Monday, May 16, 2011

Photo of Arthur J. Brassfield

Ensign Arthur J. Brassfield, USN, of Fighting Squadron 42 (VF-42) oversees engine maintenance on one of VF-42's F4F-3A fighters, on the flight deck of USS Yorktown (CV-5) at Casco Bay, Maine, 13 November 1941.
I've mentioned Arthur James Brassfield (1910-1976) in a previous blog post. He was a 6th cousin to my Great-Grandfather Floyd Gipson Brassfield. The connection is very distant and you have to go back to Thomas Brasfield who was born in 1656 in Beaulieu, Hampshire, England.

I'm reading the book, The First Team: Pacific Naval Air Combat from Pearl Harbor to Midway By John B. Lundstrom. As the title indicates, it is a detailed history of US Naval Aviation in the Pacific Ocean starting with the bombing of Pearl Harbor and ending with the Battle of Midway. On December 7, 1941, Ensign Arthur James Brassfield, Art, was attached to the fighting forty-two (VF-42), a fighter squadron, which was flying Grumman F4F-3 Wildcats. The squadron was ashore at Norfolk's East Field. East Field no longer exists, but apparently was located in nearly the same location as the current airfield at Naval Station Norfolk. Their carrier, USS Yorktown (CV-5), was berthed at Norfolk undergoing repairs. By December 16th, they were underway for the Pacific.

 I'll spare everyone the blow by blow details, but it's an interesting look at that time period. I've always had an interest in naval history and World War II, and it's even more interesting knowing that I have a distant relative that participated in several key Pacific battles and even became an ace fighter pilot during the time period.

The above image is public domain and is courtesy of the National Archives via the US Naval Historical Center.

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