Early Years of a Decade of Service in the Naval Aeronautical Organization
When Commander Turner left Pensacola in November 1927, he headed for one of the more difficult assignments in the mushrooming Naval Aeronautical Organization. He was 42, a newly found naval aviator and his first flying billet was to be in command of the Aircraft Squadrons of one of the three major subdivisions of the United States Fleet, the United States Asiatic Fleet.
An Old Man in a Youth Organization
Not that Air Squadrons, Asiatic Fleet was a large organization. It distinctly was not. But the Department was planning on its marked expansion, and it was highly desirable that this expansion take place from a sound base.1
A more cautious handling of Commander Turner's limited aviation abilities would have been to billet him in some part of the Naval Aeronautical Organization where, for the first few months, he might exercise his wings under senior aviators who could be expected to offer a word of counsel from time to time. There were five Flag officers, and a dozen captains and commanders senior to him, qualified as naval aviators or naval observers at this time.2
In these days when the Naval Aeronautical Organization encompasses eight or nine thousand aircraft, depending upon the Administration's assessment
of the degree of heat of the Cold War,3 it is well to recall that, on 1 December 1927, there were only 876 heavier-than-air (HTA) aircraft in the Navy.4 Of these, just 26 were on the Asiatic Station. Fourteen of the 26 were in VF-1017 and VO-107 with the 3rd Brigade of Marines in China, and six VO seaplanes were shipborne in Light Cruiser Division Three. Both the Marine Brigade and the Cruiser Division were on duty in the Asiatic Fleet and on the China Coast, in a temporary status.5
Only the six Martin Torpedo seaplanes (T3M-2) assigned to VT Squadron five were directly under the command of Commander Aircraft Squadrons, Asiatic Fleet, along with the flagship, USS Jason, and the tenders, USS Avocet and USS Heron.6
But irrespective of the size of the command, the Asiatic Station, in 1928, was a beacon toward which those naval officers seeking to practice the more turbulent aspects of their profession could well turn.
The mere fact that the 3rd Brigade of Marines with Major General Smedley Butler, USMC, commanding, and Light Cruiser Division Three with Rear Admiral J. R. Y. Blakely, USN, commanding, were temporarily in the Asiatic Command and that 3,000 Marines were in Peking and Tientsin, and 1,000 in Shanghai was indicative that China was boiling with "Antiforeign agitation and civil war."7 "Chinese Nationalism and Russian Communism walked and worked hand in hand." Americans in China, reportedly "were in a state of high tension and were much concerned about the welfare of their persons and their property."8 Three cruisers, 17 destroyers, 11 submarines, four tenders, four minesweepers, one transport, and one oil tanker were stationed in northern China during this period in addition to the regular Yangtze River gunboats.
The Situation in China 1927-1929
The Commander in Chief of the United States Asiatic Fleet was also
concerned. That wise old man and Old China Hand, Admiral Mark L. Bristol, opined:
A new spirit has been born in the hearts of the Chinese people of all classes. By some it is called Nationalism, and others call it Radicalism, Communism, or Bolshevism. . . . The term self-assertiveness is probably a better name for it, than any of the above. . . . In general, the foreigner has shown little consideration in his dealings with the Chinese in the past. It is likely the Chinese will show less in his dealings with the white race in the future.9
The year 1927 had ended in China on a social note and a blood purge. Both included the name of Chiang Kai-shek, the leader of the Kuomintang Armies in the march north into Central China.
Returning to Shanghai from Tokyo on 10 November 1927, Chiang Kai-shek married a sister of Mrs. Sun Yat-sen, by name Mei-ling Soong, on 1 December 1927.10 This brought Chiang into close alliance with the financially powerful Soong family, and enabled him to claim both the mantle of the dead Sun Yat-sen and the leadership of the Nationalists.
The attempted communist coup d'etat at Canton on 11 December 1927 provided a more than valid reason for the Nationalist authorities to close all U.S.S.R. consulates on account of their part in this attempted communist take over. The Russian Vice Consul and other Russians were shot.11
The "Rape of Nanking" on 24 March 1927 had turned the bulk of moderate elements of the Kuomintang away from their Soviet Union advisors. The Russians were blamed for working up the soldiers in the Nationalist armies to a high pitch of hatred against foreigners in general, as well as against foreign schools, churches, and hospitals. Chiang Kai-shek, in December 1927, was anxious to widen the break of his former personal ties with the communists, both foreign and domestic, to become the acknowledged leader of the middle-of-the-road Chinese, and to halt the disintegration of the Chinese governmental structure.12
When Commander Turner arrived at Manila on 19 January 1928, it appeared for a time that China might simmer down as Chiang Kai-shek was soon appointed Commander in Chief of all the Chinese Armies, and announced a moderate policy. However, this hope was short lived. Conflict
continued between conservative leaders and radical leaders, the "followers and students of the Soviet Russian advisors who came to China to assist the revolution."13 Added to this turbulence was the Japanese-generated conflict at Tsinan in Shantung Province, in May 1928. A partial Japanese re-occupation of Shantung Province along the Tsingtao-Tsinan railroad followed.
The situation was turbulent enough so that the Commander in Chief of the Asiatic Fleet thought it fit to report to the Department:
Concentration, protection, and evacuation plans have been worked out for all Chinese cities where any numbers of Americans reside, at the various ports along the Chinese Coasts, and up the Yangtze River.14
Acts and threatened acts against foreigners had thrown all foreigners into a state of panic from which most of them have not yet recovered.15
To state the matter conservatively, 1928 and 1929 were interesting years for a naval officer with a deep interest in world politics to be on the China Station.
Aircraft Squadrons, U.S. Asiatic Fleet had formed in February of 1924, when the Secretary of the Navy's General Order 533 of 12 July 1920, providing for an Air Force, as one of the type of commands within each of the three major Fleets, was finally effectuated for the Asiatic Fleet.16
Aircraft Squadrons Asiatic 1928-1929
The Naval Aeronautical Arm of the Navy had been extended organizationally into the two continental based Fleets beginning in January 1919, when the USS Shawmut (CM-4) was designated as flagship of the Air Detachment, U.S. Atlantic Fleet.17 This organization had been activated on 3 February 1919 when 39-year-old Captain George W. Steele, U.S. Navy, Class of 1900, assumed command. Captain Steele, although not a graduate of Pensacola, had been an assistant to the Director of Naval Aviation in Naval Operations before taking over this sea detail. He was an intelligent supporter of naval aviation and showed his continuing interest in its development by qualifying as a lighter-than-air pilot in 1923.18
Steele's command consisted of six H-16 flying boats under Lieutenant Bruce G. Leighton, U.S. Navy, Class of 1913, as "Airboat Squadron Commander," a Kite Balloon Division of six balloons on as many ships, and an airplane division of three land planes on the famous Shawmut, later to be sunk as Oglala on 7 December 1941.19 All 3,805 tons of her had been converted into an aircraft tender after 11 years passenger-freight service in the Fall River Line, and 18 months as a converted minelayer.20
It was 10 months later, before the Aroostook (CM-3), a sister ship of the Shawmut was taken from the Mine Force of the Pacific Fleet and made the flagship and tender for the Air Detachment, Pacific Fleet.21 She got off to a running start with Captain Henry C. Mustin, Class of 1896, (number 11 naval aviator certificate) as Detachment Commander and skipper of the flagship. Commander John H. Towers (number three naval aviator certificate) was the Executive Officer.22
The hunt for just any kind of a ship, which could undertake the duties of an aircraft tender and flagship on the Asiatic Station had taken much longer. Finally, the old collier Ajax (AC-14) of 9,250 tons, built in Scotland for the coal trade in 1890, and 34 years and two wars later serving the United States Navy alongside the dock in Cavite, Philippine Islands, was chosen. She was hauled into the stream in February 1924. Her designation was changed to AGC-15, and her assignment was changed from the Receiving Ship for the 16th Naval District to flagship of Aircraft Squadrons, U.S. Asiatic Fleet. Lieutenant Commander Charles S. Keller, U.S. Navy, who commanded the Ajax as Receiving Ship, temporarily continued in command, awaiting the arrival of an officer versed in aviation.
