Corpus Christi Christmas Day Menu
Shrimp Cocktail Homemade Cocktail Sauce
Crisp Saltines Sliced Lemon
Individual Salad Plates
Green Olives Radishes Lettuce Salami Cheese
Thousand Island Dressing
Roast Young Tom Turkey Sage Dressing Giblet Gravy
Baked Fresh Ham
Hawaiian Sauce Spiced Applesauce
Candied Sweet Potatoes
Buttered Green Peas Buttered Asparagus Tips
Hot Rolls Butter
Fruit Cake Ice Cream Apple Pie
Mixed Nuts Candy Coated Chocolates
[Ed. Note: Cigarettes but no milk for these 18-year old tigers]
Letter to Lou Ives
12 April 1990
I received your mailing [the 1946 Corpus AvCad Mess Christmas Roster and other info] while on my winter escape South (Snowbird) by forwarded mail. I had none of my own material related to this with me, so I waited till my return home to reply. Lorna and I just returned last Friday and had to have our driveway plowed (snow) to get the motor home in.
I am working on a personal history and will forward it when complete.
[Rudy enclosed a clipping from the Corpus Christi “___________”. Rudy received his wings (and by inference, all others on the list) on 19 May 1948, so the date of this clipping must be 20 May 1948.]
12 Pilots Get Wings At NAS
Twelve student pilots received their wings and designations as naval aviators in brief ceremonies in the office of Capt. F. J. McKenna, commanding officer, at the Naval Air Station [Corpus Christi] yesterday [19 May 1948].
The men were the first group to complete multi-engine training since that type of training was moved here from Florida early this year. Each will be assigned to fleet duty within a short time.
The graduates were:
LTjg Edward F. Zeniseka, and the following midshipmen:
° Floyd E. Hower, Jr., New York City
* James F. Jenista, Jr., 14-46. Brookfield, Il;
° Bernard C. Jongewaard, Inglewood, CA;
* Joseph E. Klause, Philadelphia;PA
* William E. Madden, Minneapolis; MN
* William L. Murphy, 2-46, Ojai, CA;
° Robert R. Perry, Colorado Springs, CO;
? Liona E. Roberts, Jr., Sheffield, AL;
* Creigh W. Taylor, Jr., Macon, GA; and
* Nicholas J. Vagianos, New York City.
[NOTES: Madden, Murphy, and Peterson listed their wings as 19 May 48; Jim Jenista listed his as 20 May 48; the others may be inferred at 19 May 48. Also: could the ‘E’ be a typo and Liona E. Roberts (above) be the same as L. R. “Russ” Roberts of LaHabra, CA? Russ also lists his wings as 19 May 48.]
[Note the effect of the X-ray and Yoke programs on the flight training program: Murphy 2-46: 28 months; Jim Jenista 14-46: 18 months].
Rudy sent further info on Aviation Cadets listed on the 1946 Corpus AvCad Christmas Mess Roster. Those below stayed AvCad (all were commiss-ioned ENS, USNR when they received their wings):
Houser, Lowell D. (last known was chiropractor in SFO);
Misselwitz, Ted F. 3-46 (recently retired TWA captain);
Range, R. W., AvCad;
Cartwright, B. J. 3-46.
[Note: Jim Mulligan (POW the speaker at the AvMid’n dinner at Oceana in January) is on this roster. He stayed AvCad.]
Additional notes from Rudy on two AvMid’n:
William Winberg, III
[On the 1946 Corpus AvCad Mess Christmas Roster] - was from a “Navy” family and had an appointment to Annapolis. Shortly after this [early 1947] he left to accept his appointment.
I [Peterson] corresponded with Bob occasionally over the years. He sent me the article that the enclosed copy was made from. I did not receive a reply to my last letter (over 5 years ago). His last letter to me was dated May 1984.
He was president of a small metal fabricating company. Last known address:
Robert R. Perry
Mohawk Sintered Alloys, Inc.
