Jesse Hofinann
3821 Northridge Road
Norman, Oklahoma 73072


Lou Ives
1109 Fox Ridge
Earlysville, Virginia 22936-9565


Dear Lou,

Will use pencil as I may need to erase occasionally.

Decided to send the pictures and names of the Doane College, Crete, Nebraska 7/45 - 10/45. All 119 names are listed, but only 105 are pictured. This fits in with my recollections. I had thought that about 10% had washed out after two or three months. And these photos were taken after we changed from white uniforms to blue--either 1 Sep or 1 Oct, whenever the Ninth Naval District decreed.

Interestingly, the three pilots who have died were in the same platoon, bottom photo page 39:

Tombrinck, 1st Row, 2nd from left
Porter, 1st Row, 5th from left
Franz, Top Row, 3rd from left

Glenn Allen is next to Franz, 4th from left. I mention this because everyone seems to know Glenn Allen. I see many pictures of him in FMA [Flying Midshipman Association]. Wasn't he significantly involved in identifying as many Flying Midshipmen as possible?

Neil Garland is 3rd Row, 3rd from right. I believe that is Don Luallin next to him, 3rd Row, 2nd from right.

In the top photo, page 39, Kenneth Burrows is in front row, 3rd from left. I think he retired with the rank of captain.

In the photo on page 38, I am front row, 4th from right. Schallert is in 2nd row, 3rd from right.



s/n 767-13-82
file # C496531

Entered the Navy 2 Ju145, Doane College, Crete, Nebraska. Navy V -5 Program.

Our scheduled training was to be one semester (four months) at Doane, then on to selective flight training, Pre-flight, and so forth, through the program. Completion of the program was expected to take 18 months, at which time successful trainees would receive wings and commission. Had the war continued, our mission would have been to fly from carriers In support of ground troops invading Japan. The anticipated casualty rate was 90%.

With the dropping of atomic bombs on 6 and 9 Aug 45, VJ Day on 14 Aug 45, and the official surrender of Japan on 2 Sep 45, the initial schedule became meaningless.

Following the semester at Doane, we were assigned to the University of Notre Dame for two semesters November '45 through June '46.

At this time we were informed that the Navy had returned to its pre-WWII requirement, that you must have two years of college to become a Naval Aviation Cadet. We had three semesters and more than 50 semester hours. We were given two alternatives. We could remain on active duty for the remainder of summer, probably assigned to tarmac duty [flight-line grunt duty]. Then in the Fall semester at a recognized college or university. At that time we would be placed in a special status, not on active duty until we would report for Selective Flight Training. Or we could remain on active duty, attend the summer session of a collage or university, then go on to Selective Training. In either case the Navy would pay the educational expenses, and we would acquire enough semester hours to have completed two years of college. In either case, we were required to take a three-hour English class, since we had only three semesters of English and the Navy required four, and we were required to wear civilian clothes.

Nineteen of us chose to attend eight weeks at the University of Omaha, taking nine semester hours, three of which were in the only English course offered, Victorian Poetry.

In Sep '46 I reported to Great Lakes Naval Station for two or three days then on to Glenview NAS, Illinois.

Prior to 1 Jul 46, our pay as an Apprentice Seaman was $50 per month, while Naval Aviation Cadets [“AvCads” – “NavCads” were in a later 1950+ program] were paid $75, and Midshipmen $65. On 1 Jul 46 the Apprentice Seaman pay was raised to $75. Upon becoming a Naval Aviation Cadet in Sep, I expected increased pay. What I found out was that Congress had included neither Aviation Cadets or Midshipmen in that pay bill.

The scheduled four weeks of Selective turned into excise. When I arrived there were not enough planes (the Stearman) for all of us, so new cadets had to wait for them to become available. As new kids on the block we were assigned the task of cranking the aircraft to get them started. After I started flying, we were told that since we weren’t doing a good job of starting the engines with only one cranking, those of us flying would do the cranking when we didn’t have a hop. This would encourage us to get the engine running. (They probably had exhausted the supply of new cadets.) After I soloed, there was a waiting period to go to preflight school. We were not allowed to go on leave until such time the number of days taken between Selective and Preflight plus all leave taken since 1 Jan 46 would not exceed 30 days. During this period of waiting to go on leave, our assignment was to crank planes.

In early Nov '46 I reported to Preflight at NAS Ottumwa, Iowa. This sixteen week course stretched to 22 weeks. It was a cold, cold winter. I changed from Naval Aviation Cadet, USNR to Midshipman, USN. I was in class 14-46S2 [14-46]. Navy pay was $65.

In mid-April 47 I departed Ottumwa NAS and reported to Corpus Christ NAS, Texas. I resumed flying on the N2S-5 Stearman 30 Apr, the first flight in repeating the Selective Training curriculum. My final Stearman flight was on 11 Jun. Another Midshipman and I were the last students to complete the Stearman phase [all subsequent students began training in SNJs). I had the first hop of the afternoon, he had the second, and last, Stearman hop, in the Navy flight training program.

Due to a shortage of SNJs my first SNJ hop was not until 23 July, six weeks after my last N2S flight. During this six-weeks we attended ground school half days and work detail half days. We finished ground school about the time we resumed flying. Thus we were available to fly both hops of either morning or afternoon, plus one hop of the other half day. We were restricted to a maximum of three daytime hops per day. On two occasions I had nine hops in three consecutive days. On one occasion I had four hops in one day, two daytime and two nighttime.