Six Douglas Torpedo (DT-2) aircraft of Torpedo Squadron 20 were ferried out to Cavite aboard the USS Vega (AK-17) and arrived in Cavite in mid- February 1924 after a 40-day passage from San Diego, California.23 They were the backbone and sinew of Aircraft Squadrons, Asiatic.
Everything in supporting resources for the Squadron over the next few years was in the nature of an improvisation. "Aircraft Squadrons Asiatic exists solely to provide a groundwork to be built upon" was the way Admiral
W. A. Moffett, Chief of the Bureau of Aeronautics, described the situation to his Aide.24
It was 24 June 1924, before Commander Albert C. Read, U.S. Navy, reported aboard the Ajax to take command of that ship, Aircraft Squadron, Asiatic and VT Squadron 20. Read was Class of 1907, holder of naval pilot certificate number 24, and had been skipper of the NC-4 on the first eastward trans-Atlantic flight, 16-17 May 1919.25 He had just come from two years at the Naval War College. By previous training and experience, Read could be judged outstandingly well qualified to get naval aviation development off to a good start in the Asiatic Fleet and make a contribution to its task of showing the flag in and about the important Far East area.
In assigning naval aviators, the Navy Department gave Commander Read some real help. For in the eight officer complement were George D. Murray, Marshall R. Greer, and Frederick W. McMahon, all of whom served the Navy in later years as Flag officers.26
By early 1925 the Heron, a 950-ton Bird class minesweeper, had been taken from "out of commission" status and converted to a small seaplane tender (AVP-2), and added to the Aircraft Squadrons command.27
The important change in Aircraft Squadrons, Asiatic, was to take place in mid-1925. Because the Navy was rapidly shifting from coal to oil for its propulsion, the services of the big 19,000-ton collier Jason (AC-12), were no longer needed in the Fleet Base Force operating in the Atlantic. Without being fitted as a "heavier-than-air aircraft" tender, she was sent out to Manila to relieve the antiquated and disintegrating Ajax.28
A change had been desirable from the day the Ajax was designated an aircraft tender. Her topside space was so limited that only two assembled aircraft could be carried on board. The remaining four were boxed and stowed in the holds. Additionally, she was worn out with sea service. Before the year was out, this became painfully evident during a typhoon-afflicted voyage between Guam and the China coast. Reluctantly, but immediately, she was surveyed as unsafe, condemned as unfit, and sold.29
The Jason was 21 years younger than the Ajax, with twice the displacement. But she was not ideal as an aircraft tender.
As Commander of Aircraft Squadrons, Asiatic, reported to the Navy Department:
The Jason is a collier assigned as an aircraft tender and flagship. No materiel nor personnel changes, other than the addition of a small Flag complement have been made. . . . [She is] wholly inadequate as a tender for the Air Squadrons.30
As a further supplement, another Bird-class minesweeper, the Avocet (AVP-4) had been added to the squadron early in September 1925, having been freshened up to act as a seaplane tender, after being taken from "out of commission" status.31
By 1928, the command of Aircraft Squadrons, Asiatic, had passed through the hands of two non-aviators, Commander Ernest Frederick (Class of 1903) and Commander Raymond F. Frellsen (Class of 1907). This occurred because, with only a dozen commanders in the Navy designated as naval aviators, none had been made available to the Commander in Chief, Asiatic, for the command.32
Commander Frellsen, having been detached at the end of September 1927, had already arrived back in the States before Commander Turner sailed on the SS President Monroe from San Francisco on 16 December 1927, for the four and a half week voyage to Manila, Philippine Islands.
In January 1928, not only was the flagship without a regularly detailed Commanding Officer, but the Executive Officer, Lieutenant Commander Karl E. Hintze, U.S. Navy (Class of 1913), was awaiting departure for the States as soon as his relief, Lieutenant Commander Walter M. A. Wynne, U.S. Navy (Class of 1915) came aboard. In addition to the doctor, a paymaster, and his clerk, there were two junior grade lieutenants and an ensign to keep the 162-man ship's organization producing.33
In the other major unit of the command, Lieutenant Commander George D. Price, U.S. Navy, was in command of VT-5A, the current designation for what previously had been called VT Squadron 20, and there were only three other naval aviators in the squadron.
So, upon arrival, Commander Turner found much to be done. This was not only because the Squadron and its flagship had been required to operate under-manned in officers and men, but because a change was taking place in the type of aircraft the Squadron operated. VT Squadron Five A was just being provided with six new Martin torpedo airplanes (T3M-52), a type which started coming off the assembly lines in July 1926. The orders from the Department were that four were to be in commission and two in reserve.34
The hand-to-mouth existence of the Navy in the lean-national defense days of the Coolidge Administration is illustrated by a quote from Commander Turner's official report. The new torpedo planes, he noted, "were received without any spare parts whatsoever." These T3M-2s were one engine tractor biplanes with twin floats, built by Martin in 1926-27. "Spares did not begin to arrive until March" 1928.35 Not only was the supply end of logistics spotty, but adequate personnel were lacking. Only five aviators, including Commander Aircraft Squadrons, and 33 enlisted men were assigned to the squadron.
There was also a lean ration of bread and butter flight orders for the flight crews. Only eight flight orders for the squadron were allowed and "several enlisted men in the Squadron fly regularly, but have no flight orders." In due time Commander Turner's efforts persuaded the Department to raise this quota of flight orders to 14 against his recommended 22.36
The four aviators in the Squadron were glad to have an aviator in command because they believed his voice would carry more weight than the previous non-aviators at the Fleet staff level, he would understand their many problems more quickly, and would be more apt to be sympathetic to them. But their real desire was for a naval aviator who had been in naval aviation as long or longer than they had been. Someone who would anticipate the aviator's problems and do something to avoid their even arising. Commander Turner was accepted with an "It's bound to be better now"--but the big question mark was "How much better?"37
The most obvious handicap of the Aircraft Squadrons, Asiatic, was the lack of a proper tender. The second handicap, which had to be accepted, was the 1922 Washington Treaty for the Limitation of Naval Armaments. This treaty included provisions that the status quo, at the time of signing of the treaty, would be maintained by the United States in regard to its naval bases west of Hawaii. Therefore, no measures could be taken "to increase the existing naval shore facilities for the repair and maintenance of Naval Forces" in the Philippine Islands.38
It was distressingly obvious that facilities to permit the operation from the beach of the seaplanes of the Squadron would violate the provisions of the treaty. One of the aviators in the Squadron at this time in 1928, Lieutenant George Dorsey Price (Class of 1916), recalls an incident arising during the typhoon season when the planes had made a routine operating flight to Olongapo and were moored overnight in Olongapo Bay. The squadron was warned the next day of the near approach of a typhoon which had veered suddenly to head for Manila from its original path to the east of Luzon.