15 East Street
Cobbleskill, New York 12043
Letter to Lou Ives
25 April 1990
It took a while, but here it is. My History. I apologize for the written scrabble, but my typing could be worse. Once I got started, I really rambled on, too much I suppose. Feel free to edit as you see fit.
HISTORY: RUDOLPH (RUDY) PETERSON
Pre-Flight Class: Ottumwa 3-46; Naval Aviator #C29045
Part narrative – part chronology.
Born and raised in Portland, Oregon (not Tennessee as indicated in Corpus Christi news release on graduation). [I was] in high school during most of WW II.
1944. I joined the Army Air Corps Aviation Cadet Program. The Army sent me and other 17-year olds to the college program until we were 18 years old (required [age] to start flight training). Accelerated program at Montana State and University of Utah provided 1½ years of college credit by the time I was 18. It turned out that about this time the Army Air Corps dropped pilot training. (The war in Europe was winding down and personnel would be transferred to the Pacific Theater, so no need for new pilots). However, pressure was applied to get us to go for Flight Engineer training (B-29s). My response: "No way!"
MAY 45. I was discharged [from the Army Air Force] and within 5 days I was in the Navy V-5 Program. I attended Gonzaga University and University of California for an additional year of college, and then to Selective Flight training as Aviation Cadet at NAS Livermore, California – 19 April 1946 – 1st solo (N2S-3).
7 MAY 46. Class 3-46 started [NAS] Ottumwa, Iowa, Pre-flight. Class 3-46 completed Pre-flight 25 AUG 46, and went to NATB Corpus Christi, only to find itself on a pool status. We managed to get checked out in the "LM-4B" (Lawn Mower, 4 Blades). By DEC 46 the Holloway Program hit the fan and most of us signed up.
JAN 47. Started Primary (N2S) at [NAAS] Rodd Field.
8 MAY 47. Completed Primary ([Squadron] VT-1B) 95 hours, and moved to Basic SNJ (VT-2C) at [NAAS] Cabaniss Field.
7 JUL 47. Completed basic SNJ 45 hours.
8 JUL - 30 JUL 47. NAIFS (instrument training) VT-18A at NAS [Mainside Corpus Christi] 20 hours, SNJ 20 hours link [trainer].
2 AUG 47. NATB Pensacola started CV training VT-5N [NAAS] Saufley Field [Florida].
8 SEP 47. VT-5M (gunnery).
2 OCT 47. On to C.Q. [CarQuals] VT-4.
21 OCT 47. Qualified with 6 landings aboard CVL-49, USS Wright.
22 OCT 47. Reported to VT-5 PBY Catalina.
26 NOV 47. Completed VT-5.
1 DEC 47. Reported to VT-6 NAS Whiting Field for SNB Training - the last basic training squadron before being designated as a Naval Aviator.
BUT a change handed down from Washington indicated that as of 1 JAN 48, designation would come after completion of Advanced (Operational) training. So the race was on – finish, in this case, before Christmas. A back-log was building and to break this "log jam" it was decided that the Mid'n would stand down and allow the AvCads to finish by Christmas since in addition to "wings" it meant commissions as Ensign, USNR. On the other hand, the AvMid'n would not lose out on commissions [they would serve some time in the Fleet as AvMid'n with wings]. For some it was a disappointment to go home on Christmas leave without wings. [Ed.: some midshipmen from later Pre-flight classes – as late as 13-46 – went through an experimental course: no N2S primary, and thus were able to complete the Basic courses and get their wings by 31 DEC 47.]
1 FEB 1948. Finished VT-6 and now the Big Question: "Billet Assignments."
The rumor was that there would be no Fighter Billets in this group. I believe we had all requested VF. A couple of us got the bright idea to change our request to VA and thus insure a tailhook. As it turned out, this group of billet assignments included 3 F4U and the rest all multi-engine. It is important to note that there were no VA billets. As a result everyone, except those of us who changed to VA, got to put their name in the hat to draw for the F4Us. At this point I was so shook-up I didn't bother to draw for a choice among PV-2s, PBMs, PB4Y-2s. I just took what was left when all the rest had drawn – a PV-2 billet was left. The word got around that Grumman F7F Tigercat billets were filled from
PV-2 Advanced training. That made me feel a little bit better. But, as is the Navy way, the Navy gave all of them to the Marines.
