Roundtable Forum
Our 19th Year
December 2015

In this issue.

Roundtable Opening Remarks
Dusty Kleiss
Oral "Slim" Moore
Remembering Pearl Harbor
USS Minneapolis Personal Diary

The Battle of Midway Roundtable Opening Remarks

First of all hope everyone had a good holiday and the new year is treating you well.  My appologies for being so late with the newsletter but I had a busy December and early part of the year.  Also not many submissions during December as I'm sure everyone was equally busy with family and the holidays.

This month we have an interesting article published in Naval History magazine back in 1991 by the daughter of Commander Logan Ramsay about her experiences at the time of Pearl Harbor.  It is worth the read.  Also had a note on the passing of Oral "Slim" Moore one of the few surviving rear seat gunners at Midway.  I also ran across a book that for one reason or another escaped my attention for the past 5 years or so.  It is a book written from the diary of a sailor on the USS Minneapolis during the early part of the war.  In it he writes his thoughts and experiences through the aborted Wake Island rescue, the Raid on Rabaul, Coral Sea, Midway, the Guadalcanal invasion, The Battle of Eastern Solomons, and finally the torpedoing of the Saratoga on August 31st, 1942.  Throughout the book are many other reprints of old Navy documents sent to the Minneapolis during the time period covered.

Hope to have more this month as I get back to a more normal routine.  Till then enjoy and don't forget you can check the Current Discussions page any time to see what is going on of interest during the month.

Dusty Kleiss

From James Leffler:

Saw the article on Dusty Kleiss in the BOMRT. Today is Pearl Harbor Day and as I think of Dusty and all his veterans from that era realizing how little time we have left with them I was wondering if there is a way to reach Dusty, maybe email or letter, etc and extend thanks and gratitude to him; article said he is the last dive bomber pilot from that day alive and I thought it would be nice to send him a Thanks. They are never forgotten, thank you again, any and all WWII and Midway veterans on this site, you all are appreciated more than you know. Salute, and Thank You.

James S. Leffler, Jr.
A1C, United States Air Force veteran

Editors Note:  Anyone that has a message for Dusty Kleiss please send your comments to the RoundTable and I'll post them here.  Last time I checked he is still reading the RoundTable newsletter each month.

Oral "Slim" Moore

From Bill Vickrey:

I have just had word that Oral “Slim” Moore passed away during the year just ending. “Slim” – RM2/c - was a rear seat man in Bombing Eight and flew with Ensign Carter (Later Captain USN, Ret.) before, during, and after Midway. Carter – BTW – was a graduate of Vanderbilt University. So far as I know, there is now only one surviving rear seat man who flew off carriers at Midway. Ron Gretz flew in Torpedo Six off ENTERPRISE on 6 June and is still up and kicking.

I was privileged to attend two or three HORNET reunions and got well acquainted with both Moore and Carter. Here is a picture of the two of them....long time after Midway. “Slim” was commissioned and left the Navy as a Lieutenant (jg) USNR. He never got into computers but he and I exchanged a lot of snail mail.


Editors Note:  Frederick Bergeron who flew with VB-3 at Midway as a radioman/gunner, is still around and doing well as far as I know.  His cousin contacted me a little while after the article on Rear Seat Gunners appeared in Naval History Magazine so he could send it to Fred.  After reading the article Fred said that he knew all the men mentioned.  This was about 2 years ago but and I have not heard anything from his cousin regarding his passing.  He did say Fred wrote a number of stories about his time in the Pacific for his children and he would send them to me at some point after Fred's passing with permission from his family.  Since I have not received them I assume he's still with us and doing fine.

Remembering Pearl Harbor

From Bill Vickrey:

Rear Admiral Pat Bellinger sent Commander Logan Ramsay to Midway Island a couple of days before the Battle to coordinate all air activities there. Early on 5 June 1942 he ordered all B-17’s and extra PBY’s off Midway Island. Ramsey was promoted to Captain while he was at Midway.

He was a member of the Naval Academy class of 1919 and was Naval Aviator #2977 who got his wings on 21 December 1921.

He was carried on the retired list as a Rear Admiral. He did receive a Legion of Merit but I cannot tell whether or not this was “for valor” so I do not know whether or not he got his flag on active duty. I have a picture of him in a Rear Admiral’s uniform. He commanded two carriers – BLOCK ISLAND (CVE-21) and LAKE CHAMPLAIN (CV-39) and died on September 25, 1972.

Editors Note:  Bill sent me the article but I thought it prudent to just send the link to the article as I'm sure it's copyright is the Naval History Magazine.  The Name of the article is:

“Only Yesteryear” by Mary Ann Ramsey [Daughter of the Late Captain Logan Ramsey] From Naval History/Winter 1991

Only Yesteryear

Log of World War II: A Pacific Naval Diary

Here is one of those interesting personal accounts written during the first 10 months of the war.  While only a portion of the book is during the Battle of Midway it is interesting to read what the average sailor knew before, during, and after the battle.

The book is a combination of Vincent Evo DeCook's diary entries and many other messages, some official, some not, ships newsletters, and even President Roosevelt's fire side chats.

The Minneapolis was one of the escorts for Lexington from the start of the war till Lexington was lost at Coral Sea.  The Minneapolis was in Task Force 16 during the Battle of Midway and then with Saratoga till she was torpedoed.  The diary continues till September 30th, 1942.

The book is not new being written in 2010 but I had not seen it till recently.  The diary is a good first person account of the first 10 months of the war.  The only criticism I have is that many of the supporting messages, newsletters, etc. appear to be copies from the original mimeographs making some of them very hard to read.