In order to save their aircraft, the plane crews, with some shoreside assistance and hastily-laid ramps, hauled the seaplanes up on the beach at the Naval Station Olongapo. Here the pontoons were filled with water and the planes lashed down. When the typhoon had passed, the planes were floated, and returned to their tenders at Manila.
About three weeks later, the squadron commander was informed that the Japanese Government had complained to the United States Government that the Navy had violated the 1922 Washington Treaty by increasing the facilities for plane handling at the Naval Station, Olongapo. The squadron commander was required to provide factual data to the Governor General's Office, so that an appropriate response could be made to the Japanese.39
The general hazard of weather and the specific hazard of typhoons to aircraft were a constant worry to the new squadron commander. He expressed his anxieties in these words:
Too great emphasis cannot be placed on the dangers of plane operations on this station due to typhoons. Unless planes can be hoisted out of the water or anchored down on shore or on board ship during typhoons, they will almost certainly be wrecked.
Under present conditions, it is impracticable to operate planes from
the vicinity of Manila during the rainy season. Cavite is unsuitable as a seaplane base at any time of the year.40
During his 16 months on station, two planes were lost and one was badly damaged due to crack-ups in rough water landings, which proved to be beyond the skill of the pilots, or the structure of the planes.41
With shoreside seaplane facilities out of question, Commander Turner immediately turned his attention to drafting plans to convert the 17-year-old Jason (AC-12) to a heavier-than-air aircraft tender. He soon formulated two major projects to alter the Jason. Project One would fit her to base 12 planes on board and Project Two would permit 30 planes to be based on board.42
Project One was urgent because, beginning on July 1, 1928, the Jason was to base six T3M-2 aircraft and a flag unit of two UO Chance Vought observation aircraft in full commission, and carry three more T3M-2 aircraft in reserve.43
Admiral Bristol, the Commander in Chief, was quick and positive in helping the project along. He advised the Chief of Naval Operations:
The Jason is unsuitable in her present condition as an aircraft tender, but could be made so with the alterations to be recommended. These include additional quarters for officers and men, the conversion of the coal bunkers into fuel oil stowage, storerooms and magazines; the installation of gasoline stowage, of new generators, and the possible removal of the coaling booms, substituting two cranes; with these changes, the Jason could maintain the following planes:--18VT, 6VO, and 6VF.44
Although mentioned last in priority by the Commander in Chief, the change dearest to the naval aviator's heart was one which would remove the coal hoisting gear of the Jason and provide modern plane handling booms, with winch controls, permitting fast and delicate handling of the planes. On 30 April 1928, one of the new Martin torpedo planes was dropped 30 feet by the coal handling gear "necessitating a major overhaul of both plane and engine."45
Money for all naval purposes was modest in fiscal 1928 and fiscal 1929, but Project One was accomplished at Cavite Navy Yard in the late spring of 1929. Project Two was lost in the financial depression which began in
the fall of 1929, as was the proposed patrol plane increase on the Asiatic Station to 18.
The Jason, burning "old and slack" Chinese coal and making a competitive score in the Fleet Engineering competition of only 75.00 at her best cruising speed of 11.6 knots, was to be nursed along until mid-1932. Then, together with many other ships, she succumbed to drastically reduced naval appropriations, and was placed out of commission, taking most of Aircraft Squadrons, Asiatic, to the same boneyard.46
So although Commander Turner was largely responsible for initiating the remodeling of the collier Jason into an aircraft tender, the length of his tour in command did not permit him to witness the undertaking of the actual alterations or to publish the official change in designation.47
Commander Turner received a distinct boost up the ladder from his tour on the Asiatic Station. This was far from routine, as many an officer dampened his promotion opportunities on that fast stepping station. He was extremely lucky to have Admiral Mark L. Bristol as the Commander in Chief, Asiatic Fleet, and as his immediate senior. Admiral Bristol, a non-naval aviator, but an officer of recognized ability and strong character, had been Director of Naval Aviation in the Navy Department from 1913 to 1916, and was the originator of the phrase "Take the Air Service to Sea."48
One of Turner's earnest desires was to take the Aircraft Squadrons to sea and to conduct air reconnaissance of the sea areas around and about the main islands of the Philippines. Primarily this was because "there are no charts for aerial navigation of the Philippines" and there was little information regarding possible seaplane bases from which large seaplanes could be operated in time of war.49 Both of these deficiencies could be corrected while at the same time Commander Turner would acquire an opportunity to "act independently with no mother hen superior peering over his shoulder."50
This policy fitted into Admiral Bristol's plans, and the desire of the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Charles F. Hughes, U.S. Navy, for data to prepare aviation charts in the Philippine Islands. Admiral Bristol had caused
Commander Light Cruiser Division Three, Rear Admiral J. R. Y. Blakely, U.S. Navy, to visit and report upon Malampaya Sound, Palawan; Tawi Tawi Bay, Tawi Tawi; and Dumanquilas Bay and Davao Gulf, Mindanao. These large water areas, all 500 to 600 miles south of Manila were examined "with a view to their utilization as Advanced Bases for the U.S. Fleet."51
These visits and the subsequent reports to the Navy Department were to provide the detailed data necessary to permit filling out the War Plans of that date calling for the U.S. Fleet to move from the continental United States to an Advance Base in the Southern Philippines, in the early days of a war with Japan.52
It was apparent that if the Aircraft Squadrons could conduct aerial reconnaissance over and around some of the larger islands in the Philippines and determine the availability of suitable protected areas outside the typhoon belt from which seaplanes could operate, a substantial amount of information would accrue, upon which to base detailed offensive and defensive war operations of the U.S. Fleet.53
During the period July 1, 1927 to April 20, 1929, therefore, four to six planes of Aircraft Squadrons, Asiatic, carried out aerial and photographic reconnaissance covering:
West Coast of Luzon from Cape Bolinao at the entrance to Lingayen Gulf to San Bernadino Strait 400 miles to the southeast
East Coast of Luzon
Burias, Marinduque, Masbate and Ticao Island
Mindanao, except East Coast
Visayas, except East Coast
All major ports of the Philippines54
In addition while based at Chefoo, China, "reconnaissance flights were made from Chefoo to Chinwangtao for the purpose of obtaining photographs of the coastline and landmarks, for the Hydrographic Office." Later
an aerial survey of the Nanking area was made.55 During all these flights, Commander Turner carried more than his share of the load. He showed an eagerness to fly which matched that of his subordinates, eight to 16 years younger, and he showed a high degree of skill for one of his years. He also showed a complete unwillingness to accept past performance of the Aircraft Squadrons as a standard for the present or future.56
The squadron was kept pounding away at the wearisome, but rewarding, task of air reconnaissance, until at the time of his relief, Commander Turner was able to report "all operations contemplated in connection with the preparation of airway charts have been completed."57
During 1928 and 1929, the Commander in Chief also was requesting all merchant ships transiting the general Asiatic Station area to send in a report at the end of each voyage showing the type of weather encountered each day, and to answer:
What speed could a destroyer maintain?
What speed could a submarine maintain?
Could a destroyer or submarine oil from a tanker?
Could airplanes land or take off?