19 MAY 48. Designated Naval Aviator.
16 JUN 48. Reported to NAS Ream Field, California, for FAETUPac (Radar and ASW training).
30 JUL 48. Finished FAETUPac and assigned to FAW-4 [Fleet Air Wing Four] NAS Whidbey Island, Washington. Ed Madden and I pooled our resources, bought a 1936 Ford convertible and headed north.
5 AUG 48. Reported to FAW-4 and assigned to VP-6 flying P2V-2s.
15 SEP 48. Squadron deployed to Adak, Alaska, for a four-month tour of patrolling the international date line (between Alaska and Russia).
12 DEC 48. Appointed Ensign, USN.
13 JAN 49. Returned to NAS Whidbey on rotation.
26 APR 49. TAD [Temporary Additional Duty] Naval School of Mine Warfare, Yorktown, Virginia.
18 JUN 49. Completed NSMW and returned to Squadron.
5 JUL 49. Squadron deployed to Kodiak Island, Alaska, for another tour.
NOV 49. Returned to Whidbey.
15 DEC 49. Terminated as Ensign, USN. Appointed Ensign, USNR. It should be noted here that I passed the Air Wing Flight Check and was about to form my own crew when my USN status ended, and at that point I was dropped from the flight schedule like a "hot potato."
31 DEC 48. Separated from active duty.
3 JAN 50. Entered University of Washington at Seattle – on the Navy, as per the midshipman contract.
At this time I also got into the Naval Reserve at NAS Seattle and as a patrol plane pilot I ended up in PBYs, and although I liked the PBY, it is quite a come-down from P2Vs. When Korea started the Naval Air Reserve was expanded and many pilots from WW II (those with recall obligations were called into the Reserve). As the only currently qualified Patrol Plane Pilot, I found myself instructor pilot to check out all the recalls when forming a new VP squadron. I became quite fed up when it became quite apparent that I was made permanent co-pilot as all the recalls were full lieutenants by virtue of "time" since first commissioned during WW II and I was, of course, an ensign. I went to the VF training officer and pleaded for a transfer. He was very understanding and compassionate. However, that all came to naught as policy required 100 hours in the Corsair before one was permitted to fly it. How is that for a "Catch-22"?
What it required was obvious experience in the airplane from previous service (active duty) to be assigned to a VF squadron flying FG-1Ds. So I was to wait awhile.
Not too long after that the VF training officer called me in and informed me that they were phasing out Corsairs and would by flying the F8F Bearcat in the VF squadrons. Since there was no restrictive policy regarding the new airplane he was ready to transfer me to a VF squadron. He would apply for a waiver under a new policy of Naval Air Reserve Command to get some operational pilots into operational aircraft. So I quickly got the required 10 hours in the ubiquitous SNJ and checked out in the F8F, a sweeter airplane I have never flown. Being very eager, I soon became the highest qualified F8 pilot on the base.
About this time I was informed that my waiver had been turned down because I was already operationally qualified in Patrol planes. The VF training officer being the good guy he was, said, "no matter, you are also qualified in fighters." So I stayed in VF flying F8Fs through 1952 and 1953. After two years in F8Fs, the "powers that be" changed us back to Corsairs (F4U-4s this time). And, who got ferry orders to bring in the last F4U? I did.
Being intimidated by the 100-hour rule, I hesitantly approached the Operations Officer at NAS Olathe, Kansas, with my ferry orders, asking what I needed to x-out. He said sign this form and the airplane is yours. Having read the handbook cover-to-cover, I got in and flew an acceptance flight check, and behold – it flew like an airplane. 100 hours. Really! I personally ferried 8 of the 16 F4Us to Seattle.
54 and 55. F4U-4s. And then the fighter program at Seattle was terminated. We were slated to get F2Hs, but our pompous Senator Warren Magnuson squelched that. My VF squadron got Grumman AF-2S Guardians, which I flew a short while, and then I transferred to a squadron starting to fly ADs.
