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Torpedo Squadron Four - A Cockpit View of World War II - Revised, Updated Edition, 2011

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Air Group 4 - Casablanca to Tokyo

Dedicated to those who
served in VT-4, VB-4, VF-4,
VMF-124 and VMF-213

In Keeping with the Highest Traditions
A Military History of Charlie Joe Warrington, VT-4

By Margaret Hosch Warrington

"For distinguishing himself by meritorious achievements while participating in aerial flights as crewman and gunner in a carrier-based torpedo plane in attacks against enemy shipping and installations… his courage was in all times in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service." (1)

Charlie Joe Warrington enlisted in the US Navy on October 23, 1941 in Waco, Texas. He spent 3 months in boot camp in San Diego, California. From boot camp he went to Great Lakes, Illinois for a month of Aviation Mechanics School. He was then sent to the River Rouge Plant in Dearborn, Michigan for 3 months of additional training. After Dearborn, he was ordered to duty at Norfolk, Virginia and then on to the San Juan Puerto Rico Naval Air Station, where he was a control tower operator.

After a year in Puerto Rico, he was assigned as control tower operator at the Naval Auxiliary Air Station in Kingston, Jamaica. His formal training as a gunner mechanic for dive-bombing took place at the Naval Air Station in Hyannis, Massachusetts. He spent some time with Carrier Aircraft Service Unit 22 before joining Torpedo Squadron Four.

C. J. stayed with VT-4 as it moved to San Diego and on to the Hawaiian Islands. He was now rated as Aviation Machinists Mate First Class (AMM1c) and assigned as a crewman/turret gunner in the Avenger usually piloted by Lt(jg) Felix Ward.

Torpedo Squadron 4, as a part of Air Group 4, served on 2 aircraft carriers in the Pacific—the USS Bunker Hill and the USS Essex. The Air Group carried out strikes against ships and shore installations in the Philippines, Formosa, Okinawa, Iwo Jima, and the Japanese Mainland, as well as Hainan and Saigon in the South China Sea. AG-4 helped prepare Iwo Jima and Okinawa for invasion by American ground troops.

On an R&R break in Hawaii, C. J. met his brother Sam, who was also in the Navy. Then, on a later R&R break, also in Hawaii, he had an opportunity to visit another Navy brother, Stuart.

At the end of the war, C. J. was ordered to shore duty at Treasure Island, California for a short time, before being assigned to 4 months of Advanced Aviation School in Norman, Oklahoma. After Norman, he was sent to a training school for a Separation Base at Alameda, California. He helped decommission the base at Fallon, Nevada, moving equipment by truck from Fallon to Alameda.

C. J. received his honorable discharge from the US Navy at Corpus Christi, Texas on April 27, 1947. At the time, he was receiving treatment at the Naval Hospital for headaches and other problems related to his service as a flight crewman.

Several news releases on C. J. appeared in the Corsicana Daily during his service. Partial quotes from these news releases follow.

Veteran of Pacific War Arrives Home on Leave
(May 1945)

Charlie J. Warrington has returned on leave from a flak-filled series of raids on Japanese bases in the Pacific, where he served as gunner aboard one of the Navy's carrier-based Avenger torpedo planes attached to Air Group Four.

The sharpshooting Corsicana airman and his mates were in the thick of the intense pre-invasion blows, which readied the Philippines for recapture by our ground forces.

Air Group Four's four months of Pacific Action was climaxed by its participation in recent raids on Tokyo.

C. J. Warrington Has Been Awarded Navy Air Metal
(June 30, 1945)

Norman, Oklahoma. Charlie Joe Warrington, Aviation Machinist Mate First Class, son of Mrs. S. J. Warrington, Route 4, Corsicana, Texas has been awarded the Navy's Air Metal for distinguishing himself for meritorious acts while in combat operations in the Pacific Area.

As a combat aircrewman, Warrington has seen much action on many Pacific fighting fronts. He wears ribbons from the American Theater, the Asiatic-Pacific Theater and Philippine Liberation, as well as Pearl Harbor Defense.

Warrington Brothers in the Armed Forces
(50th Anniversary Addition of the Corsicana Daily Sun
Monday, June 6, 1994)

Four sons of Sam J. and Bertha Warrington of Corsicana served in the Armed Forces during World War II. They are listed according to their date of enlistment.

Charlie Joe Warrington enlisted in the Navy on October 23, 1941 in Waco, Texas and received his training in San Diego, California; Great Lakes, Illinois; and Dearborn, Michigan. (Note: Details of his service are contained in the article, but are not repeated here.)

James Robert Warrington was inducted in the Army February 10, 1942 and received his training at Camp Wolters, Mineral Wells, Texas. He was sent to Umnak Base on the Aleutian Islands, where his group built the Air Base. In cold, wet conditions, they worked 16-hour days to quickly compete the Air Base. He received the American Defense Service Medal and the Asiatic Pacific Campaign Metal.

Sam Laverne Warrington enlisted in the Navy August 28, 1942 and trained at San Diego, California and Newport, Rhode Island for Quartermaster. He served in the Pacific aboard the USS Antaeus and the USS Rescue, a hospital ship. He served 34 months and received the Honorable Service Metal.

Lowell Allen Warrington enlisted in the Army Air Force October 13, 1942 and trained at Tarrant County, Fort Worth and Strother, Kansas as an aircraft mechanic. He was also a qualified Flight Chief and flew from the Lubbock Army Air Field and Enid, Oklahoma Air Field. He was discharged as a Staff Sergeant.

Stuart John Warrington enlisted in the Navy March 1943, beginning his long Naval career. He received his training at San Diego, California as a Signalman. He served in the Pacific on the USS Elliot, a minesweeper. He retired as Chief Signalman in 1966 after a distinguished career serving both during WWII and the Korean War.

Wayne Warrington, the youngest son, was not old enough to serve in WWII, but enlisted in the Army in January, 1953. He was stationed in Japan during the Korean War.

All of the Warrington sons returned safely to their home after their years of service with no injuries; a record for which the family is very proud and thankful.

Footnote

(1) Partial quote from citation signed by Admiral Mark Mitcher when Charlie Joe Warrington received the Air Metal.

Additional Notes
Gerald W. Thomas, VT-4

Part of the combat record for C. J. Warrington while serving with Torpedo Four is contained in my book, Torpedo Squadron Four: A Cockpit View of World War II. C. J. and his fellow aircrewmen, Donald M. Applegate, ARM1c, normally few in the Avenger piloted by Lt(jg) Felix E. Ward. This top-notch air team carried out many anti-sub patrols, glide bombing, and torpedo bombing missions in the Pacific.

While the torpedo planes depended primarily on our fighter escort to ward off enemy aircraft, I cite the following record concerning a bombing strike on Clark Field in the Philippines:

    "As the flight approached Clark Field, 2 Oscars and 2 Frances attacked the torpedo planes. Three of our turret gunners, Warrington, Simendinger, and Venderville, claimed hits and damage to one of the Japanese planes. This damage was confirmed, but no kill was credited to VT-4 crewmen."

Details of other strikes by the Avenger team of Ward, Applegate, and Warrington are in my book.

Charlie Joe Warrington passed away July 9, 2001. Torpedo Four remembers C. J. as a dedicated airman who served his country with distinction, "in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Navy."


Air Group 4 - "Casablanca to Tokyo"
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