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A Photographic Salute to this Dive Bomber Squadron
that Served in the South Pacific in WWII

U.S. Marine Corps 1 st Lt. Harold A. Clemetsen (a.k.a. CLEM) (1919-2008), a pilot in the VMSB-243 Dive Bomber Squadron in the mid-1940s, was a friend of mine.

Several years before his death, he shared with me approximately 200 black and white photographs taken during VMSB-243’s stint on the South Pacific Island of Emirau. Most of them were taken in 1944. Some of the photos were taken by U.S. Marine Photographer Edward P. Smith and others were taken by Harold who said he learned about shooting photos and developing them while on the island.

As a salute to Harold and all who served in the South Pacific as part of his squadron, I created this website with the tireless help of my web guru friend, Ryan Pennewill, for the purpose preserving and sharing Harold’s impressive photo collection with surviving members of his squadron and their descendants.

If you are a relative of one of the individuals who served in this squadron, please feel to drop me a line, to share photos you may have in your possession or just to say hello. And, I urge you to please tell us the “Rest of the Story” so we can add your relative’s information to that link within this site.

Most of the heroes featured on this site are no longer with us and are now flying at much higher altitudes.

Ryan and I are very proud that, through the wonders of technology, we have reunited them all together again, in one place, for all times.

We hope you enjoy this site.

But most important, we hope that it will serve as a lasting reminder of the price paid by our men and women in uniform to ensure the freedom we enjoy.

It is in their honor and with our deepest gratitude that we proudly dedicate this site to every member of VMSB-243 and their extended family members.

Edward J. Gillespie
2692 Rockwood
East Lansing, Michigan 48823