File #1117: "OHWG CARL E. JIVIDEN INTERVIEW - FINAL AND COMPLETE.pdf"

OHWG CARL E. JIVIDEN INTERVIEW - FINAL AND COMPLETE.pdf

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Civil J di Patrol
Oral Hi~ ry Interview
M r Carl E Jividen
19 April 2012

OHIO WING HEADQUARTERS

Ohio Wing Civil Air Patrol Interview Release Form
Interviewer: Frank A. Blazich, Jr., 2Lt, CAP

Name of Person(s) Interviewed: Carl Jividen

Address: 31531 State Route 327, Londonderry, OH 45647-8500

I understand that the recording and the transcribed manuscript resulting from this oral interview
will become part of the holdings of the Ohio Wing of the Civil Air Patrol and may be released
for research purposes. This interview, and/or any copies of documents or images may be used in
the creation of published (either in print or digital form) historical documents by the Ohio Wing.
I do hereby voluntarily give, transfer, convey, and/or assign all rights, title, and interest in this
interview to the Ohio Wing of the Civil Air Patrol with the following restrictions imposed as
stated below:

Signature of Interviewee: ~_~ ~---~'~.~r~-J~t~

Signature of Interviewer: ~~Z/~~~
~"

Date: /7 ~'/~:~'~

/

" U

CIVIL AIR PATROL
ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM

Interview
of
Mr. Carl Everett Jividen
by
Second Lieutenant Frank A. Blazich, Jr., CAP

Date: 19 April 2012
Location: Londonderry, Ohio

FOREWORD
The following is the transcript of an oral history interview recorded on digital
media. Since only minor emendations have been made, the reader should consistently
bear in mind that they are reading a transcript of the spoken rather than the written word.
Additionally, no attempt to confirm the historical accuracy of the statements has been
made. The transcript reflects the interviewee's personal recollections of a situation as he
remembered it at the time of the interview.
Editorial notes and additions made by the Ohio Wing Historian are enclosed in
brackets. Where pertinent, footnotes have been added to provide additional information
for the reader. Any additions, deletions, and changes subsequently made to the transcript
by the interviewee are not indicated. Researchers may wish to listen to the actual
interview tape prior to citing the transcript. Every effort has been made, however, to
leave the words of the interviewee original and unaltered.

S U M M A RY O F C O N T E N T S
In this oral history interview, Mr. Carl E. Jividen recounts his time as an engine
mechanic and observer at Civil Air Patrol (CAP) Coastal Patrol Base No. 14, Panama
City, Florida, from August 1942 until December 1943. Following his CAP service he
enlisted in the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) and ended the war as a flight
engineer on B-29s just as Japan surrendered to the allied forces in August 1945.
Mr. Jividen begins by describing his educational background prior to joining the
CAP. Immediately following his graduation from the Ohio Institute of Aeronautics in
Columbus, Ohio, he and several other graduates recruited directly out of school drove
down to Panama City to begin serving the base aircraft. There at the base, Jividen took
his Civil Aeronautics Administration examinations to be licensed as an engine mechanic.
At this point he was promoted from corporal to flight officer, a rank he held for the
remainder of his CAP service.
As a flight officer, Jividen flew occasionally as an observer on coastal patrol
missions. He was witness to the mid-air collision that killed Lester E. Milkey and Charles
W. Andrews, and saw the crash site and recounted the story of the death of Gerald G.
Owen. Jividen participated in the recovery of the other aircraft involved in the MilkeyAndrews crash.
After the phasing out of the coastal patrol mission, Jividen left the CAP and
enlisted in the USAAF. He highlights some of his training time and his decision to switch
from pilot training to flight engineer school, on account of trying to get into the war.
Although the war ended just as he graduated from flight engineer school, he continued to
serve in the reserves and Ohio Air National Guard.

GUIDE TO CONTENTS
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SUBJECT
Education and upbringing in Columbus, Ohio
Attendance at Ohio Institute of Aeronautics
Drive down to Panama City
Hearing about the Civil Air Patrol and recruitment into the organization
Initial impressions of the base
Decision to join CAP
Seeing the Spirit of St. Louis as a boy
CAA examination for engine license and promotion to flight officer
Flying coastal patrols
Mid-air collision, 30 October 1942
Daily operations under CAA regulations
Aircraft maintenance
Flights as an observer and bomb racks
Risky landing with unsafe ordinance
Evaluation of Bob Dodge as base commander
Base CAP uniforms
Size of the base (personnel and aircraft)
Crash of Gerald G. Owen, 3 April 1943
Relations with local community
Evaluation of base operations
Meeting Clark Gable
Closing of the base
Training in the USAAF
Staying in the service as a mess officer
Lessons learned from CAP
Images and documents of Jividen's service

CIVIL AIR PATROL ORAL HISTORY INTERVIEW
Recorded Interview with:
Date of Interview:
Location:
Conducted by:

B:

Carl Everett Jividen
19 April 2012
Londonderry, Ohio
2Lt Frank E. Blazich, Jr., CAP

For record it is 19 April 2012, it is about 12:35PM and I'm at the home of Mr.

Carl Jividen in Londonderry, Ohio and good afternoon, Sir.

J:

Good afternoon.

B:

The first question is standardized. Could you state your full name?

J:

Carl Everett Jividen. I was named after an Uncle Everett, who was killed in

World War I.

B:

What is your birthday and place of birth?

J:

February 25, 1921, born in Columbus, Ohio, South Fifth Street and moved to

South Sixth Street and started school in 1927 at Reeb Avenue School in the south end of
Columbus. I went to Southwoods School in south Columbus in 1930, in the third grade,
and junior high school at Barrett Junior High and graduated from South High School in
1940. I was a half year behind, because I didn't have enough credits because I started
taking a language the last year and I shouldn't have done it. French, and so I didn't have
enough credits to graduate on time in June 1939.

B:

Before the war did you go to college after high school?

J:

After high school I first, for three months, went to a business college at Capital

University and left there and then I went into the Ohio Institute of Aeronautics school at
Broad [Street] and Grant [Avenue, in Columbus], and I went there in 1941. In fact, I had

Jividen

already made an application to go, and the army air force [personnel] from Lockbourne
[Army Airfield] was going there and I know the Fort Hayes soldiers were going there at
the same time. And I graduated from there in August 1942, and that is when I left and
went in with the Civil Air Patrol.

