-9 between 1957 and 1958. During that 2 year ship assignment they cruised to the Med and Far East.

Dave was an AD until shortly after he was assigned to Grosse Ile. He was at the base from 1960 to 1965. He lived in a house on Belleview Ave while at Grosse Ile.  He changed rate to Photographers mate in 1962. Dave married a young woman, Linda Woody, from Toledo Ohio, in the base chapel. She had been commissioned an Ensign but when they were married she resigned the commission and never entered the Navy.

Hitler's boat was owned by a retired Navy Commander from Florida. Dave and his shipmates from VFP62 chartered the boat for 2 weeks. They lost their sail in a storm and had to be rescued by the Coast Guard just off Cuba and were towed back to port in Florida.

The scuba team who won first place at the Michigan State Fair represented the Scuba Club from the base.


Dave Stokes VFP-62 aboard USS Essex 1958


AD-5 heading back to NAS Grosse Ile

 Liberty in Naples at the Seaman's Blue Bird Club

LTjg Dietrick shortly before he died in crash in Lebenon

AD Line at NAS Grosse Ile 1964

Deck maintenance crew USS Essex VFP-62 Dave Stokes front row center

Aircraft ready to launch on flight deck of USS Essex

Dave Stokes steering Eastwind Hitlers
sailboat after WWII

Hitler's sailboat off Cuba after WWII
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Revised: October 28, 2005