Segment 11


The navy commander leading the Hornet's [Annotator's Note: USS Hornet, CV-8] air group was responsible for the deaths of many airmen because he was inept.After the war the Commander took a flight out of Pensacola. He led the group out over the Gulf of Mexico and had to be led back to base by a young ensign.Childers spent four months in the hospital at Mare Island. He was then sent to the Receiving Station before he was healed enough. He was assigned as an SP [Annotator's Note: Shore Patrol - navy Military Police] to the Bay Bridge. At the end of his shift his leg was terribly swollen.Childers went to see a friend in the pay office. His friend called in the paymaster and showed the warrant officer Childers' leg. The officer asked him if he could type. When he replied in the positive the officer had him assigned to the pay office.Childers began flight school just before Christmas 1942. He still wasn't in very good shape. After being sworn in he went to the senior medical officer and informed him of his condition. The commander looked at Childers' legs. One of his wounds was healed but the other wasn't.Instead of 'washing out' Childers was given a special training program. After his daily exercises he had to soak his leg and have it rubbed down by a corpsman.Childers never asked for any special treatment. He did whatever the other cadets did. His leg was checked at flight physicals every year for the next 26 years.When he completed flight school he was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the Marine Corps Reserve. One of the reasons he changed branches is because a friend of his was a navy chief with 19 years in the navy and 19 years of sea duty. The chief never got to see his family.Another reason was a rumor that the Marine Corps was going to get P-38s and B-25s. They did get B-25s and that is what Childers ended up in.Childers knew he would have no problems getting into the Marine Corps. The commandant of cadets was a Marine Lieutenant Colonel named Richard Mangrum. Mangrum had landed the first squadron on Guadalcanal.


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