B:

When did you first find yourself interested in aviation? When did you first want to

get involved?

J:

When I went to this school. I knew I was mechanically inclined, but I really got

interested when I went to this school. And in high school you know I had taken shop,
machine shop, metal shop, mechanical drawing and I knew my hands were that way. So I
went to this aeronautics school and that's where I really got involved in aircraft engines.
At that time they had the old Allison V-12s and they even had the French Le Rh6ne that
was brought over here. The guy who was head of the school was one of the first ones to
bring that old engine over here. He was a Scotchman, and he brought it over from
France, after World War I. He's the one who started this aeronautics school.

B:

Do you remember his name?

J:

Scotty Clyde, I got it on the diploma, you want me to get it?

B:

We can look at it later.

J:

Yeah, I got it on the diploma, and that's the way I knew him, because he was a

Scotchman. Now that French Le Rh6ne engine is the one where the whole engine turned
around the crankshaft. And so, that was it, I went in as a mechanic. They gave us a
corporal rating and I can give you names of the guys that I went with down there [to
Panama City, Florida]. It was Jack Percy, Jim Kirk, and a young man by the name of
Demarest, who was at that school, a mechanic. That's it, Bill Demarest.1 Yes, that's the
1 John G. Percy, James Kirk, and William Demarest.
2

Jividen

one. And so we all left together. We all went south together. Jack Percy and I, I picked
him up on the north end of Columbus.

B:

And you drove down?

J:

Yes, I had a new '41 Dodge and I cracked a head going down because it was so

hot through Alabama, and we pushed that thing pretty hard. We started down at nine in
the morning and we were there at eleven o'clock that evening, Panama City, Florida.

B:

What month would this have been in 1942?

J:

August. I remember we got in there at night and they pointed out the Army

Recreation Center to us.

B:

So you reported directly to that Army Recreation Center?

B:

Who told you to report there?

J:

You know somebody at that school at that time and my memory is not good.

Somebody came there to recruit mechanics, that's what really happened.

B:

So someone from Civil Air Patrol came to that aeronautical school?

B:

Do you remember, was it Bob Dodge?

J:

Well, he was the commanding officer.

Jividen

B:

Yes, but it wasn't Dodge that came?

J:

No, I don't remember him being there.

B:

Well, let me go back and ask one question. When did you first hear about the

war, about the bombing at Pearl Harbor?

J:

I told you about that new Dodge I bought? I was coming back from Old Man's

Cave, on a Sunday afternoon. And of course that Dodge had a radio in it. It wasn't made
in the dash yet, so I put it under the dash. So I was coming back from Old Man's Cave
with my girlfriend, a girl by the name of Donna Gaynor and had the radio on and heard
that Pearl Harbor had been bombed that morning.2 That's the first that I heard and I was
really surprised and really torn up about it. How could they do that to us? I knew that we
were helping Japan out, I knew we were shipping a lot of things over to Japan that they
needed that probably went into the war effort for them.

B:

A lot of scrap metal for them.

J:

Yes, that's right. A lot of scrap metal was going over. So that's when I heard of

the war.

B:

When did you first hear of the Civil Air Patrol?

J:

At school. It had to be right there at that school. They said "do you want to be on

a coastal patrol base?" They were going to build one, that's what I heard, that's the way it
was put to me I think. They were going to start a new base and they were going to use
civilian aircraft.

B:

Had you just graduated from the school?

2 Part of Hocking Hills State Park, Logan, Ohio.

Jividen

J:

We just graduated; we're getting ready to graduate and they wanted us to sign up

for this, and I was either going to do that ]Civil Air Patrol] or go right into the ]army] air
force, because the air force was going to that school there, then. So, Jack Percy, Jim Kirk,
and I, and Bill Demarest, all signed up to go down. And then Jack Percy and I drove
down together. You know to tell you that we went right directly to that Army Recreation
Center I believe we. I thought we stayed at that Dixie Sherman Hotel on that first night,
but I can't recall.

B:

So it is either late July, or early August that some Civil Air Patrol representative

comes to that school, and sells you this idea to come down.

J:

Yes, they needed us bad, they needed mechanics and this was a new project, this

was the way it was.

B:

When you went down to Panama City, other than them saying "go to this

location," did you have uniforms, did they issue you anything, any paperwork, anything?

J:

We had khaki.

B:

So they did issue you some type of uniform?

J:

No, I think we bought it all. It was a khaki uniform, and at that time you could

wear a pith helmet, like they wear in the jungles I guess. So we got those, and finally we
got the overseas hats, but we bought our own.

B:

Did you bring down, in addition to yourself and clothes, did you bring down tools

or did they tell you to bring any maintenance items?

Jividen

J:

We brought what we were issued at the school, we brought those tools; we

brought all of those along in a toolbox. It wasn't a complete set but it was enough there to
get started.

B:

Did you bring anything else, like they told you "we need the following," etc.?

J:

I can't remember anything else. I can't think of anything other than the four of

us. The base hadn't been built.

B:

And they told you to report to that army replacement area.

J:

I'm pretty sure that's where they told us to go because that's where we stayed all

of the time. We drove back and forth out to St. Andrews Bay, all sand roads except one.3

B:

Can you describe what the base was like when you first saw it?

J:

Just very little there, I just remember grass, it was a couple of dirt runways.

Everything was grass growing, I think they had one runway that was originally concrete
but you couldn't hardly see it, couldn't tell it from the dirt runways. Nothing there.

B:

When you first got there, was there anything set up, was there even a guard at the

road?

J:

When I first got on that base, I don't remember seeing any. I remember when the

first planes started coming in.

B:

So this would have been around mid-August?

3 Jividen noted that at the Army Recreation Center Company I and L ofthel66th Infantry were at the center
in tents when he stayed there.

Jividen

J:

Yes, that place was bare. And a lot of us went out and helped clean up and started

building the barracks there. The barracks must have come from a three C camp or
something. I was right there on that base when those planes first came in, and some of
them needed to be worked on. We set up a tent to work in, originally.

B:

It was like a sort of hanger, or some cover of sorts?

J:

Yes, we had a big tent we set up and we worked under that for I'd say three or

four months, maybe longer.

B:

So you never really had a hanger?