With this data properly synthesized and plotted on the monthly pilot charts of the North Pacific Ocean and, acting on the assumption that the masters of the ships had not answered questions where they lacked competence, it was possible to plan more accurately for a naval campaign in the Western Pacific.58
Admiral Bristol was energetic and air-minded. He had come away from his eight years' duty as High Commissioner in Turkey, with a well-founded reputation for diplomacy. This was helpful in continuing and expanding Joint Exercises with the Army, in which both Army and Naval aircraft played a regular role. Major General Douglas MacArthur, USA, was commander of the Army's Philippine Department. He was to be the next Chief of Staff of the Army.
Joint maneuvers between the Army and Navy were a tradition on the
Asiatic Station, but they waxed and waned depending on the spirit of cooperation between the top echelons of command. Admiral Bristol in his first yearly summary of operations after taking command reported:
Measures have been taken with the Army authorities to greatly extend the scope of these Joint maneuvers for next year (July 1, 1928 to June 30, 1929).
His future plans specifically included "scouting for the approach of the Fleet by combined Army-Navy planes, followed by a combined air attack."59
These operations brought Commander Turner into close working relations with the senior officers of the Army Air Corps, and with the staff of the Commander in Chief, as well as with Admiral Bristol himself. In due time and after much preliminary communication training, during which "reliable radio ranges between planes up to 200 miles" were achieved, the planned operations were carried out on 12, 13, and 15 November 1928. The November 15 operation resulted in the following despatch to the Chief of Naval Operations.
Setting a precedent in the Asiatic Station, and it is believed for the first time in history, Army and Navy planes in a single formation, under a unified command performed a simulated attack on an assumed hostile fleet. COMAIRONS with six T3M2 planes, 2 UO planes, 8 Army pursuit planes, 6 Army attack planes, and 6 Army bombers at 0800, 15 November 1928 made rendezvous at Corregidor, and, acting on the information supplied by 4 Army scouts, delivered a simultaneous attack, involving torpedoing, bombing and strafing on the light cruisers, which were defended by their own planes and a force of fifteen destroyers, at a point about 30 miles to the southwest of Corregidor.
The operation appeared successful in every phase and was marked by excellent radio communication and coordination.
A total of 32 planes simultaneously conducted the operation, in addition to the six defending planes of the attacked cruisers.
This maneuver marks a distinct advance in the efficiency of the defense of the Philippine Islands and it is believed the spirit of cooperation existing between the Army and Navy Air Services could not be higher.60
The Secretary of the Navy was quick to snap back with:
The Department is much gratified at success of Joint Air Operations and especially because of the high spirit of cooperation existing between Army and Navy in Philippines.61
This was followed by a warm congratulatory personal letter to Commander
Turner from the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Air, Edward P. Warner, which concluded with "I hope there will be opportunity for many more such studies and practices, both in your command and elsewhere."62 A copy of this letter was placed in Commander Turner's official record.
By April 1929, Commander Turner was able to report: "There have been ten occasions when operations have been held by this squadron with units of the Army, since 1 July 1928."63 These included Joint Board Problems 1 and 3 as set forth in Joint Board No. 350. And Admiral Bristol, at the end of the 1929 fiscal year, in commenting on Fleet training during the previous 12 months said:
One of the most interesting features has been the development of combined Army-Navy aircraft operations.64
He summed up the matter with these words:
Cooperation between the Army and Navy air forces has been excellent and great advancement made in combined operation.65
A tour of the Asiatic Station at this time also provided an excellent opportunity for an analysis of war operations in the Philippines. That Commander Turner was so minded is indicated by what he wrote in April 1929:
It is customary amongst Naval officers to consider it practically settled that the ORANGE [Japanese] forces in the case of an ORANGE-BLUE War, will be landed on the shores of Lingayen Gulf. The existing ASIATIC FLEET operating plan covers this contingency in considerable detail.66
Commander Turner did not controvert this surmise, which proved to be 100 percent correct. But he thought, and was forthright enough to say so in a carefully reasoned three-page letter, that the possibility of a Japanese landing in a southern arm of Lamon Bay, called Lopez Bay, "should be again studied" by the Navy as an alternative Japanese landing objective. Lopez Bay was 125 miles by rail and road southeast of Manila. There the water was smooth and the beaches good. Turner believed that "this matter has not
received the attention from the Navy it merits." He noted that "the Army has held maneuvers in Eastern Luzon at this point." He further opined:
The use of Naval forces, in case of a hostile landing on the East Coast of Luzon has been insufficiently investigated [and] prepared for.67
This proposal, however, did not result in immediate action. Due to the Army being unwilling to hold combined operations during a period when the Asiatic Fleet was normally in the Philippines for the fiscal year 1929, Admiral Bristol sadly reported "No combined operations with the Army were carried out other than those with the combined aircraft." He strongly believed in and recommended that "Combined Army-Navy problems involving the defense of the Philippine Islands be carried out and that such problems be formulated in Washington."68 In this way the Army Command in the Philippines would be required to carry them out.
The United States Army continued to regard Lopez Bay as a likely Japanese landing area, and the Army was quite right. The Japanese made their secondary landing at Lopez Bay on 24 December 1941, two days after the main Japanese landing had taken place at Lingayen Gulf. Major General George M. Parker, Jr., USA, with the South Luzon Force (two divisions) was in that area to oppose the landing at Lopez Bay. All three of the Japanese assault forces for the 7,000-man secondary landing came ashore in Lopez Bay.69
Commander Turner's knowledge, perspicacity, initiative, and forthrightness in this matter must have strengthened his seniors' regard for his judgment in regard to other planning and operational matters once the war operations of the Japanese had started.
The normal schedule for the Asiatic Fleet in 1928-1929 was for the Fleet to spend the four winter months in operational and gunnery training, based in the Philippines; the four summer months on similar training, based in North China; and the four remaining months, cruising and "showing the Flag" in all the principal ports from the Dutch East Indies to Japan. Fleet
and Type exercises were held during passage between ports and Joint exercises when in the Philippine area.70
An impressive schedule of exercises was carried out in 1928-1929 despite the fact that the shadow of the Great Depression had already fallen on the Navy and some exercises were cancelled "due to the necessity of conserving fuel oil."71
Despite the fact that "water conditions on the Asiatic Stations are frequently too rough for the present type of seaplane," VT Squadron Five A flew nearly 800 hours in fiscal year 1928 and 1,000 hours in fiscal 1929. More than 100 of these latter hours were in night flying.72 A compulsory requirement for night flying by all naval aviators had been promulgated by the Chief of Naval Operations on 16 January 1929 to become effective 1 July 1930. Each naval aviator was required to pilot an aircraft for 10 hours of night flying involving at least 20 landings.
