In this week’s episode, we have Fred Lynch – 95 year old U.S. Navy veteran. He served for seven years as a radioman and was present during some historic moments in our history – Pearl Harbor bombings, testing atomic bombs, and hurricane hunting.
Fred Lynch enlisted in Feb 1941 and went to Bootcamp in September at Newport, Rhode Island by train. He thrived in the 6-week Boot Camp and went to Aviation Radio School in Jacksonville, Florida. His experience there was the same as his Boot Camp where everything was routine.
He shared his experience in Jacksonville when Pearl Harbor bombings occurred. It’s interesting because despite the bombings, everything stayed the same in Jacksonville except they started standing fire watches. He also shared his experience being stationed in Bermuda for a year. He couldn’t do much because during liberty, he needed to be back in base at 8:00 PM. However, there was one moment where HIS sea plane ran out of gas 15 miles off Bermuda and was towed back to the base.
The most memorable moment for Fred was his hurricane hunting missions where he would fly to the eye of a hurricane to gather necessary data and was also involved with testing atomic bombs.
“We had a Sea Plane, so you’ll land (in the water) – we ran out of gas 15 miles off Bermuda and there’s nothing out there” Fred Lynch [16:13]
“That was routine, because you’re flying 18-hour patrols watching and staring at the radar” - [26:12]
“It’s (atomic bomb) just unbelievably bright and big. It’s hard to believe that something is that big and admirable” - [40:55]”
“If I had to do it again, I would go into Navy except If I can get in the Air Force where I could fly more” - [49:33]
In This Episode:
- Why Fred chose to join the Navy instead of other branches [02:10]
- Went to Bootcamp in Sept at Newport, Rhode Island by train [03:02]
- The feelings he had prior to boot camp [03:47]
- Fred’s first week on Bootcamp [04:07]
- Aviation Radio School in Jacksonville Florida after boot camp
- His first two weeks at Aviation Radio School [06:30]
- Fred’s experience during Pearl Harbor event [07:15]
- Funny moments in Jacksonville [09:26]
- His experience being stationed in Bermuda [15:15]
- Why the squadron only stayed for a year in Bermuda [20:03]
- Did they ever catch a submarine [20:55}?
- Fred’s mission at Panama [23:13]
- His memorable moments in Panama [26:12]
- Fred’s hurricane hunting missions [33:12]
- Fred’s Atomic bomb testing adventures [36:10]
- Fred’s description of atomic bomb explosions [40:55]
- Why he decided to leave the military [46:43]
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