Meet Five More Sailors From the USS Leon

Thanks to the family of Irwin Goldstein, we now have pictures of five more sailors who served in the Pacific during WWII. As always, if you recognize names or pictures of one or more of the young men below, please contact us!

S1c Irwin Goldstein was a member of the boat group aboard the attack transport USS Leon. Fortunately for all of us, Irwin took lots of pictures of his buddies when they were on leave from April 1944 through January 1946. (Most of his buddies—though not all—were members of Leon’s boat group.) Then Irwin did the most wonderful thing… he put names on the pictures and saved them for us!!

Irwin’s family has shared those pictures with us, and we have confirmed the identities of a group of those sailors as crewmen of the Leon. Here are five more of those handsome young men who served hard duty in the Pacific.

Al Kraft

This is S1c Albert P. Kraft from Amherst NY. The other three members of Al’s boat crew were Frank F. Usefara, Albert T. Kauffman, and Raymond A. McClary. Their supervising officer was Ensign Leon S. Eckman.

Anthony Visconti

Meet S1c Anthony A. Visconti. Anthony’s boat crew also included Gilbert R. Ward, William H. Vieau, and Henry V. Mayer. Commanding officer: Ensign Alton R. Swift.

Ed Baker

Here is S1c Edward Baker from Chicago IL. Ed served with Dorries J. Byars, Edward O. Cathcart, and Emmitt N. Droll. Ensign Paul S. Kemner was their direct superior.

Ernest Johnson, Coxswain

This is Ernest M. Johnson from North Adams MA. He served with J.C. Biesterveld, Harold O. Hausrath, and Gerald E. Dreaver under Ensign Paul S. Kemner.

Farrell Thomas J (2)

The last shipmate is S1c Thomas J. Farrell, address unknown. Ensign Sam Seidel supervised Thomas and his crewmates: John Frederick, Edwin G. Howell, and Raymond J. Manley.

These men trained together with the rest of Leon’s crew to perform the key mission of the amphibious forces: Putting the boots on the beaches… Any beach, any time!


Shore Leave Pearl Harbor

Thanks to Justin Goldstein for assistance with this story.

Anyone who is interested in WWII history in the Pacific theater has seen countless pictures like the one below from the Irwin Goldstein Collection. After hard duty cruising the Pacific for months on end, there was nothing like leave at Pearl Harbor. Girls, beer, and dry land!

These five young fellas were from the crew of the USS Leon APA 48. All of them were members of the ship’s boat group. They were the boat crews who delivered the Marines and soldiers to the beaches, any beach… any time.


Five Good Buddies

We don’t know the exact date the picture was taken, but the scrawl on the back says,

“After  the Invasion of Saipan at P.H.”

They were happy to be ashore, but we notice no big smiles here after Saipan. They’d landed 1382 healthy young Marines from the FOURTH Division and shortly thereafter transported 307 of them wounded and dying back to the ship. No one was guaranteed tomorrow.

There was more to come. Their next four amphibious assaults: Angaur (Palau Islands), Leyte and Luzon (Philippines), and Okinawa (Ryukyu Islands).

We’re pretty darned certain of the identities of these five sailors, but please correct us if we’re wrong. Either way, if you see one of your family here, we would love to hear from you!

In the front row is S1c M. C. Weisenburg (Izzy) from Baltimore, MD. The middle row (l) is S1c John T. Duffy from Pittsburgh, PA, and the middle (r) is Cox Ernest M. Johnson from North Adams, MA. The back (l) is S1c Glenn J. Dickinson from Granville, MA, and (r) is S1c Irwin Goldstein from New York, NY.

And here’s the good part. They all came home!

Picture: Irwin Goldstein Collection