LORAN STATION ATAFU
8 31 53.6 S 172 31 06.0 W (MIT)
||Mid May 1944
||AUG – SEP 1944
16 DEC 1944 Station commissioned and turned over to 14th District
||CONSTRUCTION DET “D”
|Station Letter designation:
|Station code name:
|Station Unit Number:
|Radio Call Sign:
|On-air testing date:
||29 SEP 1944
||15 NOV 1944
||15 MAY 1946
||2L5 – GARDNER
||2L5 - 15 NOV 1944
||2L5 - 15 MAY 1946
||DC to AC completed 15 JUL 45
Station placed in caretaker status 15 MAY 1946
|Commanding Officers /
Officers in Charge
|1st OINC: CRE A.F. Padgett AUG 1944 - SEP 1945
CO: LT Vilgil Raybon SEP 1945 - MAR 1946
CO: LT Robert Lutz MAR 1946 - MAY 1946
Fred's Place Reunion Hall:
Picture from google earth.
The photos below were contributed by Roger Kehm
LCM during construction of Atafu Aug/Sep 1944
Atafu, Unit 93, Original Crew
Front Row, L-R: J. Teater [KY] S1c, N.
Smith [MA] RdM3c, W. Killip [NY] RM2, A. Padgett [WA] CRE "Skipper",
W. Kelly [CA] CMoMM, G. Kowalski [MI] RdM3c [L], T. Reagan [PA] RM1c
cond Row, L-R: D. Gabbard [KY] MoMM3c, R.
King [OK] RdM3c [L], F. Kurtz [PA] RdM3c [L],
F. Dennick [NJ] RdM3c
[L], "Buddy" Sheard [WA] S1c, J. Porter [MA] RdM3c, J. Crisenzi [CA]
Back Row, L-R: H. Warrington [IL] RdM3c, T.
Brown [CA] SC1c, J. Nermo [ND] SC2c, W. Burns [WI] RdM3c [L],
L. Rooney [MA] CRT, J. Ferdian [CT] PhM1c, R. Kehm [SD] RT2c, G.
Coffman [IN] RT2c, W. Brunson [KS] RT2c, M. Angel [KY] RT2c
Not Pictured: W. Garcia [NM] RM2c, B.
Woodard [WA] RM1c
CRE Albert F Padgett, 1st CO Sept 1944 Atafu Unit 93
Construction Crew Aug/Sep 1944
Front Row L-R: RT1c Glenn D. Coffman, RT2c Maurice Angel
Back Row L-r: Fred Hall (Unit 211), RT2c Roger L Kehm,
PhM John Ferdain, RT2c William Brunson
The RT's and PhM were part of the Construction
Crew and stayed as permanent party.
Atafu Island, some of the original crew:
Front Row L to R: RDM2c Frank J, Kurtz, RT2c Roger L. Kehm,
S1c Darwin L. Lee, and RM2c William C. Garcia
Back Row L to R: RM2c Warren C. Killip, RT1c Glenn D. Coffman,
CMoMM William E. Kelley, and RM1c Thomas J. Regan
Top to bottom, left to right:
Bill Brunson (deceased), Roger Kehm, "Doc" Ferdian,
Warren Killip, Tom Brown, Earl Kelley, Dave Gabbard,
John Porter, Len Rooney, Henry Warrington (deceased),
Bud Sheard, Bill Burns (deceased), Bill Garcia (deceased),
James Teater (deceased), CO Padgett (deceased), Snuffy Smith,
Maurice Angel, Jim Cresenzi (deceased), Bob King (deceased),
Fred Dennick, John Nermo, Frank Kurtz, Tom Regan,
Glen Coffman, and George Kowalski.
Feb 14, 1946 "Change of Command"
Front L-R: Lt Robert F. Lutz (new CO), S1c Bennett, ETM3c Brumfield,
RM3c Griffith, Lt Virgil R. Rayborn (old CO)
Middle L-R: MoMM3c Sandherr, S1c Pobanz, RDM3c(L) Boyle
Back L-R: BM2c Graffey, S1c Luccioni, ETM3c Gilbert,
S1c Ruger, SC2c Lenda, F2c Hester, ETM3c Adkins,
SC3c Knoles, RDM2c(L) Balsamo
USCG - Unit 93 - Atafu
The "Garage" in the construction phase.
With native help, the end result was a garage for the truck and bulldozer
and the second story housed six crew members (the luck ones).
End result of Chief Kelley's desire for a "garage" for the
truck and bulldozer.
The building is a two story and six
crew members were quartered there. Supposedly the lucky
As Roger Kehm (pictured and provider) stated "It was
more like home and not the Quonset Hut".
Boat used to meet PBY when it came in about every
six weeks with mail and supplies. Shown left to right
RT2c Roger Kehm, RM1c Tom Reagan, CMoMM Earl Kelley.
Loran Radio Shack with antennas
Flag at half-mast in honor of President Roosevelt's Death
WWII Phoenix Chain Chart 1944 - All
charts were destroyed after a mission.
--chart contributed by Chuck Boyle --
Photos below were contributed by Morris "Mo" Lewis c./early 1946
LT Virgil R. Rayborn, CO
RM3c Morris "Mo" Lewis
RdM3c Charles "Chuck" Boyle
S1c(L) Roman Salawanchik
RT3c "Bonnie" R. Adkins
RdM3c William "Skin" J. Clarke
SC2c Pete Lenda
RT3c Wilkie "Tex" L. Bromfield
BM2c John "Boats" Graffy
MoMM2c Donald "Sandy" J. Sandherr
S1c(L) Malcom "Mac" Bennett
RM3c Dick "Stump" Griffith
SC3c Ernest "Spoony" Knoles
S1c Harold "Hal" Ruger
S1c Vernon "Poby" Pobanz
F1c Hal Hester
The photos below were contributed by Joseph Balsamo son c.
1945 - 3/46