By William Wolf
Demise Rattlers: Marine Squadron VMF-323 over Okinawa
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Extra info for Death Rattlers: Marine Squadron VMF-323 over Okinawa
ESPIRITU GUADALCANAL NAUTICAL. ". NAUTICAL MILES o 0 N CARNEY FIELD IDEt-l: _ KCS:_. SCHED: _ _ SANTO ISLAND MILES + At- FIeLD a ~UIHapa I ESPIRITU IDEN: KCS: SCHED: Henry Brandon's navigation map for Henderson Field. Courtesy of Henry Brandon. 46 Death Rattlers: Marine Squadron VMF-323 Over Okinawa ~ SAN'fO _ _ _ Henry Brandon's navigation map for Luganville Airfield, Espiritu Santo. Courtesy of Henry Brandon. In late October 1944, the squadron landed at Henderson Field, Guadalcanal for their overnight before proceeding on to Espiritu Santo.
They would meet the squadron at Espiritu Santo after an epic 52 day voyage across the Pacific. Courtesy of Henry Brandon. 8 August, two divisions led by Major George Axtell and Capt. William Van Buskirk took part in a simulated dive bombing and strafing attack on the USS MISSISSIPPI (BB-41). The two divisions flew high cover for 16 F4Us of VMF- 313 and for 18 bombers ofVMSB-142. On 9 August, there was the threat of a second attack on Pearl Harbor. Ready duty strike orders were issued, which meant sitting in an aircraft in the hot sun.
Major he was the liaison between the enlisted men and officers. Goodwin would call the men together from time to time to explain naval law. On one occasion he told them if they got into trouble they could request a civilian lawyer and not have to take the assigned military lawyer. There was a story going around about an officer who got caught having sex in the officer's quarters and was arrested. The brass needed to find some charge against him that wouldn't jeopardize his career, so they charged him with being out of uniform because he wasn't wearing anything!