Aviators Flight Log Book

various: 1944-1951. First Edition. 4 1/2 x 7 inches. Cloth boards, taped and worn. Partial typed label affixed to front cover noting "VMF-321 Anacostia, D. C." with the remainder of the label missing. Approximately fifty (2 page) manuscript notated spreads that record over 600 flight hours recorrded by Lt. Charles L. Woodbridge during the time period 1944-1951.. "Corsair" penned on one of the first few pages. Glued on the front endpapers are Flight Clothing Record Mandatory Items, and Flight Clothing Optional Items issued to Woodbridge with notations about which items he checked out, which returned, who issued them, and stamps noting the supply officer at Cherry Point, N.C. closed out his accounts. This standard pre-printed aviator log book (NAVAER-4111) contains column headings Date, Type of Machine, Number of Machine, Duration of Flight, Character of Flight, Pilot, Passengers, and Remarks. Some pages record only a few flights, others are full. The first month of flights recorded is November 1944, the last February 9, 1951. Good. Cloth. [27295]

Deciphering these sorts of logs are often difficult, but in this case we were able to piece most of it together. Woodbridge was flying many airplanes including those designed NE-1, SNJ-3, 4, and 5, perhaps better known as the airplanes North American T-6 Texan (SNJ-3), and Piper J-3 Cub (NE-1). The planes were Navy trainers where he recorded being both pilot and passenger, so he was most likely doing training. The last plane he notes flying was the Navion, a plane built on the P51 Mustang platform. Other planes he piloted or was a passenger in included the Grumman F6F Hellcat, the SNJ Texan, Douglas C-47 Skytrain, and the Vought F4U Corsair.

Monthly the logbook was presented to the local command for certification of hours flown allowing us to track his movements. Starting in Oct. 31, 1944, Woodbridge was at USNATC VN6D8 Pensacola, FLA. Later VF-OTU #5 (Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Florida). Then in August 1945 the Marine Fightintg Sqd. III. Two subsequent flights are stamped by CASU-5 operations (Carrier Air Service Unit 5) in Dec 1945, and then Cherry Point, N. C. in Feb 1946, and Naval Air Reserve Training Unit (NARTU) through 1946. From Jan 1947 - March 1949 the stamps note NAS, Anacostia, D.C. and many are marked VMF-321 (a Marine Corps Reserve fighting squadron) There is a gap in the record (blank pages) until November 1950, where he starts flying the NAVION, through Feb 9, 1951 (the last entry, location unknown). After this we suspect he flew out to participate in the Korean War (see below).

Wikipedia fills in a few holes allowing us to suggest where Woodbridge fits in pretty well. "Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 321 (VMFA-321) was a United States Marine Corps fighter squadron consisting of F/A-18 Hornets . Known as "Hell’s Angels”, the squadron participated in action during World War II and was then transferred to the Marine Forces Reserve. The squadron was decommissioned on 11 September 2004....After the war, the squadron returned home and was deactivated on 28 January 1946. Early in 1946 a group of Marine aviators in the Washington, D.C. area began organizing a reserve fighting squadron from the ranks of pilots, officers, and enlisted members who had served together in the war as VMF-321. This new VMF-321 became an organized Marine Corps Reserve fighting squadron in July 1946 at Naval Air Station Anacostia, Maryland, and was assigned 14 Corsair aircraft similar to the ones flown by the squadron during the war.

On April 1, 1949, Marine Fighting Squadron 321 was redesignated Marine Fighter Squadron 321. The squadron was placed on alert January 13, 1951 and was activated on March 1, 1951 flying the F8F Bearcat during the Korean War. The 164-man unit began an intensive training program under the command of Major George Robertshaw, in preparation for deployment to the Far East. The squadron did not go to Korea as a unit. Instead it was declared an augmentation squadron and its members were assigned to regular Marine units to fill empty billets."

This fits his flight record book pretty well, and allows us to surmise that Woodbridge was active in training for some years, and left training with the VMF-321 to participate in the Korean War.

A lone (unsupported) record online notes: "Charles L. Woodbridge (MCSN: 0-24081), United States Marine Corps, was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for heroism and extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight, in action against enemy forces in Korea." (hall of valor project) supporting this hypothesis.

An interesting record of one man's career as a Marine Corp aviator told from the perspective of flights taken during the period before the Korean War.

Price: $175.00