North Carolina Newspapers is powered by Chronam.
Vol. 1—No. 1
U. S. Navy Pre-Flight School, Chapel Hill, N. C.
Saturday, September 19, 1942
5c a Copy
Pre-Flight Training Here Is Praised
i t 1*1 #• r'U 1 U*11 above are a few of the high-ranking Naval leaders who
li €tVy llOtCLUl^S Qt x^tlCtpd tllll came aboard during the past week to view the Chapel Hill version
of the Navy’s Pre-Plight training program. From left to right are Lt. Comdr. James H, Crowley, head coach of
the Cloudbuster football team; Lieut. Jack Dempsey, former world heavyweight champion now in charge of phy
sical training for the Coast Guard at Manhattan Beach, N. Y.; Lt. Comdr. Frank Wickhorst, assistant to Lt.
Comdr. Tom Hamilton (pictured next in line) who heads Naval aviation’s physical fitness program; Capt. David
C. Hanrahan, commanding officer of the Pre-Flight School at Iowa City; and Comdr. 0. 0. Kessing, commanding
officer at Chapel Hill.
(This is the first of two instalments on
the early history of the Navy Pre-Flight
School at Chapel Hill, N. C. The second
will appear next week.)
By Everett Bracken, YSc
As February of 1942 melted into
March, an atmosphere of expectant ex
citement prevailed over Chapel Hill.
Rumor had become concrete fact—the
Navy was definitely going to start some
small school here—perhaps even com
mandeering a building or two from the
Thus, on March 24, the townspeople
and students looked with considerable
interest at two Navy officers who had
just arrived in Chapel Hill. These two
officers, Lt. Commander B. H. Micou
(SC) USNR, and Ensign E. E. Mack
(SC) USNR, stayed only long enough
to set up temporary offices in Swain
Hall for the Pre-Flight School. After
hiring Miss Harrison as a stenogra
pher, they left for Charleston, S. C., to
start ordering supplies for the school.
Miss Harrison was left in bewilder
ment as the sole representative of the
Pre-Flight School, and she now claims
the distinction of being the first com
mandant of the post.
On March 26th, Lieutenant (now Lt.
Comdr.) John P. Graff, USN (Ret.),
the executive officer of the Pre-Flight
School, arrived and reported to Cap
tain W. F. Popham, of the NROTC, the
senior officer present. A few days later,
McLeod, Y2c, was assigned to the sta
tion and was followed by a chief store
keeper and four third class store
keepers. Three small rooms, then two
more, and finally one large room were
taken in Swain Hall, and the Pre-
Flight School was a tangible reality.
The townspeople settled back again and
forgot the Navy, now that they saw
definitely that it wasn’t going to
amount to much.
While Lt. Comdrs. Graff and Micou
were burning mid-night oil working
with the university officials laying th.’?''
ground work for the construction and
remodeling necessary for the school,
the enlisted men of the fledglin*^ sta
tion were busily engaged in t'leir at
tempt to handle and find storage space
for the supplies which had now start
ed to flow into Chapel Hill.
Students moved out of the Upper
> See BACKWARD LOOK, page 5
Group of 162
For Flight Training
The third graduutiiig, group com
prised of 162 cadets from the Second
and Third Battalions was transferred
today to eight Naval bases for primary
Of the total, 35 will go to the Naval
Reserve Aviation Base at Squantum,
Mass.; 32 to St. Louis, Mo.; 20 to each
of Peru, Ind., Memphis, Tenn., and
Norman, Okla.; 15 to Philadelphia,
Pa., and a similar number to New Or
leans, La., and five to the Naval Air
Station at Lakehurst, N. J.
Of 204 Arrives
Last Thursday 204 new cadets came
aboard as members of the Ninth Bat
talion of the Pre-Flight School, bring
ing the regimental total to 1,457. This,
of course, will shrink when the 162
cadets graduating today, leave for new
The new battalion will have as its
leaders, Lt. (jg) Albert J. Lesko, Lt.
(jg) Harry L. Lawrence, Ens. Stanley
F. Pechar, Ensign S. C. Hammerstrom,
Ens. Sam J. Donato, Ens. William A.
Pudvah, and Engl James E. Hatfield.
Retained with the members of the
Third Battalion not yet transferred
are Lt. (jg) William F. Brown, Lt.
(jg) Thomas W. O’Connor, Lt. (jg)
Warren E. Lentz, and Lt. (jg) John
Dickson, according to announcement
made by Lt. James P. Raugh, regi
mental commander, and head of the
military .department of the school.
The nameplate on page one of the
Cloudbuster is the work of Malcolm
L. McGuckin, Jr., Fouriil Oattalion
cadet from Columbus, 0. His artwork
was chosen from
among a dozen en
tries offered by
gained much of his
skill working in
New York as ap
prentice to Jon
and commercial ar
tist now serving as
a lieutenant, junior
grade, in the Navy.
During 1941-42, McGuckin attended
the Yale School of Fine Arts where
he served on the editorial staff of the
Kate Smith Appears
Here October 9
Kate Smith and her stellar troupe
of radio entertainers will be on hand
Oct. 9 to broadcast her hour-long show
from this station. The program will
be on its regular nationwide hook-up
and will begin at 2000.