Always anxious to be the first over any hurdle, Commander Turner on 30 March 1929, reported to the Bureau that he had met both requirements and submitted the supporting data. The Bureau of Navigation was hardhearted. They pointed out that some of his night flying had been prior to 16 January and that he had completed only 9 hours and 45 minutes of night flying time after that date.73
It was during this cruise that Commander Turner's appetite for intelligence data was whetted. The lack of current informational data especially oriented to the needs of naval aviators on the Asiatic Station, and the lack of foreign intelligence both bothered him. He had been able to do something about the first problem, and he tried to do something about the intelligence. He noted in his Annual Report, that he had sent into the Department "twenty intelligence reports," and he recommended that the Office of Naval Intelligence issue a new intelligence portfolio for the Far East Area.74
On the way back to the continental United States, Commander Turner was given authority by the Bureau of Navigation to enter Japan. He spent two weeks there with the United States Naval Attaché at Tokyo, Japan, getting himself better grounded with the military resources of the Japanese Empire, and receiving educated guesses on its probable political and military
intentions. These two weeks counted as leave. Mrs. Turner had preceded him to the United States.75
However, the tour on the China Station was not all beer and skittles. In the 16 months of command, four planes, out of an operating force never numbering more than eight, were lost. One of the tenders, the USS Avocet, grounded on the beach at Chefoo, China, as described in the following report:
One summer night, while the Jason lay at Chefoo, a gale came up and ships began to drag anchor. I and Commander Turner had already retired ashore for the night. A rumor came to me at our hotel that the Avocet was aground on Chefoo beach. I went out and verified this and then returned to our hotel and told Turner. Without any grumbling he turned out and together we went to the beach and began salvage operations. My duties next here to take the heavy Jason, anchor as near the Avocet as safety permitted, get out hawsers to the Avocet and keep them under tension. With the aid of some sand sucking gear, the Avocet came off easily. No aid was requested from outside our own organization.76
In the Navy of 1928, planes and ships were carefully guarded pieces of government property, for which officers had a high degree of personal responsibility. Each of these events was followed by a Court of Inquiry or Board of Investigation and, in the Avocet case, a General Court Martial.77
While Commander Turner was happy to report that "for the first time since the establishment of the Aircraft Squadrons, the planes have fully completed all the gunnery exercises required in the Navy-wide gunnery competition during the gunnery year," he added that "the scores made were very poor," and the results were "unsatisfactory." So, the gunnery of the squadron was dismal. To a former gunnery officer of no mean skill, this was a bitter pill to swallow. Previously "not one of the aviators on board had ever launched a torpedo from a plane. No officer attached to VT Squadron Five A was sufficiently familiar with the general methods of gunnery training to supervise this important and arduous work." There had been handicaps, but there was also progress. The best that could be said was that the future should be more propitious, based on the training accomplished.78
Special pleading to the Fleet Staff had produced an increase of Line
lieutenants and four warrant officers on board the Jason, but only much letter writing persuaded the Department to provide a 50 percent increase in naval aviators on the far China Station.
Officer turnover had been painfully rapid. In 16 months there had been four changes in Executive Officers of the flagship. One served under Commander Turner only one month and another only four months before returning to the United States at the expiration of their cruise on the Asiatic Station. Additionally there had been four Engineer Officers, three First Lieutenants, two Gunnery Officers, and two Communications Officers between 1 July 1928 and 1 April 1929.79
Having drawn a two-months dead horse, amounting to $816.66 (today this would amount to $2,800.00), having paid the 20 peso fee to become a permanent absentee member of the Manila Golf Club, and having shipped his Essex Sedan stateside for a mere $125, Commander Turner went aboard the SS President Madison on 20 April 1929 with a feeling of some elation as he carried a message given him that day by a spokesman for the ship's company of the command which read:
To Commander R.K. Turner, U.S. Navy
With sincere and grateful appreciation of the high quality of leadership and spirit of good fellowship you consistently exhibited as our Commander, the Aircraft Squadrons Asiatic wish you God speed and bon voyage. May you enjoy a pleasant and satisfactory tour of duty in your new assignment. May good fortune and happy landings always be your portion.
Not that there had been no dissent.
One of the junior lieutenant aviators in the squadron balanced out the picture with the following words:
He was capable and energetic, a good flyer with good aviation judgment; [the Squadron was] efficient, fairly smart as an outfit. [Commander Turner] was interested in tactics. He could foresee war with Japan. [The
main accomplishment was] surveying sites in the Philippines which could be made into aircraft landing areas in the future. [He remembered his AIRONS Commander as] Ambitious and the Prussian Type. [His main interest was] to advance himself through hard work. He demanded hard work and efficiency from others, but drove himself harder. [He] was unpopular with a considerable number of junior officers and a few seniors.81
One of his executive officers in the Jason described his 44-year-old skipper as follows:
Kelly Turner had a strong mind and lots of drive. He was up at dawn and still going strong at ten that night. If he had an objective in mind, he would seek to reach it, exploring any and all ways. He would accept no half-way job of any kind from an officer subordinate. He drove, and would not listen to excuses, and certainly not always to reason. You either met his standards or got to hell out of the way.
His primary weakness was his lack of consideration and cooperation down the ladder to the wardroom.
He was a bold seaman and an excellent ship handler. The Jason was a big old tub with inadequate power. Turner took her into holes on the East Coast of Luzon, which required a very high degree of skill. The Jason had no sonic depth finder, and the charts were old and inadequate, but he dodged coral heads adeptly and frequently.
The Jason had good discipline. The men got a fair shake at mast, but Kelly Turner was no molly-coddler.
He was about as far from a beach hound as one could get. He played golf with me and with Russ Ihrig (Skipper of the Heron) on week-ends. He was a long iron hitter. With a number 7 iron, he could drive nearly 200 yards."82
Along the lines of the latter comments, another officer added:
He played a fair game of golf and liked golf. He stuck strictly to the rules.83
One of the Commanding Officers of seaplane tenders, the Heron, who served a full year with Commander Turner says:
It was my opinion, and common consensus of Squadron Officers, I believe, that Kelly was tops in all respects as a Squadron Commander. He was obviously a fine planner from the aviation survey projects he laid out. He was an aggressive operations commander. I know from his inspection procedures that he was a thorough and highly competent administrator. My impression from Squadron and Jason officers was that he was taut and perhaps
tough, but fair, although intolerant of inefficiency to the point where some thought he was a sundowner.84
The Executive Officer of the Jason who served longest with him (10 months) reports:
Before I reported for duty on the Jason, the advice to me was to watch out for Commander Turner. He was a Son-of-a-bitch.
Kelly Turner turned out to be a close approximation to what I consider an officer and gentleman should be. One who could lead in any direction. He had no weak points, but instead a variety of strong ones which would only come in focus as occasion required. . . .
To the enlisted personnel, he had for them the aura of the master about him. . . . For the officers, he was the gentleman's gentleman. . . . Hence, he never once lost the respect of any of the personnel he came in contact with, officers or men.85
Admiral Mark Bristol took a kindly view of Commander Turner in the regular fitness reports. He recognized his weaknesses, marking him average in patience and self-control, but superior in most other qualities, and in the various reports penned these descriptive phrases:
Active mind and desire to be doing something is very gratifying.
A very good mind which he keeps working with a very desirable imagination.
He never hesitates to undertake anything.
Commander Turner's cruise on the Asiatic Station was 12 months shorter than the normal two and a half years. The shortening of this pleasurable and stimulating command duty arose because of the familiar Navy "Daisy Chain."
Bureau of Aeronautics
In early 1928, Captain Ernest J. King was Assistant Chief of the Bureau of Aeronautics. "When fur flew" between King and the Chief of Bureau, Rear Admiral Moffett, King promptly was ordered to command the Naval Air Station, Naval Operating Base, Hampton Roads, Virginia.86 To replace King, Admiral Moffett decided to fleet up his Planning Officer, Commander J.H. Towers. To keep the daisy chain moving, and to fill the important billet of Plans Officer in the Bureau, the decision was made to take advantage
of Commander Turner's planning ability and bring him back early from the Asiatic Station.
