Last Name:   

First Name: 
Keith J.
December 29, 1916 / May 29, 2006
Peterson, Iowa
Third Squadron, Hells Angels
Bronze Star, Presidential Unit Citation
Pre AVG:

Attended Sheldon (Iowa) Junior College before entering U.S. Navy.  Served six years on USS Ranger (CV-4), VS-41 and VF-42 (both Ranger squadrons) as Aviation Ordnanceman.  Recruited for the American Volunteer Group from VF-42 Fighter Squadron at Norfolk, VA.


AVG Service: Departed San Francisco July 24, 1941 on M.S. Bloemfontein.  After stops in Honolulu, Manila, Batavia, and Brisbane, Australia we arrived in Singapore on the morning of September 1, 1941.  Disembarked the Bloemfontein and several days later embarked on the Penang Trader, a small coastal steamer.  Arrived in Rangoon September 15th.
Was assigned to the 3rd Squadron, Armament Section.  The only ex-navy man among a group of ex-army wrap-leggin’s.  It’s another story as to why this happened, especially since another squadron was made up of entirely Navy armorers, however I do not wish to cause any embarrassment to anyone.  Let’s just say that the P-40 synchronization program improved rapidly after my arrival.  Made several trips up and down the Burma Road, driving Ammo truck.
Saw action at Rangoon and Magwe, Burma and also at Loiwing, China.

Returned to the U.S. and re-entered the Navy in October 1942.


Post War Career:
Retired as Lieutenant Commander in January 1959.  At the time of retirement, I was based at NAS Jacksonville, FL, assigned to staff of COMFAIRJAX.
As a civilian, I worked for Florida Steel and Ray Ware Hardware before retiring permanently in March 1975.
Happily married to Marjory McCord Christensen for almost 60 years until her demise in February, 2002.  We were blessed with a daughter, Kay C. Knowlton, born February 2, 1945.


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