Mckee, Byron, MM1c

Deceased
 
 Service Photo   Service Details
99 kb
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Last Rank
Petty Officer First Class
Last Primary NEC
MM-0000-Machinist's Mate
Last Rating/NEC Group
Machinists Mate
Primary Unit
1948-1961, US Air Force (USAF)
Service Years
1939 - 1946
MM-Machinists Mate
One Hash Mark

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

17 kb

Home State
Iowa
Iowa
Year of Birth
1922
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Darwin (Mac) McKee, GMG3 to remember Mckee, Byron (Mac), PO1.

If you knew or served with this Sailor and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
 
Contact Info
Home Town
Not Specified
Last Address
Perry, Iowa
Byron & Marvel
1922-93 1924-96
Married 1944

Date of Passing
Dec 17, 1993
 
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

U.S. Navy Master-at-Arms WW II Honorable Discharge Pin


 Unofficial Badges 

Order of the Shellback


 Military Association Memberships
Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW)
  1992, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW) [Verified] - Assoc. Page


 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Not Specified
   
Other Comments:
Web site for the USS Colorado BB-45
www.usscolorado.org/index.htm

      
Navy USS Colorado BB 45
           1940 - 1946
  
       Army Air Force
         1946 -1948

              USAF 
        1948- 1961

In  1940, Byron left his parents and the small coal mining town of Carbon, Iowa to join the Navy. Mac, who speaks of his dad very lovingly, said of his father's service:?Dad joined the Navy in very early 1940. Typical story of a farm boy seeking adventure somewhere besides walking behind a team of plow horses.?

Byron attended Naval Training Command, Great Lakes, Ill., and reported aboard the battleship USS Colorado (BB-45) as a Machinist Mate. By the summer of 1941, Colorado returned from the Pacific, headed for the Puget Sound Navy Yard in Bremerton for a shipyard overhaul, for what the entire crew knew to be an impending war. After the overhaul was complete, Colorado and her crew got underway, headed toward Pearl Harbor. But the battleship turned-back for Bremerton shortly after departure when it suffered a major engineering problem.

While repairs were being made to Colorado, Byron took leave and returned home to Iowa. He had been home for three days when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. When Byron learned of the attack, he made his way back to the Colorado with three of his shipmates, driving three days non-stop.

Repairs were completed in 1942, and Colorado got underway and into the war waging in the Pacific. Byron saw action during the battles of Tarawa, Guam, Leyte Gulf, Mindoro, and the invasion of Okinawa. USS Colorado played a major role in the Pacific campaign through the rest of the war.

Byron was still stationed aboard Colorado when World War II ended, but not before the McKee family suffered a great personal loss.

Byron's brother, Willard, made the ultimate sacrifice for his country on April 27, 1945, two weeks before the surrender of Germany. The oldest of the six McKee siblings, and only 25 at the time of his death. Willard is buried at the Lorraine American Cemetery and Memorial in France and was awarded a Purple Heart.

In 1944, Byron married his high school sweetheart, Marvel Lola Davis. He served aboard USS Colorado until he left the Navy in 1946. That same year he and his wife welcomed a son, Darwin (Mac), and then joined the U.S. Army Air Force (USAAF). A year later, Byron would transition from Soldier to Airman and into America's newest military branch -- the United States Air Force. Again, Byron became a part of military history.

Mac remembers his father as a Sailor, though he retired from the Air Force as Master Sergeant (E7). He recalls his Dad heading the crash boats at Langley AFB, Va., and taking servicemen out on the weekend to fish. During his childhood, Mac had a front row seat to American history. He saw the Panama Canal while his dad was stationed at Howard AFB, he met all the original Mercury Program astronauts while Byron as stationed at Langley, and Mac even remembers Navy astronaut Scott Carpenter's son attending his brother's birthday party.

By the time Mac was a teenager, the country was again at conflict. He was also aware that his family's history had already been tied to the Country's when his father served on the USS Colorado.

He says of the ship's fate: "If the Colorado had not returned to Bremerton, she would have been sitting right where her sister ship (USS West Virginia) had been moored -- at Pearl Harbor. My very existence may have been tied to that shaft malfunction. If dad had been killed at Pearl, my brother, our kids, and grandkids wouldn't be here.? 

     
   
 Photo Album   (More...


  1940-1946, MM-0000, USS Colorado (BB-45)

MM-Machinists Mate

From Month/Year
- / 1940

To Month/Year
- / 1946

Unit
USS Colorado (BB-45) Unit Page

Rank
Petty Officer First Class

NEC
MM-0000-Machinist's Mate

Location
Long Beach

Country/State
California
 
 
 Patch
 USS Colorado (BB-45) Details

USS Colorado (BB-45)
Hull number BB-45

Type
Surface Vessels

Existing/Disbanded
Decommissioned

Parent Unit
Colorado-class

Strength
Battleship

Created/Owned By
Not Specified
   

Last Updated: May 15, 2013
   
Memories For This Unit

Best Friends
Walter Spivey, North Carolina

Best Moment
End of the War

   

Worst Moment
Loss of older brother PFC Willard McKee being KIA in Germany 25, April 1945.

Other Memories
Web site for the USS Colorado BB-45
http://www.usscolorado.org/index.htm

   
   
My Photos For This Duty Station
 (More..)
USS Colorado BB 45
16 inch Guns BB 45
General Quarters anti Aircraft
Battleship Ordinance
20 Members Also There at Same Time
USS Colorado (BB-45)

Fairchild, Clarence DeVere, CPO, (1936-1942) MM MM-0000 Petty Officer First Class
Riemenschneider, Donald Carl, PO3, (1944-1946) MM MM-0000 Seaman Second Class
Edwards, Richard Stanislaus, ADM, (1907-1947) OFF 112X Captain
Floyd, Clifford Grosvenor, LT, (1942-1959) OFF 000X Lieutenant Junior Grade
Schmit, David John, CPO, (1927-1952) WT WT-0000 Chief Petty Officer
Bottorff, William, CPO, (1936-1946) BM BM-0000 Petty Officer Second Class
Hadley, William Thomas, CPO, (1938-1944) PhM PhM-0000 Petty Officer Second Class
WOJCIAK, JOSEPH, PO2, (1943-1946) ETM ETM-0000 Petty Officer Second Class
Bailey, William S., PO1, (1940-1945) CM CM-0000 Petty Officer Third Class
Christopher, Thomas, PO1, (1941-1969) SM SM-0000 Seaman 1st Class
Coggins, Royal Joseph, S1c, (1942-1946) S1c S1c-0000 Seaman 1st Class
Faubel, Warren Henry, CPO, (1939-1950) S1c S1c-0000 Seaman 1st Class
Anderson, Lawrence, PO2, (1940-1947) S2c S2c-0000 Apprentice Seaman
WELLINGS, Augustus, RADM, (1919-1954) Rear Admiral Lower Half
Bowling, Selman Stewart, RADM, (1927-1957) Lieutenant
Long, Robert, ADM, (1943-1983) Lieutenant Junior Grade
Rindskopf, Maurice, RADM, (1938-1972) OFF Lieutenant Junior Grade
Bell, David, RADM, (1937-1970) Ensign
Fesko, John, SN, (1941-1943) Seaman 1st Class
Pierce, Floyd, PO2, (1941-1944) Seaman
Pierce, Floyd, PO2, (1941-1944) Midshipman

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