WW2 Unit History of USAAF 1535th AVN ORD S&M

   This is a manually transcribed copy of (1998) hard copies made from a (1991) second-generation microfilm (1971) copy of the records at the US Army Military Records housed in St. Louis, MO.  (It is not known if any of the originals were damaged in that disastrous July 12, 1973 fire that raged through the facility there.)

   The microfilm was generously loaned to me by Melvin E. Wallin of Minnesota who had served in a similar unit (though never in Australia).  Several unit histories (including his 1536th) are contained in the approxmately 1500 frames on that 16-mm reel.

   As near as possible, word spacing and typographical errors have been maintained here as they appeared in the original documents.  However, much original double spacing between the lines has been removed to improve the on-screen readability.

   The original unit was formed in early 1941 on the US East Coast and had been moved to California before the US entry into WW2.  It arrived in Australia in late February 1942 and within two months began a 19-month tour in the NT.  Its entire service during WW2 comprised only around 100 frames, with much more detail contained in those after just the seven that dealt with its combat NT-era.

   Mention of my late father (Darrell L. Dyer, 19064401, d. 1978) only occurs in four places in those later pages though he was present for all of their NT-era.  There is also a mid-1944 unit photo (with names), but I am unable to do much in the way of producing any high-quality images from the tiny microfilm one.  Hopefully some unit survivors/relatives might still have a full-sized print that could be more-easily scanned.

   My father was married in Brisbane October 7, 1944 (photos)  Just two weeks later he returned stateside on a 30-day furlough (which seems to have been somewhat extended as he didn't return to Australia until Feb 19, 1945!)  Within in a month they'd moved with the unit to Townsville.  Though not specifically named, he was one of the enlisted men who went to the PI (Leyte) in April to deal with unexploded ordnance, and my mother returned to Brisbane.

   The rest of the outfit did not get to the PI (Manila) until mid-July 1945.  About two weeks after that he came down with his second bout of hepatitis (yellow jaundice) and was on the SS Monterey headed back stateside by the time of end of hostilities in mid-August.  He was mustered out in southern California by October.  Due to a lack of shipping for US GI War Brides, my mother did not get reunited with him until April 1946 after her two-week voyage to San Francisco on the SS Mariposa.

The following is a list of those in the mid-1944 unit photo (with the few serial numbers abstracted from the 1943-1945 unit history pages).  Since NCO assignments were not usually tracked in detail in those reports, it is not known how many of these may have seen service earlier with the unit while it was stationed in the NT.

T/4 Gorgat Cpl Napoleon, Orlando T/Sgt Johnson, Norval T. 37056614 T/5 Dyer, Darrell L. 19064401 T/4 Tarquinio T/4 Brezina Cpl Slagle T/4 Liberatore T/5 Carr Capt Jordan S/Sgt Amaral, Louis F. 19065572 Sgt Gruiff T/4 McKenzie, Ira D. 15114806 Pfc Hodson S/Sgt Landsberg T/4 Draughn, Ralph M. (or V.) 34116830 T/Sgt Farmer S/Sgt Donnell, Royal G. 37377521 T/5 Schoulties ------------------------------------------ 1st Lt O'Brien, Robert 1st Sgt Enoch, Mark 17056238 Pfc McCarthy T/4 Bolser T/5 Hayes, William B. 34803128 T/4 Mitchell T/5 Martel T/5 Cohen T/5 Gault, Johnny T/Sgt Devorchik T/5 Jackson, Virgil L. T/5 White, Howard M. T/4 Warren T/5 Grose, Floyd S. 15089406 T/5 Bradford Sgt Mosier Sgt Clark, Thomas J. 15098477 T/3 Cushman, Frank J. 16038958 T/4 Stearns 2nd Lt Olk ------------------------------------------ T/Sgt Smith, Silas A.D. 39392665 or Clarence M. 38007221 T/4 Cook, Amos 18089222 T/4 McLemore, Marvin 38419927 S/Sgt Bonislawski, Albert J. Sgt Gartland, John M. 39161692 T/5 Burmeister, Norman H. 39249034 T/4 Ashley T/5 Duralja, Anthony J. 18048018 T/5 Porto, Philip 33675270 T/5 Bullock Cpl Barber M/Sgt Kendrick Cpl Demersky T/4 Huffman, Leo W. 15098079 Sgt Zabriske, Kenneth H. 32910505 T/5 Borgh T/5 Brown ------------------------------------------

As mentioned earlier, it is hoped that some of these may still be surviving or have realtives that could perhaps have kept the unit photo.


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