J:

No, most of the planes were always parked out and we tied them down. But I

remember cleaning those runways off, trying to clean them, with hoe and rakes, and I
think we had an old push mower with the revolving blades with old iron wheels there to
cut the grass, pushing that up and down the runway.

B:

What inspired you to do this, when this guy came down to the school saying "we

need mechanics"?

J:

Well, it was either that or I'm going into the air force, which they said you'd

automatically go into, if I am not mistaken, into enlisted reserve, as an enlisted man. And
I think that was it. I was either going to be into the service of the country right now, they
need them bad, and they mentioned the sub patrol, and I think that is what really inspired
me.

B:

Had you read about this?

Jividen

J:

No, I hadn't read anything about submarines being in there. I heard that along the

East Coast they had already sunk quite a few ships up to that time, never heard anything
about the Gulf at all.

B:

Had you heard anything about the Civil Air Patrol in Ohio prior to joining, had

you heard of them even?

J:

No, I never did. I was not connected with any airport there at all. I had been out

to one airport in 1928, Port Columbus, when all they had was a windsock and a tower,
and my Dad said "see that airplane over there?" I said "yeah." I remember he said "it
went all over the ocean, all the way across the ocean." You know to me I didn't know
the ocean at that time, and it was the Spirit of St. Louis, is what it was. So that really got
me. My father was really impressed. See, he had come back on a boat from France, back
in 1919 and here it is 1928.

B:

How did you find out where the base was if you were told to report to the army

camp?

J:

I'm trying to think, somebody had to tell us.

B:

Some stories say that nobody knew where the base was, and they had to ask

people in town "I'm looking for the coastal patrol base."

J:

Oh yes, nobody knew that. You know, it was almost like a secret to the people

that lived there and to see us in there. And finally we got uniforms, we bought uniforms,
and we wore officer blouses, pinks, just like the regular ones, but we had the Civil Air
Patrol patch.

B:

Did you have the "U.S." on your patch?

Jividen

J:

No, it was just a patch, did not have "U.S." on it.

B:

When did you find out you were a corporal, when you just showed up there, they

just said "congrats, you are a corporal"?

J:

Yes, I think that's the way they did, they just said "you are a corporal." And then

we worked on a few planes, and I knew I was qualified to take the examination ]Civil
Aeronautics Administration examination].

B:

Describe the examination.

J:

You could take an examination for an A&E license, that's aircraft and engine. I

was only interested in engines, so I took the "E" part, and I think it was, you had one
week of mechanical examination and somebody would go out with you and question you
on what you did, pull a 100 hour inspection. Then the other was around, I am not
mistaken, there were 600 questions on that for an "E" license. Some of it was multiple
choice, some of it you wrote out the answers. Then you qualified through the Civil
Aeronautics Authority at that time to be a licensed mechanic. See, these planes couldn't
take off unless a licensed mechanic signed off on them, so that's what I did. So then,
they appointed me a flight officer.

B:

Do you remember when you were appointed this?

J:

I took that examination, and it was about September or October of 1942.

B:

Okay, and you were appointed a flight officer.

J:

Yes, and that was unusual see because I was a mechanic, but in the meantime I

had begun flying patrol right away. I know as soon as they got those runways so you

Jividen

could see they began flying patrols. Right after I got started there I was taking off as
much as I could with them, too.

B:

Tell me about that. So you flew in the right hand seat as the observer?

J:

Well, either that or we went out in a Piper Cub, and no, I wasn't in the front seat

on that. And then the other time in the Waco I would be in the co-pilot seat.

B:

Do you have any records of how many times you went up as an observer? Or, if

not, do you remember the pilots that you flew with?

J:

One was Stan Reaver, I flew with him. I never flew with [Carl] Clark. Bernard

Cohen, I flew with him as an observer one time. William Fowler; Joseph Ule; and I think
I flew with [Franklin B.] Wetzel. Of course there were different planes and they flew at
different times. There is another guy I'm trying to think of his name, and boy, was he a
good mechanic too. I flew with Johnny Reaver, too.

B:

How many patrols, if memory serves, would you say you flew on as an observer?

J:

Well, at least one a month all the time I was there, sometimes twice a week.

That's the way it varied, you know, depending on how busy I was, when I'm working on
planes.

B:

How long was a patrol, typically?

J:

I was thinking two and a half to three hours.

B:

Did you fly typically what they called the dawn patrol?

Jividen

J:

Most of the time, yes. You know that's when I saw this big flash in the air, that's

when [Carl] Clark had his big accident.

B:

Tell me about that accident.

J:

Well, they cancelled the rest of the flights then see.

B:

So this was a morning flight?

J:

Yes, this was a dawn patrol.

B:

Tell me what happened that you recall.

J:

The only thing we saw was this ball of fire in the air and I know they cancelled

flights, and me, as a mechanic, they had me go out on this army crash boat over at
Tyndall Field to come over. That's the best meal I ever had the whole time I was in the
Civil Air Patrol on that army crash boat. But we went out to pick up those guys. So they
sent a diver over to bring this plane back up.

B:

So you were going out to recover the plane, not the men?

J:

The two men I think had already been recovered.

B:

But you were recovering the wreckage?

J:

Yes, this was the wreckage on the crash boat. And one of the planes if I'm not

mistaken was gone, just pieces. And the other plane if I am not mistaken was fairly intact,
wing, and it was a Cessna, if I'm not mistaken. I knew Clark had already gone to the
hospital at that time.

Jividen

B:

Hospital at Tyndall or in the city?

J:

I thought he went to the hospital in the city, if I'm not mistaken now. It's so funny

that we never got together right there after the war. We could have gotten all those guys
together. Like [Donald] Ross, I knew him pretty well down there, because I worked on
his plane. I got acquainted with all of them a little.

B:

I asked earlier about Congressman Vorys at the base. You said you shook hands

with him?

J:

Yes, we had a mess hall set up there too and he came in the mess hall and we

shook hands with him there.

B:

You never really had any chance to talk to him?

J:

No, I never spoke to him.

B:

And he was just there for August 1942?

J:

For publicity, I think you might as well say that. I think he left right after that.

B:

Could you detail what daily operations and functions of the base were like that

you recall.

