A good Veterans’ Day to you all. Thought I’d share…

My grandfather, Charles J Odendhal JR, was a Navy man and led an interesting career.

He served aboard several ships, and became a Naval Aviator before WWII. This included being part of the search for Amelia Erhart.

Just before the US entered the war, he flew a PBY to England and became an instructor. At the time US servicemembers couldn’t fly combat missions. He was, however allowed to “borrow” the occasional Hurricane and …

He helped provide the Flying Tigers with intelligence, sometimes from behind enemy lines.

In January 1945, he was assigned to the Bunker Hill as Navigator. This is the ship hit by two kamikaze planes during the battle for Okinawa. The ship was left severely damaged, afire, and listing badly. He assumed the duties of Officer of the Deck, and then Executive Officer when the Exec collapsed. He is credited with initiating a high speed turn maneuver that righted the ship and forced water and burning oil out of the ship, saving the ship, earning him The Bronze Star.

In time he became a carrier Captain.

Be safe.