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kgretter

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message   Posted on: Jul 10, 2011 - 5:33pm
Hello all

I'm new to this forum, and I'm researching (for my own personal curiosity) my father's wartime service. His name was Ralph W. Gretter, and he was a QM2c on PT 504 in the English channel, then finished out the war with Ron 24. I think I've found pretty much everything I can on the internet, as well as requesting his records from NARA. I still have lots of questions, but I'll limit myself to two today:

1) After operations in the channel were over, my father was sent to the Pacific and Ron 24. Before he arrived there, however, his records show him spending 4 months assigned to ComMTBRons 7th Fleet, FURAS. Any idea what this duty might have consisted of? Also, what does FURAS stand for?

2) Several accounts I have read refer to Commander Bulkeley as being an avid photographer and recording some of the actions he was involved in. Does anyone know if these photos still exist?

Thanks in advance for any info you can offer.
Keith Gretter

P.S. Of course any info on Ron 34, PT 504, late-war Ron 24, or my father in particular would be welcome!

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  Jerry Gilmartin

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Jerry Gilmartin   Send Email To Jerry Gilmartin Posted on: Jul 10, 2011 - 6:14pm
Hi and welcome Keith!
I have seen it before normally abbreviated as "FFA" but I think that FURAS means "For FURther ASsignment" . This must have been the Navy Personelmans (who typed the orders) way of saying they didn't know yet! I do not know this from any concrete evidence, however. Jerry

Jerry Gilmartin

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Frank J Andruss Sr

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Frank J Andruss Sr   Send Email To Frank J Andruss Sr Posted on: Jul 11, 2011 - 4:25am
Keith

Welcome to the message board. I thought as Jerry mentioned that it was FOR FURTHUR ASSIGNMENT, but not 100% sure. I have never heard of Commander Bulkeley being an avid photographer, which might explain the absence of photographs from his ealier exploits in the Philippines. It stikes me as odd that Bulkeley would have any time for taking pictures, given his position within the PT SERVICE. I am not sure where you picked up this tid bit, but this is the first I have heard about him being an avid photographer.............


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kgretter

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message   Posted on: Jul 11, 2011 - 6:43am
Jerry and Frank

Good morning and thanks for your replies. Your explanation of furas sounds good. My dad's records make it seem as though he was in limbo for about four months before being assigned to RON 24, so awaiting FURther ASsignment would make sense. As to Bulkeley being a photographer, I found a couple of references. The first is in the book Searching for John Ford - A Life
http://books.google.com/books?id=2ZrqhjIvYcYC&pg=PA401&lpg=PA401&dq=john+ford+bulkeley&source=bl&ots=qrS61KNtup&sig=PsRjXJj5dpSPGgGERDGshLowB0I&hl=en&ei=GvMaTvTbNMnEgQf7vM38Dw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2&ved=0CB8Q6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=john%20ford%20bulkeley&f=false
The second is from a crewman on the 504, but I actually found it on a website about the sinking of the USS Rich. http://www.informediate.com/USSRichDE695/Experiences/MelvinCarlson.htm
Incidentally, this particular web page is what sparked my interest in my father's wartime experiences. He told me when I was a child that he had spent the entire war in Miami, and I never pursued it any further. A few years ago, while fooling around on the computer, I decided to Google my last name. Image my surprise when that story popped up!

Thanks again
Keith

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Frank J Andruss Sr

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Frank J Andruss Sr   Send Email To Frank J Andruss Sr Posted on: Jul 11, 2011 - 8:29am
Keith

I find it still hard to believe Bulkeley always carried a Camera around his neck. In the early days of WWII, no one was really allowed to have camera's. I would think that if Bulkeley had a camera so much, we would have seen some of his work. I can honestly say that I have never come across anything credited to Bulkeley. One way to comfirm this would be to contact his Son, Peter Bulkeley. I think this might be something that was made up for War time, to enhance the exploits of Bulkeley.............But the proof is in the pudding, so if anyone has any Bulkeley photos that he took or was credited with, please let me know.


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TED WALTHER

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of TED WALTHER   Send Email To TED WALTHER Posted on: Jul 11, 2011 - 10:53am
Frank;
A drawing is just as good as a photo here.





Lieutenant Commander John D. Bulkeley, USN,
Commanding Officer, USS Endicott (DD-495)

Sketch by Radioman 2nd Class Grantier, depicting LCdr. Bulkeley photographing the sinking of the German corvette Nimet Allah by Endicott during the Southern France Operation, 17 August 1944. He is using a 35mm camera.

Courtesy of Rear Admiral John D. Bulkeley, USN.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

TAKE CARE,
TED




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Frank J Andruss Sr

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Frank J Andruss Sr   Send Email To Frank J Andruss Sr Posted on: Jul 11, 2011 - 1:56pm
I love the drawing Ted. What better way to capture Bulkeley then a crewmember drawing his image taking a photograph. Thanks for the positive proof, I stand corrected, although, I still never saw any photos taken by him in print..........


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kgretter

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message   Posted on: Jul 11, 2011 - 2:07pm
...which begs the question, if he took photographs, where did they go?

Thanks for your input, gentlemen.
Keith


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TED WALTHER

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of TED WALTHER   Send Email To TED WALTHER Posted on: Jul 12, 2011 - 7:18am
Kieth;
I know he donated alot of his material/artifacts/etc to various institutions, such as the Naval Historical Center, I think also the Naval War College among others. Charlie met him before maybe he has some insight to this. It is MY opinion, having cooresponded with VADM Bulkeley, that if he could be classified as a real avid photographer, his subjects would probably be classifed here as "evidence" type photos. example: if he took any photos during the action against the fort at Cherboug, the photos would show the damage being inflicted to the enemy strongpoint by the PT's. Or damage recieved by the enemy fire on a particular PT boat. Some photos exist such as Bulkeley, Douglas Fairbanks and Capt Henry Johnson on bridge of USS Endicott 14 August 1944 Photo #: NH 54383 Courtesy of Rear Admiral John D. Bulkeley, USN, which he probably handed his camera to a crewmember for the photo, but, I can't really see him taking photos of his crews or boats like we are used to seeing here on the messageboard.
Take care,
TED


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