USS Belleau Wood CV-24 / CVL-24
Bois Belleau R-97
Message Board

June 13, 2011

My wife's grandfather was aboard this ship as well. We just lost him this past weekend
do to failing health. If you know how to contact any other shipmates, please forward
this to them as well. ANY AND ALL ARE INVITED!

I gather enough courage to ask him about his war experience a few weeks ago and
he gave me very few details.  I wish I would have asked him sooner to fully understand
his experience. I hope other shipmates attend his Full military honors funeral.

Roland "Rollie" J. Huibregtse, 86, of Sheboygan Falls, passed away on Saturday,
June 11, 2011 at his home with his family at his side. Rollie was born on December 11,
1924 in Plymouth, WI to John and Helen (Duerlow) Huibregtse. He attended Sheboygan
Falls Schools.

Rollie married the late Carolyn Carpenter in 1947 in Michigan and celebrated their 63rd wedding anniversary this past Veterans Day, November 11th. In his younger days Rollie enjoyed hunting, fishing and in later years looked forward to his Wednesday 'date' days
with Carolyn.

Rollie joined the United States Marine Corps in 1943 serving in Pacific, Asia, the Philippines, Guam and Hawaii aboard the USS Belleau Wood.

Rollie was a member of the First Reformed Church in Sheboygan Falls. He was an avid
sports fan, not missing a Brewer or Packer Game. He was a member the American Legion,
VFW and a volunteer Fireman for the Sheboygan Falls Fire Department for 21 years.
Rollie was employed at Kohler Co. for 42 years retiring from the Security Department.

Rollie is survived by four daughters and three sons, Thomas, Lawton, Okla.; Dick (Gail), Sheboygan Falls; Sue (Roger), Sheboygan Falls; Joyce (Myron) Praeger, Port
Washington; Jane Huibregtse, Kay (Mike) Braun, and Peter, all of Sheboygan Falls; 14 grandchildren, Jennifer, Shelly (Dave), Gina (Clint), Mark (special friend, Gretchen),
Michael, Kristi (Caleb), Jill, Jason (Amanda), Joel (special friend, Ashley), Rachel (special friend, Nick), Brendan, Blake, Carly, and Nicole (special friend, Robert); eight great-grandchildren, Jaymz, Jedidiah, Zachariah, Charlie, Brody, Macy, Madylin, Damon (special friend, Kyra); two sisters, Marcella (Sally) Vreeke, Sheboygan; Marjorie Wangemann, Sheboygan; two brothers, Dale (Dolly), Jerry (Kay) both of Sheboygan Falls. He is further survived by JoAnn Bartzen, Marjorie (Wayne) Siefert and Faye Entringer, all of Sheboygan;
and special pet, Buckwheat.

Rollie was preceded in death by his wife Carolyn; his parents; his parent-in-laws, John and Helen Carpenter; one brother, Clarence (Peanuts); and four brothers-in-law, Roger Vreeke,
Guy Entringer, Clem Bartzen and Ted Wangemann.

Funeral services to celebrate Rollie's life will be at 3 p.m. on Thursday, June 16, 2011, at
First Reformed Church in Sheboygan Falls, with the Rev. Brad Veenendaal officiating.
Interment will be in Sheboygan Falls Cemetery with full military honors.

Relatives and friends may greet the family from 1 p.m. until the time of the service
Thursday at the church. A memorial fund has been established in Rollie's name for Sharon
S. Richardson Community Hospice and First Reformed Church.

For online remembrances and more information, please visit www.wenig

Wenig Funeral Home in Sheboygan Falls (920-467-3431) is assisting Rollie's family with arrangements.

May 26, 2011

My father, Alvin Harold Casey, served on the USS Belleau Wood during WW2. He was on the carrier for all campaigns during WW2. After graduating from Oklahoma A&M (now Oklahoma State University), he entered the service as an Ensign, leaving the service in 1946 as a Senior Lieutenant. He was in charge of the hanger where the bombs were loaded, planes fueled, etc. I would like to contact others that served or their children.

Below is a short sketch that was included in a family history that we published (first published in 1980). I do have some documentation that my father kept from the ship - mainly gun repair manuals and flight training manuals. Also, a copy of one ship newsletter (2 pages) - apparently they published a weekly flyer for the sailors each week to keep them apprised of ship activities and the war.

I am very surprised that so little can be found about the crew and daily activities of this carrier. I could never get my father to discuss the details of his service - and I did try many times. He would tell me small parts. I know when the ship was hit by the Japanese plane that ignited ordinance and fuel, he lost almost all of his command as they were actively loading up planes for an engagement. He was normally in the hanger with his crew but was in an officer's meeting when the attacks commenced.

I also have about a dozen letters that my mother wrote to my father while he was on the ship. I discovered these letters after both had died. Apparently, my Dad wanted to remain in the Navy and my Mom was not too thrilled about being a Navy wife. Because of her input, he did not remain in the Navy after the conclusion of the war.

