Saturday, November 14, 2015

Updated post from 11/11/2015. A little Naval history discovery on Veterans Day...oil soaked 1935 bills from the USS Lexington sunk at the Battle of the Coral Sea in 1942

Republishing this today with better scans and a little additional information. I was so excited with the discovery on Veterans Day that I slammed it up there pretty fast with only one mediocre scan. Will continue to add more information as it becomes available. 
Thanks, John 

From 11/11/2015 
A very nice and pleasant surprise discovery as we honor our Veterans today.

Fred Mandella, CEM, USNR
As Cindy & I sometime do on holidays, we work on our family history collections. Today often focuses on military mementos. Here is an interesting new find she discovered in a box that the Navy boys and girls will appreciate...two oil soaked 1935 Silver Certificates from the sinking of the USS Lexington in May 1942. Perhaps not specific to Idaho but the Battle of the Coral Sea was important for all of us and a lot of Idaho men and women were serving too. Being a military history enthusiast, it got me pretty excited. Looks like these were given to Cindy's grandfather, Chief Electricians Mate (CEM) Fred Mandella, USS Castor AKS-1 by Chief Hire, EMC. I have not yet located a Chief Hire, EMC, so give a holler if you do. 

Update 11/15/15: Found a little on Chief Charles W. Hire, a CE on the USS Lexington as of 9/30/1941. I will dig up more as time allows but made sense to find him on the Lexington.
USS Castor. Riding pretty high for a supply ship so my guess is coming into port for re-supply, repair and r&r.

As you can see, the note says "3 - $1.00 Bills 'Oil Soaked.'" The two US Silver Certificate Certificates fit that description. I imagine one could have been given away or sold by Fred as there were receipts among the same items for some U.S. coinage that apparently had been sold. However, there was a third $1.00 bill in the envelope but it is Canadian, appears pretty crisp and clean and not "oil soaked." It is dated 1937 so would be pre-USS Lexington sinking. Here is a front and back scan. Let me know what you think. 

From Fold3: USS Lexington was rocked by explosions belowdecks as the crew abandons ship

You might remember our earlier stories about Iowa football player and Navy pilot Nile Kinnick and the signed photo postcard I got from my father.

Kinnick died on a routine training mission off the USS Lexington on 6/2/1943. How could that be when Lexington was sunk in May of 1942?  Well one month after the older Lexington (designated CV-2) was lost, a new carrier under construction was renamed USS Lexington and designated CV-16. Kinnick was flying off of CV-16 when he crashed into the ocean. This fifth Lexington survived the war and is now a national monument and museum in Corpus Christi, Texas.

You can read a little more about Fred & other Veterans on my blog link:…/honor-our-veterans-novemb…  


And the sinking of the Lexington CV-2 on Fold3:…/the-sinking-of-the-uss-lexi…/

Idaho Related: Idaho Public Television presents The Idaho Homefront: World War II

And of course we can't forget BIG SPUD BB-42 USS Idaho


I might as well mention the Yorktown CV-5 too. It was badly damaged at Coral Sea but was miraculously repaired enough in time to be at the Battle of Midway. It may not have been at full power and armament but just being there is said to have scared the hell of the Japanese. My brother Gary Osborne served on the USS YORKTOWN (CV-10 & later called CVA-10 and CVS-10). As a little kid, when in port, touring the flight deck, I seem (or want!) to remember going up and down the flight elevator to the lower deck as was an unforgettable experience.


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