... a Reserve
CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS, TUESDAY, MARCH 12, 1946
Officers Recall Early Days Of 'Mud, Sand and Dirt'
By NANCY HEARD
Besides the Naval personnel, whose service here naturally has not been continuous, there are several civilian plank-owners who have been here all along. Then, there are a number of Navy men back here who just missed being plank owners because they arrived a short time after the station was commissioned.
Commander Lees, a reserve officer with more than 7,500 flying hours to his credit and possession of both Army and Navy wings, is another plank-owner who was on the pre-commissioning detail at Pensacola. He reported here as engineering officer for the Assembly and Repair Department and later took over the inspection and survey department.
"There were about 50 civilians brought here from Pensacola to set up A & R," Commander Lees recalls. "First, we were housed in one of the seaplane hangars and didn't move to the huge domain across the street until the summer of 1941."
Sand, which got into airplane engines and other machinery, is one of the main things he remembers. With him on the first tour, which lasted until July, 1943, were his wife and three of his daughters. One of the daughters, Billy, was married here that year to Comdr. George Hicks, now stationed in California.
Commander Lees served on the West Coast as liaison officer for Pan American Airways, then at Alameda, Calif., and then had a 19-month tour in the Pacific with carrier aircraft service units and as commanding officer of Henderson Field, on Guadalcanal.
Capt. T. T. Tucker, USN, commanding officer of NAS
Capt. George Duffy, USN, now NATB supply and accounting officer
Comdr. Walter E. Lees, USNR, presently NATB assistant shore patrol officer
Lt. Comdr. R. C. Christian, USN, inspection and survey offier for NATB
W. J. Cheskey, aviation chief machinists mate, USN, now at Cabaniss Field
Maxon Alger, chief clerk of the command
George D. McCauley, safety engineer