1955 – 1965. AD-5s and -6s. 10 years in the same airplane. Over 1000 hours [in it]. By 1965 the Air Force was sucking up all the AD-5s to use in Viet Nam, so another transition. This time I chose S2s rather than the other choice – P2s (to broaden my horizons, as I had already flown P2s while on active duty as an AvMid'n). Six years of flying S2s and I retired in 1971, since I was approaching the "no more flying" age of 45. I was fortunate, after active duty flying, I put in a full 20 years in the Reserve in a Pay/Flying billet.
As a teacher, I had time in the summer months to do other things (flying, of course). My first civilian flying job was as a crop duster flying "450 hp" Stearmans. I followed that with a U. S. Forest Service DDT spraying job flying a Douglas B-18 "Bolo." All along I picked up as many ferry orders as I could for NAS Seattle.
By 1961, I became interested in sport parachuting. Getting involved in the sport, I also started flying the jump planes (no pay, but it covered my jumping expenses). I became very competitive and in 1963 won the U. S. National Accuracy Championship – at age 36 "an old man in the sport."
Our organization, "Seattle Sky Sports," was active in soaring, hot air ballooning, and by the mid-60s we were very active in aerobatic flying, acquiring a PT-22 to teach aerobatics. I instructed in gliders and was the club aerobatic instructor. I won a Northwest Aerobatic Competition in 1963.
Over the years we used many different airplanes: Cessna 170s and a 180, then an antique Travel-air 6000 (carried 8 jumpers). Also the original Curtis Air Sedan (1930). In 1970 we bought a Lockheed Lodestar and I flew that for jumping for 4 years.
My final major flying job was in Alaska in late 70s. I flew a Curtiss C-46 hauling fish (salmon) from Bristol Bay to Anchorage or Kenai. Of all the airplanes I have flown, the C-46 was not impressive as an airplane. For this operation, the runway at Bristol Bay was the beach. Quite often on a take off, the co-pilot would call out, "V-1, V-water!" when we ran out of beach.
When the fishing grounds were closed to allow spawning fish to get through, I would fly charter for Arctic Aviation at Kenai, which for the most part was bush flying.
Over the years I have owned different airplanes. In the 60s, with two others, I had a PT-19B, then we sold that and formed a partnership of four and bought a Citabra – a fun airplane. After the Citabra, I bought a Navion, which was my personal plane for 10 years. I retired from teaching in ‘82 and moved to my cabin on an airstrip in the North Cascade Mountains of Washington State.
I had no place to shelter my Navion through our winters of 4 to 6 feet of snow, so I sold it to a representative of the Combat Air Museum in Topeka, Kansas. It was originally an L-17B and he bought it to restore as a warbird.
Three years ago  my Navy pension kicked in, and with two pensions and SS, life is comfortable.
My wife, Lorna, and I spend our winters in Arizona in our motor home.
Lou, this is a bit much – feel free to edit it down to a reasonable size.
Sorry about the school-boy scrawl. However, it is better than my typing.
Note to Lou Ives
Sept. 23, 91
From the desk of RUDY PETERSON
Copied this tape today and must remark that the added sound track is somewhat “Mickey Mouse”
– Some narration with I. D. of fellow flight students & some clarification of the out of focus letter writing “TITLES”. You’ll laugh at the SNJ sounds I taped at Reno Air races. Considering the sound track was made 40 years after the fact – I guess it’s acceptable.
As for paying for this, no need. My contribution to the cause. It appears that summer dropped off the calendar right on schedule. Our temperature dropped to 35º last night. Oh well can’t have summer forever. When it gets too cold I’ll go south.
A comfortable winter to you & yours,
[Rudy sent another VHS tape of his 8-mm color movies of primary N2Ss, through SNJs, PBYs, SNB, to advanced PV-2s at Corpus.]
Rudy Peterson’s 8mm color film of flight training (N2S, SNJ, SNB, PBY, PV-2) copied to VHS video tape. Tape o. k. for cloning.