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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • POUR IT ON: WWII POSTER

Two Platoons: 1943

Two Platoons: 1943

For context: My grandfather served aboard the YMS-299 in the Battle for Okinawa. I have several of his photos and am trying to figure out where they fit into his training/tour.

Is this a graduating class from boot camp, or a group he would have served with? Would it include the crew of his YMS, or would each of these men have gone into different assignments? How would someone try to get a list of names for a photo like this?

The back says:

"1943 after boot camp
San Diego, CA navy base
80 men to a platoon, with 2 platoons
160 men"

(NOTE: I only count 150 men, not including the officer.) View full size.

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Thanks for the replies thus far!

In case you are interested, I'm beginning to blog all of my project notes here, including this photo and others like it. I have several I'll be passing through Shorpy.

Good Company

This was the 452nd company of recruits graduated from San Diego Naval Station in 1943. The Chief Petty Officer was probably the Company Commander. The First Class Petty Officer (fourth from left, front row) was probably the Executive Officer. All other men are E-1 Seamen Recruits (white band around right shoulder.) The tall recruit between the petty officers would have been the 'Recruit Company Commander'. The third from the left and the fourth from the right would have been 'Recruit Platoon Leaders'. After nine weeks or so of grueling training, this would have been one of their last times together. They were dispersed to the fleet. I wonder how many never came back?

Petty details

This is the graduating class. The man in the center is a Petty Officer; a Navy NCO. All of the men are seaman recruits, so they have no rank. There is no commissioned officer present, so we can assume that the Petty Officer is the drill instructor and this is his platoon.

Navy Rank

The gentleman in the front row center is a Chief Petty Officer, a senior enlisted person's rank, not an "officer" or Commissioned Officer.

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