Leon J. Greenbaum, Jr.
Leon 'Lee' Greenbaum, 1985
LTJG. Greenbaum, VPB-111, was born 24 September 1923.
Leon (Lee) entered the Navy in December 1942 and began his flight training at Roanoke College, Roanoke, Virginia. Since official Naval uniforms were not available, they were given the green CCC uniforms (Civilian Conservation Corps). Intermediate training was at the Memphis Naval Air Station with final training and commissioning at Pensacola.
Following commissioning,he went to the Naval Air Station in Hutchinson, Kansas for B24 training and following that, additional training at the Jacksonville Naval Auxillary Air Station. From there it was crew assignment in San Diego and then a transPacific to Kaneohi Naval Air Station on Oahoo. From there he was assigned duty with VPB 111.
After the cessation of hostilities and return to the States, Leon had duty at Anacostia Naval Air Station, Naval Air Station, Chincoteague and then assignment to VP-62. His next duty was at the Office of Naval Research in Washington, DC with additional duty at the Naval Submarine Base, Groton and the Naval Experimental Diving Unit, Naval Station, Washington, DC.
Leon received training as a mixed gas deep sea diver and qualified in 1963. The next step in his Naval carrier was to expand his education at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Following the receipt of his Doctorate he was assigned duty at the Naval Medical Research Institute, Bethesda, Maryland to do research in submarine and diving medicine. Leon coauthored two texts on compressed air, diving and submarine medicine; they were published by the Navy. He also helped to train some of the country's first astronauts in scuba diving at the UDT Base, Little Creek, Virginia before their first space adventures.
Since much of his Navy research dealt with submarine escape, diver decompression using animal models; these models could be equally applied to stroke in man. As a result he received additional duty at the National Institutes of Health to administer the stroke program and other illnesses of the nervous system, viz head and spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, etc.
Leon retired with the rank of Captain in 1985 and took a position as the Executive Director of the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society, an international scientific and medical society dealing with commercial and recreational diving and the use of hyperbaric oxygen to treat thirteen medical illnesses. His retirement from the Society was in 2001.
Scientific Contributions: 32 Scientific papers; two published texts: Compressed Air, Diving, and Submarine Medicine. Leon is a board member in the Diver Alert Network, Chesapeake Enviromental Association, YMCA Camp Letts, and All Hallows Vestry.
My wife and I live on the water in Maryland near Annapolis. We are cruising and racing sailors. I play the cello in a local orchestra, sing in our church choir along with my wife, Betty. She plays the piano and we play duets, an enjoyable and relaxing pastime. I'm a member of the Naval Academy Sailing Squadron and in the past have served as Safety Officer on their boats, plus doing some teaching. I have also given special lectures to the Trident scholars at the Naval Academy in diving physiology.
1967,Rota - CDR I.J. Johnson bestowing Gary's 3rd.Class Crow
2001, Miriam&Gary, VA Beach Reunion
I joined the Navy At 18 (Sept 4, 1964), after high school. Boot camp at Great Lakes, then to AC A school NAS Glenco in Brunswick Ga. That was not my forte, washed out, 15th week. Orders to NAS Brunswick Me, changed to NAS Guantanamo. 1 year there working on Crane Hill radar installation. Left there on orders to VP-21 as AZAN. worked in maintenance office for, Chiefs Blair, Harvey, Gallagher and Acker. Also, 2 great guys Lt Szczepanski & Lt Woychowski. Deployed to Rota and Sigonella (twice). Went with 3-Plane detachment to Souda Bay twice.
My last year I worked with my good friend Tom Watt. I Think that Man was born to be a leading chief.
Extended my enlistment for 8 months and was discharged as AZ2 May 2, 1969.
After the Navy I went of Mortuary School in Boston and returned to my family business in Saco, Me. Purchased the Funeral Home from my dad in 1979, merged with another funeral home in 1983. Sold out and moved to Florida in 1987. Am presently a licensed Funeral Director/Embalmer in Maine and Florida. I have been with a family owned funeral home here in west central FL, as manager/VP for the Past 15 years.
Have been storekeeper/Director for the last 2-3 years and have enjoyed renewing old friendships.
Irving H. Glick
Many members of VP-21 will remember me for my exploits in that squadron. Some of these are of a nature that I would not like to disclose, so I will limit my comments to some extent.
Before continuing, however, I would like to remind one and all that my middle initial stands for Hallmark. (“Hallmark, when you care enough to send the very best.”)
It is possible that certain details of my time in the squadron may have faded from my memory, undoubtedly due to my advanced age, but I do have several fond recollections. I would certainly invite any of my shipmates to add to my remembrances as deemed appropriate and generally within the bounds of decency.
It was a great day for me when the Commanding Officer gave me a check ride for Patrol Plane Commander (PPC) designation. For some reason, he marked all the evaluation items on the check sheet as “Below Average” - except for the item evaluating my performance in starting the jets. For that item he marked me “Outstanding”. (I was pleased, as I am certain you all remember how extremely difficult it was to start the jets.)
Anyhow, the recommendation for PPC was sent to the Commander, Fleet Air Wing THREE. Not only did the Commodore approve, he even marked the PPC designation, “With kindest personal regards” above his signature. I believe this was the only time the Commodore ever put such a personal note on a PPC document. (Some say that he did that because it had been rumored that I did not even exist and he wanted all to know that he was well aware of what was going on. Can you imagine?)
I was particularly proud of my fellow crewmembers in CAC13. The names I recall:
Leopold Hershfield (His initials were on the tail of all VP-21 aircraft.)
Several years after I had left the squadron, I had the pleasure of revisiting NAS Brunswick. The Neptune had long been out of active squadron service, but some kind souls had arranged to have an old P2V mounted for display just inside the main gate. See photo below.
It was an incredibly proud moment for me.
(I am particularly pleased with the high quality of my picture, as attached hereto. Some
have commented that they note that various parts of my handsome visage would seem to resemble parts of the faces of several other members of the squadron in the 1964-66 time frame. Remarkable!). Also see what my friends and shipmates have had to say about my career and history. Go to my official 'living biography' website at http://www.vp-21.org/GLICK