J:

Well, of course we would get up, I'm trying to recall if they had an artificial taps

[recording through a loudspeaker], I don't think they had that. We'd get up and they
always had breakfast, and the one cook was a big heavyset man we called "Tiny" and I
think he ran that mess hall.

B:

What would breakfast typically be?

Jividen

J:

I know there were always scrambled eggs, and plenty of coffee. You could get

coffee almost any time during the day, and they had it set up there under that tent, I
remember that. We had ice cream there, in a cooler and that was the old dipper type, and
then of course we went right to work just like you do on any job. And we went to work
on these engines.

B:

J:

Would you say you started about 5AM? 6AM?

It was dawn, which you hit it pretty close, five to six, and then we would finish up

in the evening, about four to five o'clock. Do you know I never paid that much attention
to the time. I don't know why, and "I wish we'd get out of here," I never had that.
Although us fellows would go to the USO in town right with the army, right in Panama
City. I met a lot of girls there.

B:

I can imagine. In terms of your work, did CAP ever give you regulations or did

you basically follow CAA aircraft regulations?

J:

CAA aircraft regulations, that's what I followed. And as far as rebuilding

engines, compact engines, we called them horizontal opposed, that's what they were.

B:

Did you track the mean time between failures for engines or parts or anything like

that?

J:

No, the only we thing we did was we kept a record of the time and the engine

hours so we pulled regular inspections just like you would do regularly.

B:

So you operated under CAA regulations, nothing under CAP?

J:

Oh yes. CAP insisted that we do that, as far as our maintenance on those planes.

Jividen

B:

Did you have spare parts issues?

J:

It seemed like we were always able to get them.

B:

Who did you get them from?

J:

A lot of them were even flown in from Columbus.4

B:

So people were actually bringing part in?

J:

Yes, they might do that, fly them down there. I don't think we got anything from

Tyndall because those were military aircraft and I don't think they carried much for the
small stuff.

B:

So someone was actually flying parts down from Columbus?

J:

Oh yes, we got parts from Columbus, Foster Lane at Port Columbus. I can't

remember us having too many problems with any planes.

B:

So you didn't have to resort to bailing wire or scrapping things together.

J:

Although I have seen the fairing on the cowling get loose and flop in the air, but

nothing real major. I know once and a while we'd go up and do a little stunting, put it in
spins and so forth, which at that time to get a license you were required to do spins.
Several times the guys would like to play around a bit if they got a little free time.

B:

Did you have much free time?

4 Jividen recalled these came from G.W. Holmes Company, Aircraft Division.
14

Jividen

J:

I thought we did, you know, in the evenings. About like a work schedule. Now a

lot of times we would work at night too, because there were planes they wanted to get up
and the pilots would come around asking "could you get that plane out tomorrow
morning?"

B:

How many mechanics did they have? You were a flight officer, were you head of

the mechanics?

J:

I was sort of in charge to make sure, but I worked right with them, so I would be

called maybe to adjust valves on an engine. I remember working at night one time with
one of the pilots, he was an older man. A lot of these were older pilots. Most of these
guys that I knew were up in that Lorain, Cleveland area. I think the one I was thinking of
was [William V.E.]Burdick, at night on that big Stinson engine, a nine cylinder radial.
But that was mostly my job, but we did it. Boy I'll tell you. Those guys didn't get credit
for that. Those guys were going out on those flight, those small planes, and you know,
you get out 20 miles and anything can happen. One time there, they told us there was
going to be radio silence, you couldn't talk on the radio between [aircraft] because they
were thinking the Germans would pick it up.

B:

Tell me about your flights as an observer. What would you do as an observer on

one of your patrols?

J:

Just keep looking, just keep looking. Look for anything. I sometimes took over

the flight controls to relieve the pilot.

B:

J:

B:

How low were you flying, that you recall?

500 to 1,000 [feet].

Did you have binoculars?

Jividen

J:

I didn't have binoculars, and I don't remember any of them using binoculars, it

was just by eyesight. We'd see what we think was an oil slick, might be a big log, a big
fish, I don't know.

B:

And you radioed it back to the base?

J:

If we were sure or unsure, I think we radioed that back. Did you hear about the

one that came in, they flipped the bomb to go off and it was hanging? They had a nose
fuse on those.

B:

Tell me about this, I am unfamiliar with this story.

J:

Well, I can't tell you who was flying the plane, but I do know he tried to release

the bomb and it hung at an angle.

B:

Did the bomb have two hooks, two shackle hooks?

B:

So one hook released and one didn't?

J:

Yes, that's right, and it didn't drop to the point that this prop, this little nose prop

that made so many revolutions per hundred feet to arm it. It went off say when you flew
500 to a 1,000 feet and so on and they set that. The army air force ordinance [personnel]
was there on that base, there were two. They were two enlisted men. One was an Italian, I
know that. One of them, I can't remember when he moved into the barracks where I was
at, I think he did at the last, because we'd go into town. He'd go into town with someone
else and I'd have to bring him back. He'd get pretty loaded, and I'd have to bring him
back to the barracks.

Jividen

B:

So what did they end up doing? So the tail side of the bomb released by the nose

side with the fuse didn't?

J:

It didn't, so what happened, on that flight, he radioed in for permission with that

bomb on there and they said ditch it, ditch the plane, and just parachute out. You wore
Mae Wests, and I can't remember if they had parachutes, but they said get low to the bay
and ditch the plane.

B:

And did they?

J:

No, he radioed in to Dodge or the radio operator, Jack Hindersheid, and he said he

thought he could land it. And ifI am not mistaken, they found a place there on the beach,
and of course as you know down there it was desolate.

B:

So on the edge of St. Andrews Bay he found a spot to land it?

J:

He thought he could do that, and drop that plane safely. So he did. But the bomb

came off, and it skipped along the side and he pulled up, and it didn't go off. Now in that
bomb they also had a fuse in the tail, and that was an impact fuse, and it went off a few
seconds after impact, that's the way I understand that bomb.

B:

This is a lO0-pound bomb?

J:

Yes, a 100-pound bomb. He said the bomb skipped. See, I didn't see this I heard

about it and I'm thinking it was [William E.] Fowler that was the pilot of that plane, and I
remember hearing, and I don't even know where they landed.

B:

J:

But they saved the plane at least.

Oh yes, but it would be an awful feeling wouldn't?

Jividen

B:

Can you describe the bomb racks on these aircraft?

