Cpl. ALDEN G. WEAKLEY
BRONZE STAR RECIPIENT
Contributed by Pat McKerrow
CPL. WEAKLEY RECEIVES BRONZE STAR
FOR BUILDING OF SAIPAN AIRFIELD
Cpl. Alden G. Weakley, 23, son of Mr. and Mrs. Ward Weakley, 520 Maple Grove
Ave., has been awarded the Bronze Service Star for battle participation in
the Mandated Islands campaign (the Marianas) from Jan. 31, 1944 to Dec. 1,
1944, his family has been informed.
His citation declares that as a member of the 805th Engineer Aviation
Battalian during its first mission in a combat area he was awarded "this
statement of service and appreciation."
The battalion landed on Saipan on June 27, 1944, after successfully eluding
the Japanese submarines prowling the Marshall Island area.
"In the face of Japanese sniper fire and under battlefield conditions, the
battalion constructed a fighter field on Kagman Point. On July 20, 17 days
after construction commenced, the first fighter planes operated from this
field against Jap-held Tinian, Rota, Pagan, and in protection of Saipan
against enemy bombers." (Note: site of the air base was a cane field
infected by Jap snipers and strewn with unexploded shells.)
Last Aug. 3, the battalion received a letter of commendation from Admiral
Raymond A. Spruance, Fifth Fleet commander, on the rapid completion of the
"The fighter field is an excellent one," the citation continued, "and as a
member of the battalion which constructed it, you should feel proud that you
have contributed directly and well in the defeating of Japan and the securing
of a world peace. This entire United States is grateful to you for the part
you are playing in this war."
The citation was signed by Lt. Col. H. A. Hall.
Cpl. Weakley's wife, Evelyn, lives in Newport. He enlisted nine days after
Pearl Harbor, and before being assigned to the Central Pacific he served in
the Panama Canal Zone.
(Herkimer Evening Telegram 1945)
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