Jerry "Bent" Kerr

Why did you join the Navy?

What was the greatest benefit to yourself?

Why did you decide to make it a career or get out?

Why did you decide to make it a career?

What is your fondest memory?

Were you ever scared?

What have you been doing since you got out of the Navy?

Jerry Kerr Navy Flow  8/1961  -------- 8/1965

1.     August, 1961- November 1961 Navy Boot Camp at Great Lakes Navy Training  Center ,Ill.        Rate E1-Seaman App.

2.     November, 1961—Approximately   9 weeks- 12 weeks+  ?? Assigned to Squadron VT  1 Saufley Field, Pensacola Florida.    Plane Captain for T34s and T28s.  Mission was for NAVCADS, MARCADS, Navy Officers, and Marine Officers to complete first 30 hours of flight training and Solo or not pass and be sent to fleet.

JK went to “Fleet @ Pensacola first out of Boot Camp rather than Boot Camp to Tech School to Fleet.  JK went to Fleet—to Tech Schools—To Fleet. Big Deal gave me more practical Experience for time in service. ALLOWED ME TO BE COMPANY - none NCO Leader  AT NATTC TRAINING. I ALSO GOT E2 AND E3 RATES QUICKER.

3.     NATTC Naval Air Training Center Millington, Tenn.

              December,1961---February, 1962   Aviation Familiarization Training.  How to survive as an Air Crew Man.

              February, 1962-----May 1963   Aviation Electronics Technician Training.

Aviation Basic Electricity and Aviation Basic Electronics Training.  Basic Electronics plus airplane electronics such as Transceivers, Tacan, Altimeters and Fire Control Radar Systems.

Rate E3-Airman

4.     May, 1963.   Cecil Field Jacksonville Florida.  Assigned   to VF174 until VF62 and USS Shangri-La got back from Naval Blockade of Cuba.  Worked as Plane Captain on F8s.  I was sent to Mess Hall. Decided better to get done before sea duty.  They put me in charge of running all hands and delivering meals.  Learned a lot and decided not for me.  Had about 100 guys working for me.  Made 3rd Class Petty Officer—NCO E4.

5.     September 19, 1963--- May 1964. Deployed to Med  with VF62 on USS Shangri-La CVA 38. Events 1 and 2 on www.VF62.org.

6.     July, 1964-------November, 1964.   VF62 deployed on USS Independence CVA 62. Deployed to North Atlantic.  USS Roosevelt had problems and Independence. Came into Med and took their station until Nov.

7.     Med.    February, 1965-----September, 1965. Ship returned to Mayport in Sept. 1965.  Made E5 Second Class Petty Officer… NCO. Highest Enlisted Rank could achieve in 4 years active duty.  Events 3 in www.VF62.org .

8.      J. Kerr returned to CONUS in August 1965 from Rota Spain to Charleston, SC on a Submarine Tender. Separated from active duty. Went back to Maryland.

Jerry Kerr Dec 23, 2014

Note from Jerry Kerr - December 29, 2015

Jim, Thanks very much for your good wishes.   The www.VF62.org project really hit home with me particularly because it sparked interest by my Son and Grandson and had me doing a lot of remembering.  Like I said my Son knew what I was up to in 1963, 1964, and 1965 from talks and also Pat’s remembrances and all but he did not know anything about 1961 and 1962 and my Navy time. So it was good that  I put it down chronologically for them and me..

It is kind of you to add stuff.   I know  1961 and some of 1962  is not about Shang and VF62 but it still a part of my time . Since all this startedand  got to thinking about it,  I would go right back to a Flight Deck and put in time again even though  am almost 73 years old.  When Jim was about 5 or 6 years old I took him on the Saratoga or the Roosevelt to tour and he still remembers standing on the fantail and how high it was off the water.  I took our Grandson Matt on the USS Midway in SD when he was about 3 or 4.

I will be 73 in July so don’t have a second chance anymore to get to a bucket list.

There is a small Warbird air museum in Titusville that I have contacted to volunteer if they want me to. I like most people and I like to talk so….


They have several planes we have history with including F8, A4, T34, T28, F3H, F4, and more.


Regards and thanks again.


Jerry Kerr, ATN2

Sent: Monday, June 15, 2015 9:31 AM

Subject: Experience

Pat [Jerry's wife] and I  were away from home this weekend at the Renaissance  Hotel , Green Cove Springs just north of St Augustine.  After we checked in we discovered that Saturday and Saturday evening June 13, 2015 was the 18th Commemoration of the US Victory at Midway Island/  These festivities included a formal Reception and Dinner and extensive honoring of WW11  Veterans from various Campaigns including Midway veterans , Prisoners of War . This also included Veterans from all wars such as WW11, Korea, ,Vietnam, and Middle East.

The support for this tremendous event came from organizations such as the Navy League and many personnel from all services in the Jacksonville and St Augustine area.  The Dinner had attendance of 635+ and the program was impressive.  Of Course Pat and I were not a part of the events but we were welcomed observers.

We were standing outside of the main door to the Ballrooms and I noticed a man in Tuxedo walking past me with a ribbon and medal around his neck .  After he  passed it dawned on me that he was a recipient of the Medal of Honor.

I approached him and he stopped and I introduced myself and asked if I could shake his hand.  His name is Robert Ingram and he is a Vietnam Vet and he was a Navy Corpsman assigned to a First Battalion, Seventh Marines and his Bravery and Valor during a firefight in 1966 saved many lives. You can find a summary on the web. I have a copy of Program which includes a summary.

To say this was an honor for me  is  an understatement!!


Jerry Kerr