J:

I thought it was a clamp type bracket. It was put on by the military. The

ordinance department of the army set them on there, and they installed them there under
the wings, and most of them were installed on the biplanes.

B:

Were they installed on the landing struts, anywhere mounted along there? The

sides of the fuselage?

J:

Connected to the landing, just outside of the landing struts, yes.

B:

How did you release the bomb, do you recall as the observer how the bomb

releases worked?

J:

They had a switch on the panel, and it was electrically operated, and this little

Waco, had a complete battery system on it, even the ignition was battery ignition, which
is unusual. Aircraft engines usually have two mags [magnetos] and this had battery
ignition and I'm pretty sure those releases were operated by a switch on the dashboard. It
was red and so you couldn't hit it when you get out or anything, but you threw that
switch down and then the red light came on that the bomb had released.

B:

Did all the planes have electric [arming] or did they have a pull cable?

J:

Not all the planes had electric on them as far as I know, maybe except the Cub,

and I don't think they used that Cub for any missions. I mean any type of mission that
needed the bombs. I think only four planes had the bomb racks.

B:

Was it one bomb or two?

J:

Two, one on each side.

Jividen

B:

Did they ever carry depth charges that you recall?

J:

No, never heard of any.

B:

Did they have bomb sights of any sort?

J:

No, not that I ever saw.

B:

Did you help modify aircraft for coastal patrol, such as modifying the doors to be

jettisoned quickly on landing?

J:

No, I never did. Now aircraft mechanics did that. Bill Demarest, he was an

aircraft mechanic, and he could have done that. So far as I know they did not do that, and
they didn't do any kind of modification like that.

B:

Robert Arn described the doors had pins that he could pull to let him throw the

door off quickly.

J:

They probably did, I can't remember that.

B:

You just did engines?

J:

Yes, my job was mostly engines.

B:

Someone else did air flame work.

J:

Yes. That was a licensed mechanic too. I didn't take the aircraft test to do

licensed work. To do work on the aircraft you had to be licensed.

Jividen

B:

After they put racks on the aircraft to carry bombs, were they always armed on

patrol? Did they always go out with bombs?

J:

So far as I know they were always armed. We never did drop them, but some of

them did, and they thought they saw a submarine, and that's the reason they dropped.

B:

Did they usually come back with one bomb, then, or did they drop both of them?

J:

IfI am not mistaken they usually dropped both of them.

B:

What is your opinion and evaluation of Robert Dodge as the first base

commander? Did you feel the base was well equipped, was it well managed?

J:

I think he did, I think he did a good job considering what we had to work with

down there.

B:

Which was nothing I take it?

J:

Yes, we started with nothing. He was good because he got the thing going and

built things from scratch. I admired him. He was a former bridge contractor from
Columbus the way I understand it. Then my brother-in-law finally bought him out, a big
road contractor.

B:

In terms of the base, was it really run as a military operation?

J:

Yes it was. We did drills. [Francis E.] Kissell, he was our squad leader and we

would go out and march in formation, about face, column right.

B:

How often did you do these?

Jividen

J:

Well, I'm pretty sure they did that at least once a week.

B:

Did the maintenance personnel take part in it?

J:

Oh yes, they did not all at the same time but usually we did it. It was run just like

the army was, and that's the reason when I did go in the army I had an easier time.

B:

I asked this before, but I want to ask again for clarity purposes on my end. Your

typical day at the base began say, at 5-6AM, you'd have breakfast and then head over to
the tent, later hanger I presume.

J:

Well, I don't ever remember a hanger.

B:

Did you always work on engines under a tent?

J:

Under the tent and overhang.

B:

There never was a building you were in?

J:

Not that, I can't remember a building there now, you know, and I was there until

the end.

B:

So you always did your work outside under a tent?

J:

Yes, and a lot of work on the engines, performing a 100 hour inspection right on

the plane itself which is always out.

B:

Basically, you'd say you would work until sundown at most?

J:

I would say, usually we got out of there before dark. But I had worked after dark.

Jividen

We had big extension lights.

B"

Did you keep your flight officer rating the whole time you were at the base?

J"

Yes, and that's the only one I think. I don't think anyone else there had a flight

officer rating, and the air force officer gave me a flight officer rating

B"

Did you wear any type of special CAP insignia other than the patch?

J"

Yes, I wore the bars, the flight officer bars, which was like a second lieutenant's

bars, but it had the blue spots on each end of it.

B"

Did you have any sleeve insignia that you wore?

J"

Yes, they had the flying duck, the base patch, you put that on your left arm, and

they had the hash marks just like if you were there a year or so.

B"

For six months you would have a little yellow bar.

B"

Did you wear a black coastal patrol patch, like a submarine?

J:

I don't remember seeing anything like that.

B:

You didn't wear any wings, did you?

J:

Yes, the half wing.

B:

So you did have the observer wing?

Jividen

J:

Yes, yes. I hated to wear that half wing, because I was a half of a man. You know

where I got my uniform? I went to New Orleans. I had it tailor made.

B:

When you joined the military, did you use your CAP uniform?

J:

Well, see the braid and everything was the same. You know what I did with my

officer blouse? I made an Ike jacket out of it.

B:

What about your epaulets, did you have a red epaulet?

J:

Some of them did, and some of them didn't. That was the official way of

distinguishing themselves from the regular army, plus your patch.

B:

But you didn't personally wear them?

J:

I don't remember ever wearing it on my uniform, the red. Now they did, some of

them did.

B:

J:

So all you really had was the CAP patch.

The duck insignia, on the bomb, and my hash mark, and my observer wing, and

that was it.

B:

Can you describe security procedures at the base? Did you have guards, a fence,

or anything?

J:

Yes, we had guards there, and they assigned an officer of the day to oversee that,

and there would be officers, and they carried .45s.

B:

Who were they mostly?

Jividen

J:

They were the officers of the base there. I don't remember any of the enlisted

men ever being the guards. You know, they were dedicated guys there.

B"

Tell me about them.

J:

Oh, you know, they were going out on these patrols, and flying over water, it's

almost, if you had to go down its almost surely that you're not going to come back. We
flew with a Mae West.

B"

Did they have the Mae Wests initially, or did they come later?

J:

When we first started we didn't have them.

B:

How did it all come about that you received them?

