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A Photographic Salute to the VMSB-243 Dive Bomber Squadron that Served in the South Pacific in WWII

3 May 2023

Welcome to!

It's hard to believe that it's been sixteen years since I created this site in honor of my friend, Harold A. Clemetsen (Clem) of East Lansing, Michigan, who was a member of this squadron.

While visiting with him one night, he shared with me a box of unique black and white U.S. Government photos he brought home from the South Pacific; all of which were stamped Declassified. And, as a bonus, every photo had something written on the back of it which identified the people in it, what they were up to at the time, and even included some first-hand comments.

It only took me a few moments to realize that these photos, properly preserved and shared, would tell the story of VMSB-243 long after the last squadron member is gone. At this time, I do not believe there are any living squadron members. However, I'm proud that this site brings them together again, for all times.


Since we launched the site in 2007, we have received countless notes and positive comments from squadron members, their families, and researchers; many of whom shared additional information and photographs. Without question, this site has taken on a life of its own and I couldn't be more delighted.

Recent correspondences have come from grandchildren and great grandchildren sharing thoughts like, "This is the first time I've seen my grand/great grandfather in his military uniform and now I know where he was and his role in the war."

If you see anything we should add or correct, please speak up! I'm most proud of The Rest of the Story which provides insight into what these heroes did after the war. If your relative/friend is not included within the lineup, YOU can change that. Send me a copy of his obituary and an after the war photo and I'll draft a mini-life story and add him to the roster. Or you can write something.

I'm going on seventy-two now and plan to keep improving this virtual project for as long as I'm topside. Please be assured that I have secured my successor to keep this site up, and growing, long after I'm gone.

Thanks for visiting and thanks for contributing to its vision.

Most importantly, thanks to the heroes whose memories this site preserves and who we gratefully salute for their remarkable service to our country.

Edward J. Gillespie

2692 Rockwood Drive

East Lansing, MI 48823



Drop me a note or ask questions that the Forum can't answer.

Thanks for reaching out!

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