Rear Admiral Moffett had headed the Bureau of Aeronautics for nine years. Moffett was an "energetic personality" who "invariably knew what he wanted in the most definite way."87 For this reason, doing the advance planning for him was not an easy task, since no matter what an extensive estimate of the situation might show to be a desirable course of action, Admiral Moffett was apt to have already made a couple of 10 league mental strides along his own throughway from here to there in the particular area under consideration.88
In July 1929, when Turner reported, the Bureau of Aeronautics had 42 officers assigned to it, of which six were in the Plans Division. Commander Marc A. Mitscher, a former classmate, and Lieutenant Commander Charles E. Rosendahl (Class of 1914) and a lighter-than-air enthusiast, were Commander Turner's principal assistants, but there was also a recent shipmate, Lieutenant Commander George D. Price who had commanded Squadron VT Five A in Aircraft Squadrons, Asiatic.89
The Air Arm of the Navy was growing although the great economic depression of the early 1930's was to slow the pace for several years. Naval appropriations for the year ahead were 366 million, but before Commander Turner would get to sea again they would be down to 318 million for fiscal year 1933.90
There were 5,458 officers in the Line of the Navy of which 520 were naval aviators. Of all officers in the Navy 50 percent were on shore duty, 50 percent on sea duty. The Marines were in Nicaragua where operations against the bandits continued, and in Haiti, where a "state of unrest which for a time threatened the internal peace" continued. Although 84,500 men manned the Navy, this number was soon to be cut back to 79,991 by 30 June 1931.91 Out of a grand total of 928 planes available to the Navy, 425 planes were attached to the United States Fleet.92
The Chief of the Bureau of Aeronautics would soon object to the reduction to two million dollars of money available for "experiments," half "for the development of details of" and half for the purchase of "experimental
aircraft and engines." The Chief of the Bureau of Construction and Repair would soon report that "designs of two types of 40-foot motor launches for landing in the surf have been completed."93
One incident of Commander Turner's desk tour in the Plans Office which was connected with the reduced expenditure of research funds is interesting. A classmate of Kelly Turner's, resigned from the Navy, Eugene E. Wilson, relates this tale in connection with trying to interest the Navy in letting the British manufacture the controllable pitch propeller, the gear shift of the air.
When I approached the Bureau of Aeronautics [to get approval of letting a foreign manufacturer have the plan], I ran smack into a cold front. Control of research and development had been usurped by the Plans Division, now under my Academy and Columbia classmate, Commander R.K. Turner. 'Spuds' Turner was a fighting man, an E. J. King type, and a tough customer. He was to become immortal as 'Terrible Turner of Tarawa' in World War II, but he was scarcely my choice for BUAERO's Research and Development. He and I had had a run-in in Guantanamo Bay on the Destroyer Tender Bridgeport, when he was Gunnery Aide on the Staff of the CinC. In the absence of my skipper, he tried to bawl me out in public for one of his own blunders, and I ordered him off the ship. Now, he not only avowed 'no interest' in the new propeller, but he stormed up and down the corridor bawling me out for wasting money on a useless gadget.94
When the Chief of the Bureau of Aeronautics, Rear Admiral Moffett, agreed with Wilson, who in 1930 was President of Hamilton Standard Propellers of Pittsburgh, and signed the papers approving the giving to de Havillands, a British aircraft company, the plans to build the controllable pitch propeller, then Turner "was really hoist on his own petard," according to Wilson. The "gadget" turned out to be invaluable.
As Chief of the Planning Division, Bureau of Aeronautics, Commander Turner was a regular member of the Aeronautical Board, a Joint Board of the Army and Navy, and one of the first vehicles for Joint action by the Services. The Aeronautical Joint Board was:
Specifically charged with the preparation of plans to prevent competition in the procurement of material, when the Chiefs of the respective Services have been unable to reach an agreement; consideration in respect of projects for experimental stations on shore, coastal air stations, and for stations to be used jointly by the Army and Navy; and the consideration of all estimates for appropriations for the aeronautical programs of the Army and Navy with a view to the elimination of duplication . . . the Joint Board
during the past year has submitted 30 unanimous reports and recommendations for the approval of the two Secretaries.95
Having gotten his feet pleasantly wet in Joint maneuvers with the Army Air Corps on the Asiatic Station resulting in a Secretarial commendation, Commander Turner was particularly willing to work with the Army as a member on the Joint Board.96
The next few years flew by, and they moved Commander Turner from strictly naval matters into the arena of political-military affairs. This was a major broadening step in his over-all development, since in this latter field a military officer becomes a trustee of the essential interests of the country.
In 1931, the Big Powers were going through one of their perennial disarmament binges. The Washington Treaty for the Limitations of Naval Armaments, concluded in February 1922, and signed by France, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom as well as by the United States, had started an incomplete and unequal limitation of naval armaments among the major naval powers. This limitation was very popular not only in the countries directly affected, but in those countries whose navies were small. Statesmen and politicians talked continuously of expanding the limitations.
In 1925, the United States joined in the unfruitful discussions of that year by the Preparatory Commission for the Reduction and Limitation of Armaments--sea, land, and air--fathered by the League of Nations. Two years later, a three-power naval conference between Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States, convened in Geneva, but the conferees failed to expand the naval armament limitations of the 1922 Washington Treaty. France and Italy declined to join in this 1927 naval disarmament effort, but did join in the London Naval Conference of 1930. They refused, however, to accept the limitations placed on auxiliary tonnage by the 1930 London Treaty.
Having accomplished a minor advance in naval limitation in 1930, the United States' effort turned in 1931 to the broader field of all military disarmament. In early 1931, a Draft Convention for Limitations and Reduction of Armaments, drawn up by a Preparatory Commission assembled under the auspices of the League of Nations, was referred by the State Department to the Navy Department for comment. The disarmament convention was to meet at Geneva on 2 February, 1932.
The General Board of the Navy, which consisted of its senior statesmen, considered the subject matter for some eight months and submitted its
recommendations to the Secretary of the Navy in a weighty 104-page document. The General Board recommended to the Secretary of the Navy for adoption the following statement of policy as Navy Department policy, and its forwarding to the Secretary of State.
The Department is opposed, as unsafe and inadvisable, to reduction by example, or by any method which does not consider all elements of national armament.
The Navy Department believes that the first and most important problem in the movement toward limitation and reduction of armaments is to effect general agreement in 1932 which will bring nations into a worldwide system of limitation of armaments stabilized at the lowest level obtainable without undue friction or misunderstanding.97
Commander Turner was directed in March 1931 to
report to the Senior Member present, General Board, Navy Department, for temporary duty in connection with preparation for the next disarmament conference at Geneva in 1932.98
For nine months, Commander Turner carried water on both shoulders by serving in the Planning Division of the Bureau of Aeronautics and with the General Board. At night he was studying and learning the positions taken or advanced by all the participating nations in the disarmament discussion. During the day he was trying to devise plans for a shrinking purse to cover expanding naval air operations.
On 27 November 1931 he was detached from all duty in the Bureau of Aeronautics and in due time proceeded to Geneva, Switzerland, where he remained until 22 July 1932. Admiral Turner's most significant remembrance of this conference was that the British had recommended and argued long and hard for the abolition of aircraft carriers from the navies of the signatory powers. The records of the conference indicate that this proposal was advanced by the British on 29 February 1932.