J:

I thought that Tyndall Field furnished them, but I may be mistaken.

B:

When you flew you wore a Mae West?

J:

Oh yes, that's all.

B:

Did you have any type of safety gear aside from the Mae West on personally?

J:

Just a hunting knife. I'm going along as an observer. I wanted to go, see, you

didn't have to, and I did that on my own every chance I got. Usually I was pretty busy
there, but usually once a week.

B"

How many aircraft or personnel do you recall being stationed on the base, on

average, knowing people are coming and going?

Jividen

J:

I was thinking there were about eight to ten planes, I'm guessing.

B:

What about people, if you could take a rough estimate?

J:

Well, for each plane you always had a pilot. We were not overcrowded. I'm

going to say twenty maybe.

B:

Would you say 20 to 40 would be an estimate of the number of people at the base

at any one time?

J:

I'm going to say maybe that would be tops, maybe 40.

B:

So it's a small number really.

J:

Yes, there wasn't a heck of a lot of people there.

B:

Going back to the security question, was there any security on the St. Andrews

Bay side of the base, or was it just the road going in to town?

J:

These guys when they patrolled, they patrolled the base, and so they would go

around, even around the bay.

B:

J:

They walked?

Walked, and don't know if there were any military vehicles there. Oh yes, they

had the tugs, the old aircraft tugs, they had a couple of them around.

B:

There was no wire perimeter fence or anything?

Jividen

J:

No, no fence. That was a desolate place. You know, as far as what it is now, I

guess that coast is built all the way around. Everything was blacked out, no lights, so it's
desolate. When you drive, if you drive to a place, I went clear to New Orleans, it's all
blacked out all the way to New Orleans at that time, when I got that uniform made.

B:

When did you get your uniforms made, was that after you had been there awhile?

J:

Yes, we went there in the summer time [August 1942] and then we had the winter

uniforms tailor made. You didn't have to do that, you could go into town. We all wore
officer uniforms, whether you were an enlisted man or not.

B:

You had mentioned you saw the accident that killed Lester E. Milkey and Charles

W. Andrews. You talked about recovering the aircraft.

B:

Were there other mishaps that you witnessed?

J:

Yes, and I can't tell you who this pilot was, but an AT-6 and a [Piper] Cub or

Cessna, were playing around together, and the AT-6 flipped that plane, whoever was
flying that plane was killed. And he was a young man, he wasn't very old, and he was
killed in the crash. He nosed right straight into the ground.

B:

Gerald G. Owen?

J:

That sounds like the guy.

B:

In April 1943?

Jividen

B:

So basically what happened is the wake turbulence of the AT-6 flipped him over?

J:

Yes, and I know he nosed into the ground right there on the base. I remember you

couldn't see much of him. You know, it was just flattened out. And that was the only one
I can think was killed by the crash. You could hear this AT-6, you know how they put
that prop in low range, and it had a different sound.

B:

Were they any other mishaps, you mentioned the bomb incident. Anything else

memorable you recall?

J:

Nothing like that, you know, that was the worse one. Of course the mid-air

collision, and going out on that army crash boat. I remember the diver, the guy going
over, he wasn't a diver. You could see in the water, it was clear as it could be, you could
see the sting rays down in there, so you could see this plane, and the damage on it wasn't
quite so bad. The other disintegrated. I don't remember what they did with that plane,
whether they junked it or, what, but I remember it sitting there, it wasn't any good. The
salt water would have mined it, the aluminum.

B:

You mentioned you got spare parts from Columbus, they flew them down. Did

you ever cannibalize planes?

J:

Yes, oh yes, if we had a plane not operating, if we had a problem, we'd go ahead

and take parts of that. Landing gear parts, wheels, bearings, and ifI am not mistaken I
remember taking some disc brakes off and transferring them to another plane that was
flying.

B:

Aside from flying occasionally as an observer and serving as a flight officer,

engine mechanic, did you have any other duties at the base?

J:

No, that's all the duties I had. I was officer of the day, maybe once a month.

Jividen

B:

J:

How were your relations between the base and the local community?

The seemed to treat us real well. We thought, the civilians, they thought we were

sort of secret. Nobody knows really what we were doing, you know. I don't know
whether word eventually got out. I showed you that driver's license, if they question you
or anything, just "coastal air patrol," that's the way we were listed. They always treated
us good.

B:

Were they appreciative of the base, did they appreciate that you all were there and

what you were trying to accomplish?

J:

I think they did because as part of their business, we'd go into town and the

merchants would like us, and so forth.

B:

Did they know anything of what you were doing?

J:

Really I never saw any civilians. That base was sort of isolated. I don't think they

really knew.

B:

But when you went into town did they even ask?

J:

No, none of them, I never had one question me about anything, even though we

were wearing odd wings and odd uniforms with the red I don't think so. I never had
anyone question me. Now you would see some of the soldiers from Tyndall might
question you, you know, "what's that outfit?" or "what are you doing?"

B:

When you explained how would they react, or were they just indifferent?

J:

That's about it, that's the way I looked at it anyways.

Jividen

B:

The local community, did they help out at the base any or did they stay their

distance?

J:

I think they did have some civilians working there at times, and doing odd jobs.

B:

Did you live at barracks at Tyndall or did you have an apartment off base?

J:

I didn't. I think some of the married couples did.

B:

But you actually lived on the coastal patrol base?

J:

Yes, all the time, I stayed right there. The same barracks as the army had.

B:

J:

B:

What was that building like?

Flimsy.

[Laughter].

B:

That aside, how was the building organized?

J:

In the original barracks, the army barracks, you know, the sergeant in the army

would have a little corner room. We had little apartments, that's it, separate. We had a
mess hall, and I remember the building I went in to take my exam, that I think was part of
the mess hall.

B:

How would you say your relations were with the military down there at Tyndall

and in the area with the army and navy?

Jividen

J:

As far as I know I think we did have good relations.

B:

Did they ever personally come and inspect your work, or ask you about your

work?

J:

No, I never saw anybody come back in to my work area and say anything. I think

they knew we were mostly controlled by the CAA.

B:

Did CAA inspectors come to the base?

J:

They did, because they were the ones to give the examinations.

B:

But did they come and inspect your work area?

