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LORAN STATION ATAFU

8 31 53.6 S 172 31 06.0 W (MIT)

Fact Sheet:

Site Survey: Mid May 1944
 
Construction Date AUG SEP 1944
16 DEC 1944 Station commissioned and turned over to 14th District
 
Constructed by: CONSTRUCTION DET D
 
Established: SEP 1944
 
Disestablished: JUL 1946
 
Operated by: USCG
 
Chain: PHOENIX
 
Station Letter designation: 2L5, F
 
Station code name:  
  
Station Unit Number: 93
 
Radio Call Sign: NRN-3
 
Station nickname:  
  
On-air testing date: 29 SEP 1944
 
Operational date: 15 NOV 1944
 
Operations Ceased: 15 MAY 1946
 
Station Operation: Single SLAVE
 
Station pair: 2L5 GARDNER
 
Loran Rate: 2L5
 
On-Air: 2L5 - 15 NOV 1944
 
Off-Air 2L5 - 15 MAY 1946
 
Monitor Rate:  
 
Equipment:  
  
Antenna Type: 90ft "T"
 
Personnel Allowance:  
  
Miscellaneous: 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:  OLD

Pictures

Google Earth View of Atafu Island

Picture from google earth.

The photos below were contributed by Roger Kehm

LCM during construction - Aug/Sep 1944

LCM during construction of Atafu Aug/Sep 1944

Atafu Original Crew

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] S1c

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

CRE Albert F Padgett, 1st CO Sept 1944 Atafu Unit 93

Atafu Construction Crew - Aug/Sep 1944

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 - Some of the original Crew

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

Who's Who of Atafu Crew

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.

Atafu 1946 Change of Command

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

Unit 93 Atafu Quonset Huts

USCG - Unit 93 - Atafu

Two Story Hut under construction

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).

Two Story Hut

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 ones. 
As Roger Kehm (pictured and provider) stated "It was more like home and not the Quonset Hut".

Station supply boat

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 Shack and Antennas

Loran Radio Shack with antennas

National Ensign at half staff for President Rooselvet's death

Flag at half-mast in honor of President Roosevelt's Death

THANKS ROGER!

Phoenix Chain Chart circa 1944

WWII Phoenix Chain Chart 1944 - All charts were destroyed after a mission.
--chart contributed by Chuck Boyle --

Thanks CHUCK!

Photos below were contributed by Morris "Mo" Lewis c./early 1946

1946 Lt Virgil Rayborn, Commanding Officer 

LT Virgil R. Rayborn, CO

1946 - RM3c Morris "Mo" Lewis

RM3c Morris "Mo" Lewis

1946 - RdM3c Charles "Chuck" Boyle

RdM3c Charles "Chuck" Boyle

1946 - S1c(L) Roman Salawanchik

S1c(L) Roman Salawanchik

1946 - RT3c "Bonnie" R. Adkins

RT3c "Bonnie" R. Adkins

        1946 - RdM3c William "Skin" J. Clarke

RdM3c William "Skin" J. Clarke

1946 - SC2c Pete Lenda

SC2c Pete Lenda

1946 - RT3c Wilkie "Tex" Bromfield

RT3c Wilkie "Tex" L. Bromfield

1946 - BM2c John "Boats" Graffy

BM2c John "Boats" Graffy

1946 - MoMM2c Donald "Sandy" J. Sandherr

MoMM2c Donald "Sandy" J. Sandherr

1946 - S1c(L) Malcom "Mac" Bennett

S1c(L) Malcom "Mac" Bennett

 1946 - RM3c Dick "Stump" Griffith

RM3c Dick "Stump" Griffith

1946 - SC3c Ernest "Spoony" Knoles 

SC3c Ernest "Spoony" Knoles

  1946 - S1c Harold "Hal" Ruger 

S1c Harold "Hal" Ruger

 1946 - S1c Vernon "Poby" Pobanz

S1c Vernon "Poby" Pobanz

1946 - F1c Hal Hester

F1c Hal Hester

THANKS MO!

The photos below were contributed by Joseph Balsamo son c. 1945 - 3/46

circa 1946 - Joseph Balsamo's photo collage

1945 -Joseph Balsamo's photo collage

1946 - Joseph Balsomo's photo collage

Thanks Jim!

 

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