Departed Corpus Christi for Pensacola in late Oct 47. Began formation flying 4 Nov 47, and had my last flight on 3 Dec 47, completing 16 formation flights.

I was discharged from. the Navy at Pensacola on 14 Jan 48.

As midshipmen flying we received flight pay of 50% of our base pay. In this case our flight pay was $32.50 per month [for, a total of$97.50 per month].


“Ten-and-Four Roster” 1

Dear Lou, 

I haven't found a box suitable for shipping "Ten and Four."

The pages [of "Ten and Four"] are not numbered. However, if we can call the title page, #1, then the last page prior to the advertising is #100 ("vital statistics"). You are on #17. I am on #89, center, 3rd from bottom, entering upon or alighting from SNJ 356. I believe in the lower right picture the fellow with his hand out is Goode. On left center, is that Indest?

For reference, finding the people I'm about to discuss, let me identify about every tenth page.

# 11 "Storaasli"/"Indest"

#17 Ives

#21 "Meow"

#25 Robert Tombrinck (spelling wrong in book) He and I attended Grade school (7th and 8th grades) together, and high school (9th grade) together. He flew for Navy. 'Retired to civilian life. Remained in Naval Reserve. On a summer cruise got killed practicing low level approaches flying Navy aircraft. Hit a tree branch.

#31 "VT-2A”

#35 James R. Hummel. My room mate for one semester at Notre Dame. Inconsistent in carrier landings. Washed out. Eugene L. Franz. Died in combat in Korea. [Eligible for Purple Heart.] 

#40 Roland Dale Reeves. Voluntarily exited the program after becoming disgruntled with the extended time of each phase of training. Is a registered architect residing in Whitesboro, NY.

#41 "Wachenfeld"

#49 "VT-2C"

#51 LTJG Bialy. Left side. Cigarette. Model plane. My instructor.

#53 Charles Sumner Porter (book has Peters). Received wings and commission. Purple Heart--Korea. Died a few years ago--cancer. "Skip"--his nickname--is also pictured on #97, lower left, at a formal dance.

#59 W. F. Schallert. Completed the program.

#67 "Ground School"

#77 "First Solo"

#81 "Ottumwa" James R. Hummel, left most person in lower left photo. Jim currently resides in Henderson, Nevada, a suburb of Las Vegas.

#88 James H. Chapman is far left person in upper right picture. Jim received wings and commission. Five years on active duty. In Reserves for several years. A retired physician resides in Overland Park, KS.

Well, Lou, I’ve just told you more than I know about “Ten and Four.” Now it’s your turn to peruse it. Return it at your pleasure.

As I mentioned to you previously, I also have a copy of "Landfall", the book produced in the spiring of 1946 as the Navy program at the University of Notre Dame was being phased out, at the end of June 1946. The Notre Dame program was primarily NROTC and V-12. I am quite sure that the only V-5 trainees arrived in early November 1945 and departed the end of June 1946, having attended for two semesters.

"Landfall" is very well done, consisting of 204 pages of prose and pictures. There is an individual picture (six to a page) of each Navy trainee, with name and home address. At the time of this publication, there were only 90 V-5 students at Notre Dame. Fifty of these had previously been at Doane College, Crete, Nebraska. Of these 50, eight are/were FMA members, and four of those completed the program (Glenn Allen, Kenneth Burrows, Donald Luallin, William Schallert). The other four are Keith Bullington, Jesse Hofmann, James Hummel, R. Dale Reeves. Additionally, three who are deceased completed the program: Eugene Franz killed in combat in Korea, Charles Porter, saw combat in Korea, purple heart recipient, died years later of cancer; Robert Tombrinck killed flying Navy aircraft as a reservist.

Of the original 119 at Doane 2 July 45, perhaps 105-110 went on to Notre Dame. Eight months later, Jun 46, 50 remained in the program. At least seven of these received wings and commission. Of these seven, two died flying Navy aircraft, one received the purple heart but died of cancer years later.

Somehow I thought that Neil Robert Garland, hometown Denver, Colorado had become a Marine pilot and was associated with the Man-on-the-Moon Project. I think that this information was in a Denver newspaper, circa 1960.

However, I've found no reference to him in FMA material. When Doane had their big Navy reunion in 1993, his address was listed as 7609 Vista Cedro Court, NE, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87109, (505)821-6122

If you have any use for "Landfall" I shall gladly send it. I just called the above phone number and got a recording that it was Bill Johnson. So, no lead there. Doane has done a splendid job in locating their Navy students. They had another reunion in 1999, updating their records as best they could.

The Doane 1946 yearbook had pictures of the V-5 contingent of 7/45 thru 10/45, these group pictures, one of each platoon, professionally done. I do not have the book, but do have a copy of the pages with these pictures, and a list of all 119 students. Obviously, Doane has the book, and so does B. R. Peterson, one of the students. If you can, use these pictures let me know.

Among the things I've told you that I still have are metal anchors insignia. I also have the Navy V -5 sterling silver lapel pin given to us when we joined. Glenn Allen tells me these are a bit rare.

My best to you and Patricia Francis. Thank you for a job well done.

1 Hofmann, Jesse, March 20, 2001 letter.


Ottumwa, Iowa, Preflight Class 14-46