J:

Oh yes, and made sure you were doing it right and you as a licensed mechanic,

you sign for all your work. That was good training for me for when I went into the cadet
program, because here I was starting the pilot training and they pulled me out because of
this school. B-29s were coming out heavy then.

B:

We'll come back to that as I would like to talk to you about that. Army personnel

handled all the ordinance on the base, correct?

B:

They would arm the planes and disarm the planes.

J:

Yes, that's all they did.

B:

How many were there that you recall? Were they stationed there or did they come

in from Tyndall?

Jividen

J:

The army sent them and I can't tell you what base they came from. I don't think

they came from Tyndall. They had two, the only two enlisted men that I knew, both of
them sergeants that took to the arming and disarming of the planes.

B:

Did you have a bomb dump on the base where they stored the ordinance?

J:

They did, and I can't recall where exactly it was at.

B:

Was it in the middle of the field?

J:

Might have been. I know it wasn't close to the barracks or anything.

B:

How do you feel about operations at the base overall? Where they ineffective, do

you think they were effective? Could things have been done differently?

J:

Everything is new down there, you know. I thought it ran well, I really did,

because those guys I felt were dedicated men that really, a lot of them were older men
flying there. I think [Joseph] Ule had to be up close to 50, I'm not sure. [William V.E.]
Burdick, he was an older man. I would say they were dedicated men.
I told you I met Clark Gable?

B:

J:

B:

Tell me about that story.

Well, you know we would all get off in the evening and go to the bar.

Which bar?

J:

Well, I went to the Dixie Sherman Hotel bar, it was up in a roof garden.

B:

And this was in Panama City?

Jividen

J:

Yes, beautiful place, I think they just tore that down here about maybe four or five

years ago. Sitting there you look right out over the bay, over the gulf there. I'm sitting up
there at the bar, and here comes this big tall guy in, moustache, good looking man.
Everybody recognizes him right now. He had just got through Gone with the Wind. And
he come up and sit down beside us. We talked there and at that time if I'm not mistaken it
was before he got his commission, he got a commission as a captain, first. He was a
sergeant then, and then it didn't make any difference. He was an impressive figure, and
everybody knew him, as he had just got through that big movie, Gone with the Wind.
He's from Ohio, see, he was born in Ohio, and we were talking about where he was born
and where I was born in Columbus. I think he was born in Cadiz? I know he was born in
Ohio, because we got to talking about it and he came down into Columbus.

B:

Did he ever come to the base that you can remember?

J:

I never saw him at the base, only at the bars.

B:

But you'd see him at the bars?

J:

At the bars.

B:

Every night?

J:

Well, no, that's the only time I ever met him, just that one time. Now I know he'd

come there. Now we didn't always go to the same bar, too.

B:

J:

Where else would you go?

There was another nightclub, it was on main highway, and I cannot tell you the

name now. It was a nice place, and everybody danced. I didn't know how to dance good
but I danced, especially ifI had a couple of beers.

Jividen

B:

Can you describe when the base closed and when your time with the Civil Air

Patrol came to an end?

J:

I served until the scare was over, I mean as far as our job was concerned, when

they were no longer worry about the subs in the Gulf of Mexico. That's what I heard
now, and they were going to "phase out," that's what they put. I know we worked to get
the planes ready to leave, make sure they were in good shape. Other than that I can't
remember, I know I wasn't the last one off the base, it was still there when we were
phasing out.

B"

When do you recall leaving personally?

B:

Would that have been, say September 1943, October 1943?

J:

Well, it was in the latter months.

B:

November maybe?

J:

It could have been. No, I would have said it. Because that base just didn't close

right up and everybody move out right away. You're probably right because I thought I
didn't leave until December.

Okay. Well, where did you go after operations ceased, where did you personally

J:

Back to Columbus and went down to the recruiting station and I went down then

and signed up for the air force. I took the examination for the cadet program, which was a
preliminary exam, about sixty questions.

Jividen

B:

Where and when then did you report for cadet training?

J:

Well, January 1, 1944.

B:

Where did they send you first, for training?

J:

They sent me to Fort Thomas, Kentucky. And then they sent me to Keesler Field,

Mississippi for basic army training. While I was at Mississippi there's where I took my
basic examinations for pilot, bombardier, or navigator. You qualified, if you were good
and smart, which I wasn't, for all three. Highest qualification was navigation, which they
expected more up here [points to head], bombardier, and pilot. Of course if you qualified,
and say my one brother-in-law qualified for all three. He flunked out of pilot training and
he was able to go into navigation where he went right on through and got a commission
as a navigator. Now if I had flunked out, I'm done. I qualified as pilot only, only. Then
you go from there to pre-flight.

B"

How then did you end up being trained as a flight engineer for B-29s?

Well, because I was going through training, at Marana, Arizona on a line waiting
to go into PT-13 flights. B-29s are coming out heavy, and they need flight engineers.
Now they don't want to send them back to cadets, to start them back at cadets. Here are
guys that are already qualified with a little training they could be flight engineers. This
was one way for me to get my commission, I thought I would get a commission, so I got
a flight engineer position.

B:

Now did you go to them and say "I have all this time with the CAP"?

J:

Oh no, they came around and they asked "if anybody is qualified, we need flight

engineers on B-29s and if you are qualified, rather than sitting here on this line," since
pilots then were a dime a dozen in training, and "if any of you fellas would like to get

Jividen

into it right now, [here's your chance]." Well, I thought I was going to miss out on the
whole war if I don't, so I signed up then for B-29 flight engineering. I went to Amarillo,
and you worked on a few engines and they gave you tests on what you know, your
regulators, your generators, different things mechanically. Then you go to Hondo [Air
Base, Texas] and you go take cruise control, it's probably a month or two there before I
graduated from cruise control. Then you take your flights, and instead of B-29s we took
them in B-17s and B-24s.

B:

Did they look mostly as your CAA qualifications or did your CAP work have any

bearing?

J:

Yes, it factored in, also holding that "E" rating, holding that instructor rating, and

also they had the record of being in that aeronautics school. That really helped me.

B:

Where did you go then for B-29 flight engineer training?

J:

I went to Amarillo, Texas for the mechanical school and that's all mechanics.

B:

When did you graduate from there?

J:

I went right on to Hondo, Texas and graduated from B-29s there. It didn't take

very long to get out of there.