Band Concerts Continue
The station’s 44-piece all-Negro
band, with James B. Parsons, Mus. 2c,
conducting, last Sunday gave the sec
ond in its fall series of public concerts
scheduled for alternate Sundays at
Greetings from the Skipper
It is a pleasure to greet all hands through the columns of this
initial issue of the CLOUDBUSTER.
This is your newspaper, and everyone aboard is urged to
take an active interest in it.
Through its pages, it is hoped we may come to know one
another better. It is my wish that cadets, the crew, and of
ficers lend their support to make the Cloudbuster the best
service newspaper possible.
0. 0. Kessing,
Navy Leaders Visit Station
To Inspect Local Program
A galaxy of top-flight Naval visitors registered in the guest log
at the U. S. Navy Pre-Flight school here this week, and left with
enthusiastic approval for the program being carried out under
the direction of Comdr. 0. 0. Kessing.
Among them were;
Capt. David C. Hanrahan, commander of the Pre-Flight school at
the University of Iowa;
Capt. Leland P. Lovette, head of Navy public relations;
Lt. Comdr. Tom Hamilton, head of Naval aviation’s physical
Lt. Comdr. Frank Wickhorst, executive assistant to Lt. Comdr.
Lt. Comdr. Victor M. Blakeslee, head of the magazine division of
Navy public relations;
Lt. Comdr. W. G. Beecher, assistant to Capt. Lovette;
Lt. J. H. Van Alen, head of the magazine publicity section in
New York city; and
Lieut. W. H. (Jack) Dempsey, former world heavyweight cham
pion, now in charge of physical training at the Coast Guard Train
ing Station, Manhattan Beach ,N. Y.
Lt. Comdr. Tom Hamilton, whose^
“blue print” of a physical fitness pro
gram was planned to develop in num
bers men whose physical and mental
strength and guts would make them the
hardest-fighting fliers in the world, said
of his program as seen in action hei'e:
“It is a real thrill for me to see this
school operate. The spirit and enthu
siasm of the cadets exceeds our expec
tations. I hope they will carry it on
through the rest of their naval careers.
Flying calls for all the qualities
developed here . . . speed of reaction,
coordination of mind and body, and
ability to relax and deliver in the
clutches in free and easy fashion. It
will be a great help to them in all their
Expression of the same spirit came
in the enthusiastic words addressed
to the cadets by the greatest fighter
of them all—Lieut. Jack Dempsey, who
‘‘Get tough, boys, and keep fightin’.
The best defense is a great offense,
slug it out from the first bell, and never
give up. The country is looking to you
to win the war.
“Now you are being conditioned like
no one ever has been conditioned. Soon
you’ll be flying the Navy’s fast plants
and pouring hot lead into our enemies.
Keep fightin’ boys, and give ’em the
To officers and cadets alike, the
“Your program hei-e is the greatest
thing that ever happened, and just how
gre'"at it is will be shown when you whip
hell out of the Axis.”
Lieut. Dempsey, always a tough man
in the ring, is imparting that tough
ness as head of physical training at
the U. S. Coast Guard Station, Man
hattan Beach, N. Y. A long-time friend
of Comdr. 0. 0. Kessing, Dempsey
spent four days here observing the pro
gram and taking notes for the program
he plans to install at Manhattan
Beach. He met all the officers, mingled
with the cadets, asked almost as many
questions as were asked him, and
demonstrated why he was the most
popular champion in history.
Capt. Hanrahan, commanding officer
of the Iowa Pre-Flight School and de
scribed by Comdr. Kessing as “one of
the most distinguished naval officers
in the world,” was here on a “scouting
trip” to see how a similar type of
school is operating. Of this, the first
of the other Pre-Flight Schools he has
visited, he said:
“Since being here. I’ve watched the
cadets from all angles ... on the streets,
in sports, in military drills . . . After
this observation, I can say that I could
copy every thing here to my advantage,
if we weren’t already doing it at Iowa
City. The battalions of the Chapel Hill
Navy Pre-Flight school could be inter
changed with those of my Iowa sta
tion, and you wouldn’t know the dif
“A great job is being done at these
schools, as the Axis will soon find out.”
Capt. Leland P. Lovette, head of
public relations for the Navy and au
thor of the book, “Navy Customs, Tra
ditions, and Usage” was gratified to
see the progress made at Chapel Hill
since his first visit here when the school
was commissioned on May 23rd.
“You have come a long way,” he told
school officials, “and, I can see that the
pi’ogram is already a great success.”
Lt. Comdr. Victor Blakeslee, who
was officer in charge of disseminating
Navy communiques in Washington at
the start of the war, and who now
heads the magazine section of public
“I think the Pre-Flight program
here is the best thing l^’ve seen since
this war started. I’ve never seen any
thing like it. It’s more than a swell job.
I’ve seen German, Japanese, and Rus
sian youth, and I can tell you, after
seeing the cadets in action here, there’s
no doubt about how this war is going
to turn out.”
During his stay here, Lieutenant
Dempsey threw a verbal I'ight hook to
the collective jaws of all the critics of
See NAVY NOTABLES, page 5