Commander Turner's efforts, and those of his seniors, were fruitless. The 1932 conference
was soon lost in a maze of conflicting proposals, each nation seeking to improve its own relative status by suggesting the reduction or abolition of those weapons essential to potential opponents and the retention of those considered necessary to its own national defense.99
And perhaps more succinctly, it can be said that the conference foundered
on the Japanese invasion of Manchuria in September 1931, the threatened withdrawal of Germany from the conference which actually took place in September 1932, and the absence of the largest land power nation in Europe, the Soviet Union, from membership in the League of Nations.
The world-wide economic depression was having a significant effect in every democratically run country in reducing the willingness of the peoples representatives to spend tax money on armaments. The United States Navy was enduring markedly reduced steaming and training activity. A large number of the ships were sitting day after day alongside of docks in Navy yards in "rotating reserve." The small nucleus of professional officers and men had their low pay further cut, the first year by 8.33 percent and then, the next year by 12.5 percent.
This period was remembered as somber and depressing.
Forced by this circumstance [the depression] to effect rigid economies, the expansion of naval aviation was slowed, the aircraft inventory was barely sufficient to equip operating units, research and development programs suffered, and operations were drastically curtailed.100
The Bureau of Aeronautics was asked to keep the budget inside 32 million for 1932.101
However, there were two important advances in making naval aviation an integral part of the U.S. Fleet. Toward the end of Commander Turner's detail in aviation planning, the keel for the USS Ranger (CV-4), first ship of the U. S. Navy to be designed and constructed as an aircraft carrier, was laid down, September 1931, and the underway recovery of seaplanes by battleships and cruisers became a reality through planned development of the towing sled.
Equally important was the new policy, enunciated in November 1930 by the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral W. V. Pratt, 16 months after Commander Turner took over the Plans Division, by which the majority of large naval air stations were assigned to and operated under Fleet command instead of under Shore and Bureau of Aeronautics command.
Admiral Turner felt that he had been most fortunate to have been picked in 1931 for the technical advisor detail at Geneva. It gave him the opportunity to work closely with Ambassador Hugh Gibson and with the diplomatically trained members of the General Board, such as former Commanders in Chief of the Asiatic Fleet, Admirals Mark L. Bristol and Charles B.
McVay, and the senior naval member of the Advisory Group sent to Geneva, Rear Admiral A.J. Hepburn, later Commander in Chief of the United States Fleet.102
Commander Turner felt he had profited greatly. And fortunately he came out of it with three good pieces of paper, the most important of which were orders to the carrier Saratoga (CV-3) as Executive Officer. The Saratoga was one of the only two real battle line carriers in the Navy, the other being the Lexington (CV-2). The other two pieces of paper were commendatory letters from Secretary of State H.L. Stimson and from the Chairman of the American Delegation, Hugh Gibson. The latter is reproduced herewith.
July 27, 1932
The Honorable the SECRETARY OF STATE.
SIR: I have the honor to refer to the services of Commander Richmond K. Turner, Naval Adviser to the American Delegation to the General Disarmament Conference. Commander Turner's technical knowledge and skill in handling all matters pertaining to air questions rendered his services of great value to the Delegation. He was often called upon to present the views of this Delegation during the meetings of the Air Commission, and he rendered this service most effectively.
I desire to commend his services most highly to both the Department of State and the Navy Department, and should be pleased if a copy of this despatch were made available for the records of the Navy Department.
(Signed) HUGH GIBSON
During this tour of shore duty, Commander Turner was in considerable demand as a speechmaker. He received five sets of official orders from the Bureau of Navigation for this purpose in 1930, which should have been something of a record considering the parsimony of the Bureau in doling out travel funds during those money-hungry days.
As a Speechmaker
Commander Turner talked to the Naval Postgraduate School on:
Aircraft Policies of the Army and Navy
Programs and Projects of Naval Aviation
Naval Five-Year Program
He talked also to the Coast Artillery School, the Air Corps Tactical School, and the Marine Corps School. And he was invited back the next year.
Whether it was Commander Turner, Captain Turner, or Rear Admiral Turner, the man was no flamboyant orator. If, however, one was interested in learning about the subject talked on, he was not only first-rate to listen to, but superior. For he always had the facts in his mind and on the tip of his tongue. The facts were arranged logically to support major conclusions. He spoke with marked intensity and with a minimum of note referencing and hemming and hawing. He was a great success during question periods, since he quickly tautened the bowline around the necks of those whose queries indicated lack of attention to what had been said once, but dealt painstakingly with those who sought to explore areas in the speech not covered fully, or to question the reasoned deductions.
As Patrick J. Hurley, Secretary of War, wrote:
It is reported that the lectures were very interesting, instructive, and capably delivered, and that their quality indicated a thorough knowledge of the subjects covered.103
He was an effective speaker because he was unpretentious, direct and informed.
1. (a) CINC Asiatic, Annual Reports, 1928 and 1929 with departmental endorsements thereon. Hereafter referred to as Asiatic A.R.; (b) COMAIRONS, Asiatic, Annual Reports, 1928 and 1929. Hereafter referred to as COMAIRONS A.R.; (c) BUAER, Endorsement to Asiatic, A.R., 1929.
2. Register of Commissioned and Warrant Officers of the United States Navy and Marine Corps, January 1928. Hereafter referred to as Naval Register.
3. DCNO(AIR) and CHBUWEPS, United States Naval Aviation 1910-1960, NAVWEPS-00-80P-1, Appendix IV. Hereafter referred to as NAVWEPS-00-80P-1.
4. United States Navy Directory, January 1, 1928, p. 140.
5. Asiatic, A.R., 1928, pp. 20, 22. Third Brigade Marines status changed from Temporary to Permanent status 1 March 1928. Light Cruiser Division Two relieved Light Cruiser Division Three on 30 May 1928.
6. Navy Directory, Jan 1928, p. 130.
7. Encyclopaedia Britannica, 14th ed., vol. V, p. 545; (b) SECNAV, Annual Report, 1928, pp. 4, 5.
8. (a) Asiatic A.R., p. 3; ibis., 1929, p. 10; (b) SECNAV, A.R., 1928, p. 5.
9. Asiatic, A.R., 1928, p. 7. Admiral Bristol, when a commander, was on the Asiatic Station in 1911-1913.
10. Asiatic A.R., 1928, p. 8.
11. (a) Asiatic, A.R., 1928, p. 16; (b) Encyclopaedia Britannica, vol V, p. 546.
12. Ibid., p. 515.
13. Asiatic, A.R., 1929, p. 6.
14. Ibid., 1928, p. 33.
15. Ibid., 1929, p. 11.
16. (a) Navy Directory, May 1924; (b) General Orders of Navy Department; (c) Interview with Vice Admiral M.R. Greer, USN (Ret.), 12 Dec 1961. Hereafter Greer.
17. NAVWEPS-00-80P-1, p. 30.
18. (a)Archibald D. Trumbull and Clifford L. Lord, History of United States Naval Aviation (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1949), p. 150. Hereafter Trumbull and Lord; (b) Official Naval Biography, of officer concerned. Hereafter Official Biography,
19. (a) Navy Directory, 1919; (b) NAVWEPS-00-80P-1, p. 30.
