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HistoryUSS Pine Island (AV-12) HistoryHistory

Circa 1967

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation April 1967 "...Pacific, Atlantic 'E' Winnders Named - Page 3 - Naval Aviation News - April 1967..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1960s/1967/apr67.pdf [09SEP2004]

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Circa 1965

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation October 1965 "...ComNavAirPac E's Selected - Page 3 - Naval Aviation News - October 1965..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1960s/1965/oct65.pdf [02SEP2004]

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Circa 1964

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: In 1964, she became the only ship in AirPac to received a gold E for winning her class (including carriers) five years in a row. She also had a nice organ in the hangar loft. I found an organist among the crew, and she became, to the best of my knowledge, the only ship with its own choir..." Contributed by SNIDER, Don sniderfo@softcom.net [29JUL2003]


Circa 1961

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation News June 1961 "...Stand By To Hoist - Page 39 - Naval Aviation News - June 1961..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1960s/1961/jun61.pdf [20AUG2004]

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Circa 1960

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation News October 1960 "...Tender Hoists 31-Ton P5M - Page 32 - Naval Aviation News - October 1960..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1960s/1960/oct60.pdf [18AUG2004]

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Circa 1959

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY:  History ThumbnailCameraUSS Pine Island "...A black and white photo of the USS Pine Island battleship on April 11, 1959..." WebSite: Exploring Florida http://fcit.usf.edu/florida/photos/military/misc/0184.htm [01MAY2006]


Circa 1957

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation News November 1957 "...Tender Visits Nha Trang - Page 36 - Naval Aviation News - November 1957..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1950s/1957/nov57.pdf [11AUG2004]

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Circa 1956

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Aircraft Tender ThumbnailCameraUSS PINE ISLAND "...USS Pine Island (AV-12) hoisting a VP-48 PBM aboard..." Contributed by WINGO, AB3 Jim E. jwingo1025@aol.com [14JAN2006]

This is taken by a Photographers Mate aboard the USS Pine Island (AV-12) 250 miles NW of Hilo, Hawaii in 1956. A flight of P5M from San Diego to the islands had encountered adverse weather and were force down short of Hawaii. The USS Pine Island (AV-12) was at Pearl at the time we received the call and went to sea after an emergency recall of liberty personnel allowed enough hands to be aboard to get underway. I was the coxswain of the number 2 crash boat attempting to hoist the aircraft. I had gone on board to volunteer to connect the hook to the aircraft bridle but the swing of the block made it impossible so I "rode the hook."

My cruise book didn't survive the years and the only remembrance I have of our overseas squadrons were their call signs. Sugarfox and Phonograph squadrons.


Circa 1955

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Aircraft Tender ThumbnailCameraUSS PINE ISLAND "...USS Pine Island (AV-12) hoisting aboard a VP-50 (SG 9) P5M (BuNo 135491) circa 1955. Photo from the Naval Historical Center http://www.history.navy.mil/index.html..." Contributed by Mahlon K. Miller mkwsmiller@cox.net [28MAY2001]


Circa 1952

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Seaplane Tender "...Pine Island (AVP 12) Post Card Dated 29APR52..." [04JAN2001]


Circa 1951

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation News May 1951 "...Seaplane Super Service - Page 17 to 20 - Naval Aviation News - May 1951..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1950s/1951/jun51.pdf [24JUL2004]

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Circa 1950

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Tender ThumbnailCameraUSS Pine Island (AV-12) "...I took this photo from the USS Curtiss (AV-4) as we were being relieved at Iwakuni, Japan by the USS Pine Island, AV-12 on 31 Dec 1950..." Contributed by BREITENSTEIN, Frank fvbreit@yahoo.com [27APR2001]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Tender ThumbnailCameraUSS Pine Island (AV-12) "...I took this photo from the USS Curtiss (AV-4) as we were being relieved at Iwakuni, Japan by the USS Pine Island, AV-12 on 31 Dec 1950..." Contributed by BREITENSTEIN, Frank fvbreit@yahoo.com [27APR2001]


Circa 1946

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...My great uncle John Paul Cross was a yoeman on board. I recently found some pictures that some families might be interested in and I am willing to share them. Would love to hear from families of shipmates. The sailor at the typewriter is my great uncle John Paul Cross. Thanks Joe Anderson..." Contributed by Joe Anderson cjandlk@msn.com [14MAR2005]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...My great uncle John Paul Cross was a yoeman on board. I recently found some pictures that some families might be interested in and I am willing to share them. Would love to hear from families of shipmates. The sailor at the typewriter is my great uncle John Paul Cross. Thanks Joe Anderson..." Contributed by Joe Anderson cjandlk@msn.com [13MAR2005]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Tender Awards..." Contributed by Mahlon K. Miller mkwsmiller@cox.net [31MAY2001]

  • Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
    22 Aug 58 - 16 Oct 58
    22 Oct 58 - 30 Oct 58
    05 Nov 58 - 15 Nov 58
    19 Dec 60 - 21 Dec 60
    04 Aug 64 - 03 Sep 64

  • Antarctica Service Medal
    24 Dec 46 - 10 Mar 47

  • Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation (Gallantry)
    02 Apr 66 - 11 Apr 66

  • Vietnam Service Medal
    10 Oct 65 - 04 Nov 65
    28 Nov 65 - 12 Dec 65
    15 Jan 66 - 14 Feb 66
    02 Apr 66 - 11 Apr 66

    Circa 1945

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Tender ThumbnailCameraUSS PINE ISLAND (AV 12) "...Okinawa in July 1945..." Contributed by Electricians Mate Howard Watson (Deceased) [30JUL2003]

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Tender ThumbnailCameraUSS PINE ISLAND (AV 12) "...Commissioning Ceremonies - April 26th, 1945..." Contributed by Electricians Mate Howard Watson (Deceased) [29JUL2003]

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Tender ThumbnailCameraUSS PINE ISLAND (AV 12) "...Commissioning Ceremonies - April 26th, 1945..." Contributed by Electricians Mate Howard Watson (Deceased) [29JUL2003]

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Tender ThumbnailCameraUSS PINE ISLAND (AV 12) "...Commissioning Ceremonies - April 26th, 1945 - Roster of Officers..." Contributed by Electricians Mate Howard Watson (Deceased) [30JUL2003]

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Tender ThumbnailCameraUSS PINE ISLAND (AV 12) "...Commissioning Ceremonies - April 26th, 1945 - History..." Contributed by Electricians Mate Howard Watson (Deceased) [30JUL2003]

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Tender ThumbnailCameraUSS PINE ISLAND (AV 12) "...Circa 1945..." Contributed by Electricians Mate Howard Watson (Deceased) [30JUL2003]

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Tender ThumbnailCameraUSS PINE ISLAND (AV 12) "...Taken in Okinawa 1945..." Contributed by PADGETT, ARM2 Carl L. Carjyky2nv@aol.com [06JUN2002]

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...'USS Pine Island's Crew Visits Namesake - Members Recall Icy Operation Highjump' By Kevin Lollar klollar@news-press.com - The News-Press http://www.news-press.com/, Thursday, October 4, 2001..." Contributed by Richard W. Bonnefoi rnebonnie@yahoo.com [22OCT2001]

    MATLACHA - Here's something of a contradiction in terms:

    On the western coast of Antarctica, 8,700 miles south of Pine Island, is a vast ice sheet called the Pine Island Glacier, which rests beside Pine Island Bay.

    Both frigid landmarks were named after the Navy's seaplane tender USS Pine Island, which, in turn, was named after Lee County's Own Pine Island.

    This week, l30 former USS Pine Island crew members were in Lee County for the ship's Reunion.

    The Pine Island had a long and distinguished three-war history.

    Commissioned April 26, 1945, the ship tended sea- planes in air-sea rescue oper- ations off Okinawa during the final battle ofWorld War II and entered Tokyo Bay after the war to participate in the occupation ofJapan.

    On Dec. 2, 1946, the Pine Island steamed out of Norfolk, Va., and headed south as part of Operation Highjump, the aerial exploration of Antarctica.

    Ship and crew reached the Antarctic Circle on Christmas day and on Feb. 8, 1947, reached the expedition's southernmost point of 69 degrees 55 minutes south -just 1,400 miles from the South Pole.

    Tender ThumbnailPowell "It was cold cold" said former Boatswain's mate William "Smokey" Powell, 75, of Birmingham, Ala. "One thillg that amazed us was that it stayed daylight most of the time, and we worked around the clock.

    "We stayed cold all the time. But when you're that age, young kids, you never think you're cold. We like to froze to death and didn't even know it."

    Another member of Operation Highjump who almost froze to death was Capt. George Dufek.

    "He was making a high-line transfer from our destroyer escort, the Brownson, to the Pine Island, and the line broke, and we dropped him in the drink," Powell said. "In water that cold, you have seven minutes before you die. I guess we got him out before seven I minutes."

    The expedition's one real disaster occurred Dec. 30, 1946, when one of the Pine Island's seaplanes, George One, crashed on the frozen continent, killing three crewmen. Six survivors were rescued Jan. l2, 1947.

    Following Operation Highjump, the Pine Island spent the winter of 1947 at Tsingtao, China, and the summer of 1948 in the northern Pacific.

    Needing a major overhaul, the Pine Island was decommissioned May 1, 1950, but was recommissioned October 7, 1950, and sent to Korea.

    Tender ThumbnailChild Before being assigned to the Pine Island on 1952, former aviation boatswain's mate Cleve Child served aboard the Navy's only other siriillarly built seaplane tender, the USS Norton Sound.