B"

When would this have taken place, the summer of 1945?

J:

I graduated in August 1945.

B:

So right when the war ended?

Jividen

J:

Yes. I graduated, and I think the next class, or the third or fourth they graduated,

it was one or two classes after me that the war was over. I went straight from there, they
sent me to transition at Maxwell Field, Alabama, and that's when I got in my first B-29s.
That was transition to go overseas. Well, I'm getting to go over and then the war ends.
There were planes taking off for the South Pacific and they called them back. "The war's
over."

B:

When do you leave the regular service? I was you went in the Air National Guard.

J:

I was going to stay in. To be a flying officer at the end of the war you had to have

another MOS [military occupational specialty[. You know, I had to have another to stay
in, so I went to my CO and I told him that I want to stay in and he said "you can't." Well,
it wasn't very long before he came back to me, he came over to me, I was staying in the
BOQ [bachelor officer quarters[, and he brought me a list of things I might qualify for.
Start with provost marshal general, recruiting officer, something like that. I go all the
way down the list and here it says "Mess Supply and Transportation." Well, I'm going to
be in the transportation, motor pool, right away. That's the last category I signed, and it
was quite a list there, and that's the one I picked. He comes over and says "I got a job,
you are going to stay in." So he takes me out and he takes me to the mess hall. He says
"you are going to be a mess officer." I say "what? I don't know anything about this. I
know how to eat here." So he takes me in to meet this sergeant. This sergeant has been in
since World War I. So he introduces me to the sergeant, and the sergeant says "well, glad
to meet you, lieutenant." I said "well, I'm not a lieutenant, I'm a flight officer." He said
"well, it's the same thing, and I hear you're going to be the mess officer," and see my CO
is standing there right with me. He says "I want to let you know how I feel." I says "gee,
I'm glad." He says "I want you to know that I'm running this mess hall" and I said
"sergeant, I'm glad you are!" And I never had a better relationship in my life than I had
with that man. His home was in the army, he'd been in since World War I, so he is
probably 44 or 45 years old, and we worked it out. And I stayed with it until I came out.

Jividen

And I still got my flying time in, I had to put 100 hours a year into it. I had to fly every
month to keep my flying pay.

B"

As a flight engineer?

J"

Well, I didn't fly as a flight engineer then, I'd go up with another pilot in an AT-6

just to get my flying time in, as a co-pilot, or if we took a C-47 up, I could do that. Or I
could go up as an observer, same thing, but I got my flight pay. Fifty percent of my base
pay, and that meant a lot.

B"

Do you feel that your CAP service came in handy when flying for the army air

forces, and could you explain why?

J"

Oh yes. Well, it taught me a little bit of discipline. They had discipline there on

that base and like I told you, [Francis E.] Kissell, running that squad, and that drill, I
never did that before. I'm trying to remember how many times we'd go out each month
and drill. We had to do it, it was part of that base, that's the way it was set up, and
somebody there had to do that.

B"

Aside from the drill, was there anything else you felt, thanks to CAP, gave you an

edge over classmates?

J"

Well, being around aircraft all that time. See, before I hadn't been around

aircraft, I'd been with a lot of the engines there at that school. We had a lot of complaints
from downtown Columbus, as we ran engines there, big engines, the Allison V-12s, and
Pratt and Whitney, put them up on test stands and run them. And we had an old plane, it
was a Swallow, it had an old V-8, water-cooled, OX-5 engine, I think they called that.
Wooden prop. We got training in that. It had a tail skid and we'd tie a choke cable around
this post we had at the chain link fence around that school, it was out in the yard, and we

Jividen

would run that plane up like we were flying, raise that tail up so much. It finally did break
loose, and went right into the building and broke the prop. Stuff like that.

B:

The last question is do you have anything else you wish to add about your time in

the CAP for record?

J:

No, I was really proud to be in that outfit, because as I told you, these were a lot

of good, dedicated men, to take their planes and go down there and fly out over the water.
That's what I would like to add. And I was glad they asked me to do that, so I got that
experience. It helped me in my service in the war with the army.

Jividen

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should prompdy p]a~ it in the
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No enve]olm or st amp i~ requlred.

Figure 1 - Carl Jividen's CAA ground instructor license that he carried at Coastal
Patrol Base No. 14.

Jividen

S T A T E

O F

F L O R I D A

D R I V E R ' S

N ~CG'~(~ ~ ~1944
E~*

~OPERATOR
~ON~,~,o.. A 21801

L I C E N S E

L'O~fN'SE

D AT E O F B I R T H

HEIGHT

WEIGHT

IIA~ COLOR KY£8
D AT E O F I S S U A N C E

2

PRINT OR
TYPE NAME

Carl
I~IRST

ND
NUMBER

c,T~ o.

POSTOFFICE

COLOR HAIR

Everett

[
J4 ..~ ~ ~

MIDDLE ollrMAID~*J~I *4m . --'~-~T

Coastal Air Patrol
Panama City Bay Florida

~i~y th~ Uly I]CenBC 18 floe
1hl~SF $~Spe~iO~ OF rCVO~tion in any s~at~. ($1grmture)

COUNTY

S TAT E

Figure 2 - Florida driver's license issued to Jividen in October ]943, approximately
a month after patrol operations ceased from St. Andrews Bay, Florida.

Figure 3 - Picture of Paul Tiny Lentz, the base mess base hall sergeant, Coastal
Patrol Base No. 14.

Jividen

Figure 4 - Jividen in San Antonio, Texas as a flying cadet, 1944.

q"~

-

~

P/ {

o"

__

/

Figure 5 - The B-29 Jividen transilioned in as a flight engineer, August 1945,
Maxwell Field, Alabama.

Jividen

F i g - Carl J]wden's diploma from .the. Ohio Institute of Aeronautics, August
u r e
6
.
. . .
1942. After graduation he headed to Panama City, Morida.

Jividen

F

i

g - JuV l d e n ' sed i s c h 7 r g e f . o m
l
r
a
r .

a v i a t i. o n . a d . t t . a i n i n g IAugust
.
c
e
r

1945

Jividen

C l g I T Z I ~ I G AT B O F S l I R y I c I g

F i
1946.

g - Jividen'sed~eharge as a Fhght. Officer from Ihe Army Aw Forces, M a r c h
u r
8
. .
. .