20. Bureau of Construction and Repair, Ships Data, U.S. Naval Vessels (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1938). Hereafter Ships Data.
21. (a) Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, Vol. I, p. 64. Hereafter DANFS, I; (b) Navy Directory, 1919.
22. (a) Ibid.; (b) NAVWEPS-00-80P-1, Appendix I, p. 195.
23. (a) Navy Directory, 1924; (b) Greer; (c) DANFS, I, p. 17.
24. Interview with Captain George Dorsey price, USN (Ret.), San Diego, California, 12 Oct 1961. Hereafter Price.
25. (a) Official Biography, Read; (b) Trumbull and Lord, p. 168; (c) NAVWEPS-00-80P-1, Appendix II.
26. (a) Navy Directory, 1924; (b) Naval Register, 1947.
27. (a) Navy Directory, 1925; (b) Ships Data, 1938.
28. (a) Ibid.; (b) Navy Directory, 1925; (c) Greer.
29. (a) Ibid.; (b) Ships Data, 1938; (c) DANFS, I.
30. COMAIRONS, A.R., 1928, p. 1.
31. (a) Navy Directory, 1926-1927; (b) DANFS, I, p. 78.
32. Four of the commander naval aviators commanded or were executives of ships (Lexington, Saratoga, Wright, Langley); three commanded Naval Air Stations (Hampton Roads, Pearl Harbor, Pensacola); two were of Staffs AIRBATFOR, AIRSCOFOR; three were in Navy Department.
33. (a) Navy Directory, Jan 1928; (b) Turner; (c) Price; (d) COMAIRONS, A.R., 1928, p. 23.
34. (a) Asiatic, A.R., 1928, para. 241, 281, 287, 295; (b) COMAIRONS, A.R., 1928; pp. 22, 23, 24; (c) NAVWEPS-00-80P-1, p. 210.
35. COMAIRONS, A.R., 1928, pp. 20, 28, 29.
36. (a) COMAIRONS, A.R., 1928, p. 25; Ibid., 1929, p. 39; (b) Asiatic, A.R., 1929, p. 68.
38. Washington Treaty for the Limitations of Naval Armaments, 1922, Article XIX.
40. COMAIRONS, A.R., 1928, pp. 3, 4, 10, 20.
41. Ibid., p. 11; Ibid., 1929, p. 22.
42. (a) Asiatic, A.R., 1928, pp. 24, 31, 53; (b) COMAIRONS, A.R., 1928, p. 19.
43. (a) Ibid., 1928, p. 2; Ibid., 1929, pp. 4, 20; (b) Asiatic, A.R., 1929, p. 58.
44. Ibid., 1928, pp. 24, 31; Ibid., 1929, p. 58.
45. (a) COMAIRONS, A.R., 1928, p. 11; (b) Price.
46. (a) Asiatic, A.R., 1929, p. 58; (b) COMAIRONS, A.R., 1928, p. 7; Ibid., 1929, p. 14; (c) Trumbull and Lord, p. 276.
47. Jason was built at Maryland Steel Company as Fleet Collier 12 in 1911. Changed designation AC-12 to AV-2 on January 21, 1930. Stricken from Navy List May 19, 1936. Ships Data, 1938.
48. Trumbull and Lord, p. 36.
49. (a) Turner; (b) Asiatic, A.R., 1928, p. 43.
51. Asiatic, A.R., 1928, p. 41.
52. Orange War Plan, 1924.
53. Asiatic, A.R., 1928, p. 37.
54. COMAIRONS, A.R., 1928, p. 9; Ibid., 1929, p. 19.
55. Ibid., p. 19.
57. COMAIRONS, A.R., 1929, p. 19.
58. Asiatic, A.R., 1929, p. 42.
59. (a) Ibid., 1928, p. 36; (b) COMAIRONS, A.R., 1929, p. 6.
60. Paraphrased copy of a coded despatch, COMAIRONS, A.R., 1929, p. 28.
61. SECNAV to CINC, Asiatic, Plain Language message 0019-0847 of November 1928.
62. ASSECNAV, letter, January 26, 1929.
63. COMAIRONS, A.R., 1929, pp. 6, 11.
64. Asiatic, A.R., 1929, p. 26.
65. Ibid., p. 44.
66. COMAIRONS, Asiatic to CINC, Asiatic, letter, FE 14/FC-4/FF6/AV, 20 Apr 1929.
68. Asiatic, A.R., 1929, pp. 27, 44.
69. Louis Morton, The Fall of the Philippines, Vol. IV in subseries The War in the Pacific of series UNITED STATES ARMY IN WORLD WAR II (Washington: Office of the Chief of Military History, Department of the Army, 1953), Chs. VI-VII.
70. Asiatic, A.R., 1929, p. 23.
71. (a) Ibid.; (b) COMAIRONS, A.R., 1928, 1929.
72. (a) Ibid., 1928, pp. 7-8; 1929, p. 15; (b) Asiatic, A.R., 1928, p. 39.
73. (a) CNO, letter, A21/P11/1/29 Ser. 0116 of 16 Jan 1929; (b) BUNAV, Ser. 6312 167-Nav 311-MF of May 22, 1929.
74. COMAIRONS, A.R., 1929, p. 31.
75. (a) CINC, Asiatic to Commander Turner, orders, 16 Mar 1929; (b) Turner.
76. Lieutenant Commander Walter M.A. Wynne, USN (Ret.) to GCD, questionnaire answers, 18 Mar 1962.
77. COMAIRONS, A.R., 1928, p. 11; 1929, p. 22.
78. (a) Ibid., 1929, p. 11; (b) Turner.
79. (a) Navy Directory, 1928, 1929; (b) COMAIRONS, A.R., 1929, pp. 11, 37; (c) Interview with Captain E.B. Rogers, USN (Ret.), 10 Oct 1961. Following an assignment as Commanding Officer S-40., Rogers, then a Lieutenant Commander, served as Executive Officer USS Jason from November 1928 to March 1929. He relieved Lieutenant Commander Walter M.W. Wynne, USN (Class of 1915). Hereafter Rogers.
80. Personal files of R.K. Turner.
81. Captain Crutchfield Adair, USN (Ret.) to GCD, questionnaire answers, 23 Apr 1962. Hereafter Adair.
84. Commodore Russell H. Ihrig, USN (Ret.) to GCD, questionnaire answers, Feb 1952.
86. King's Record, p. 211.
87. Ibid., p. 207.
89. Naval Register, July 1929.
90. SECNAV, Annual Reports, 1929, 1930, 1933.
91. SECNAV, Annual Reports, 1928, pp. 23, 24; Ibid., 1929, pp. 157, 159; Ibid., 1930, pp. 5, 6.
92. Ibid., 1930, pp. 8, 567.
93. Ibid., pp. 576, 261.
94. Eugene E. Wilson, The Gift of Foresight (n.p., author, 1964), pp. 284-86.
95. SECNAV, Annual Report, 1929, p. 72.
97. General Board, letter 438-2-Serial 1521-C-Oct 1931, p. 5.
98. BUNAV, letter, NAV-3-N-6312-187 of 11 Mar 1931.
99. Encyclopaedia Britannica, Vol XIII, p. 843B.
100. NAVWEPS-00-80P-1, p. 65.
101. Trumbull and Lord, p. 276.
103. CHBUNAV to RKT, letter, 31 Mar 1931, forwarding commendatory letter from SECWAR.