    "When I got on board the Pine Island, I knew every damn rivet," said Child, 70, of Salt Lake City. "There were only two ships like that in the whole Navy, and I served on both of them. But the contrast in the crews was dramatic. The first were the dumbest bunch of SOBs I ever met. Conversely, the Pine Island had a cosmopolitan, diversified crew.

    Some of them are the closest friends I've ever had in my life." After the Korean War, the Pine Island steamed to such ports as Brunei; Borneo; Bangkok, Thailand; Hong Kong; Okinawa and the Galapagos Islands.

    With the Vietnam War heating up, the Pine Island was sent to Southeast Asia and conducted seaplane operations at Da Nang and Cam Rahn Bay.

    Tender ThumbnailBailey One of the Pine Island's last sailors was radarman George Bailey of Aliquippa, Pa., who came aboard in 1965, served in Vietnam, and watched as the ship was decommissioned June 16,1967.

    "I've heard sailors say the Pine Island was better to serve on than any ship because everybody was friendly with everybody," Bailey, 56, said. "When she was decommissioned, it was like taking your best friend to the cemetery, yes it is.

    "I look at all these ships in mothballs and think how all these kids from all over the country came together and formed fighting units. They lived and worked and slept together. Some died. Then after their war, they all dispersed to where they came from."


    Circa 1942

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Pine Island (AVP 12)..." http://www.hazegray.org/danfs/auxil/av12.htm [03JAN2001]

    Pine Island (AV 12)

    Displacement 15,100, Length 540'5", Beam 69'3", Draw 22'3", Speed 19, Complement 1,247, Armament 4 5", 20 40mm, 20 20mm, Class Currituck

    Pine Island (AV-12) was laid down 16 November 1942 by Todd Shipyards Corp., San Pedro, Calif.; launched 26 February 1944, sponsored by Mrs. Knefler McGinnis, and commissioned 26 April 1945, Comdr. Henry Titus Hodgskin in command.

    Departing California 16 June 1945, Pine Island (AV-12) steamed to Okinawa. There she tended seaplanes engaged in air-sea rescue operations during the final phases of World War II. At the end of the war, she entered Tokyo Bay and contributed seaplane flight operations to the occupation of Japan in 1945. Following occupation duty in Japan, she conducted seaplane flight operations in the Whangpoo River near Shanghai, China. She left the Pacific in 1946, and steamed via the Suez Canal to Norfolk, Va.

    Departing Norfolk in December, she arrived in the Antarctic area in January 1947. She contributed to the aerial exploration of Antarctica in Operation Highjump, and saved several downed aviators from the hostile climate. Departing the Antarctic in March, she traveled from Rio de Janeiro via the Panama Canal to San Diego, arriving in April.

    Leaving California for the Far East in August 1947, she spent the winter at Tsingtao, China, and the summer of 1948 in the Northern Pacific. Awaiting a major overhaul in 1949, she decommissioned 1 May 1950.

    Recommissioned 7 October 1950 at Alameda, Calif., in response to the Korean War, she departed for the Western Pacific in December. She tended seaplanes that flew missions over enemy-held territory in Korea, before returning to San Diego in September 1951. She was away from California on WestPac deployments January to September 1952 February to September 1953, January to August 1954, and February to August 1955. Deployed to WestPac in June 1956, she visited Brunei, Borneo, in August, before returning to San Diego in December. From April to December 1957 she operated in WestPac.

    Sailing for WestPac in May 1958, she visited Bangkok, Thailand, and was at Kaohsiung, Taiwan, during Communist bombardment of Quemoy and Matsu. She returned to San Diego in December, and departed for WestPac in June 1959. During 1960 and 1961 she continued her Pacific duties.

    Deployed to WestPac from January to June 1962, she embarked news media personnel from several countries in March in connection with the SEATO exercise "Tulungan." Steaming for WestPac in March 1963, she operated out of Okinawa, received visitors at Chinhae, Korea, in June, and delivered fresh water to Hong Kong in August, before returning to San Diego in September. In January 1964 she departed San Diego for the Galapagos Islands, where she provided assistance to scientists before returning to San Diego in February.

    Deployed to WestPac in June 1964, she served at Da Nang, South Vietnam, in August. In September 1965, she returned to WestPac, conducted seaplane operations in Cam Ranh Bay, South Vietnam, and participated in the 1966 Coral Sea anniversary festivities in Australia and New Zealand before returning to San Diego in June.

    Decommissioned 16 June 1967, Pine Island entered the Maritime Administration's National Defense Reserve Fleet, where she remains into 1970.

    Pine Island received one battle star for World War II service, and service medals for Korea and Vietnam.


    Circa Unknown
    Can you identify the Month and or Year?

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Tender ThumbnailCameraUSS PINE ISLAND (AV 12) "...USS PINE ISLAND (AV 12) at anchor, date unknown. Photo from the Base Libary at NAS North Island, San Diego, California..." Contributed by Mahlon K. Miller mkwsmiller@cox.net [07FEB2002]


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