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Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thanksgiving at the Aviation Free Gunnery School - 1942

Both the names Aviation Free Gunnery School and Naval Air Gunners School were
 found in his scrapbook. The Aviation Free Gunnery School
may have been a part of the Naval Air Gunners School. 

All items seen in this post were found in Uncle Charlie's scrapbook - "Snaps and Scraps, My Life in the Navy"

On September 9, 1942, at age 49, my great-uncle, Charles William Giddens, left from New York City for the U. S. Naval Training Station in Norfolk, Virginia. He arrived September 11th for training in Platoon #51 to become a Chief Specialist G (Gunnery Instructor). Less than a month later, he left Norfolk for his duty station, the Naval Air Gunners School in Hollywood, Florida. 

Mom said her Uncle Charlie was a sharpshooter. He was a sergeant in the U.S. Army's Rainbow Division when he was injured in Sergy, France during WWI in 1918. In 1942 he was a supervisor for the local gas company, was married to Louise Uhde Giddens, and owned a home at 263 Irvingtion Avenue in South Orange, New Jersey. Mom said he tried to rejoin the Army during WWII, but was too old; however, the Navy needed him. At the Gunnery school, he was said to teach new sailors to shoot. 

In 1942, Charlie celebrated his first Thanksgiving in at the gunnery school. Here is the menu. 

Names on the menu:
Charles C. Gold, W. L. Guthrie,
J. R. Fitzpatrick, L. F. Beotte

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© 2016


Family photographs and documents from the collection of Diana Bryan Quinn

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