At some point in time, his ship was upgraded to have radar controlled anti-aircraft which was very effective. It was very strange that he had compassion for these Japanese pilots as there was extremely little chance of getting past the radar controlled guns. This is about all I know about his service.

Would love to find out any details that others may have. According to my research, this carrier had major contributions in defeating the Japanese. Pilots from this carrier sunk a Japanese carrier and also shot down the last Japanese plane of the war. My uncle, Bill Casey, served in the Army in Europe and was a Captain at the end of the war. He remained in the service and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel. My niece's husband (Bill Nixon) is also a career Air Force and was recently promoted to Lieutenant Colonel. He has over ten active combat
assignments (several tours in Iraq and Afghanistan). Bill used to fly fighter planes but now flies the large transport planes.

"ALVIN HAROLD CASEY (6) is the son of Louis Bertie Casey and Florence Larue (Shelton) Casey. Harold was born on March 9, 1915 on a farm about six miles east of Stigler in Haskell County, Oklahoma. In 1931 (at the age of sixteen), Harold graduated from Keota High School and was the valedictorian of his class. When he graduated from high school, the nation was in its most serious economic depression. Hired farm labor was being paid fifty cents per day, but jobs were almost impossible to find. The first two years after high school
were spent working on his father's farm which had a twenty-five acre
apple orchard.

From 1933 to 1936, Harold served in the army and was assigned to the 18th Field Artillery in Fort Sill, Oklahoma. In September of 1937, Harold and his brother, Louis, enrolled at Oklahoma State University. While
attending college, Harold and Louis played in western band which called themselves The Rangers. As a student at Oklahoma State University, Harold was a member of Blue Key, Phi Kappa Phi, Alpha Zeta, Vice-President of the Collegiate Chapter of the Future Farmers of America and was a proctor and the president of Aggie Halls.

In May of 1941, Harold received a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture Education. Upon graduation, Harold became an agriculture instructor at Helena, Oklahoma. On December 31, 1941, Harold Casey married Ethel Bernice Brooks in Elk City, Oklahoma.

Bernice was born on May 1, 1919 near Elk City, Oklahoma and is the daughter of Robert Wesley Brooks and Julia Ann (Bryan) Brooks. Harold and Bernice had met as students at Oklahoma State University during Harold's senior year. Bernice received her degree in Home Economics in 1942 from Oklahoma State University.

From April of 1943 to February of 1946, Harold served in the navy attaining the rank of Senior Lieutenant. During his naval career, he was stationed with the Fifth Fleet in Hawaii, Saipan, Phillipines and Japan. After the war, Harold and Bernice Casey moved to Guthrie, Oklahoma where Harold was employed as an Extension Agent of 4-H Programs. After six weeks, he was promoted to County Agriculture Agent.

In 1955, Harold completed his requirements for a Master of Science degree from Oklahoma State University.
While living in Guthrie, Harold served as president of the Guthrie Lions Club, as cabinet secretary to the District Lions Club Director, president of the Oklahoma Association of Fairs and as a scoutmaster in Boy Scouts. He was the recipient of several awards including the KVOO Greener Pastures contest, Tennessee Valley Authority Fertilizer Demonstration contest, Oklahoma Fertilizer Dealers Association Award, the Oklahoma Farmer-Stockman Neighborhood Progress contest, Oklahoma Seedsmen Award and the Guthrie Chamber of Commerce
Achievement award.

In July of 1957, Harold was promoted to a District Extension Director and moved to Stillwater, Oklahoma for his new position. In July of 1961, Harold received a Doctorate of Education (EdD) from Oklahoma State University with majors in Administration in Higher Education and Personnel Supervision. In September of 1968, Harold was promoted to Director of Personnel for the Oklahoma State University Extension Service and remained in that position until he retired in July of 1976.

From July of 1976 to July of 1977, Harold was an Associate Professor in the Department of Agriculture Education at Oklahoma State University. During this year, he co-authored the four hour correspondence course, Education to Feed a Hungry World. He also wrote a three hour graduate credit course on Extension Program Planning.

Harold was president of the Oklahoma State University chapter of Epsilon Phi in 1968 and received their State Staff Superior Service Award in 1972. In 1973, he received the National Epsilon Sigma Phi Certificate of Recognition. Harold served on a National Extension Task Force to develop guidelines for the State Extension Services to use in developing performance appraisal instruments for their employees. Harold developed the first written performance appraisal instrument and salary administration plan for the Oklahoma State
University Cooperative Extension Service. He was a frequent speaker of state and regional meetings for professional extension employees. Harold and Bernice Casey are the parents of three children:

............Patrick Jon Casey (6.1), b. July 5, 1943, Elk City, Oklahoma
............David Myron Casey (6.2), b. September 13, 1947, Guthrie,
............Robert Brooks Casey (7), b. May 25, 1951, Guthrie, Oklahoma

Harold Casey, Bernice (Brooks) Casey and their son, Robert, have been active genealogists for many years. Harold and Robert published "Casey Family History" in 1980 and "Shelton, Wininger and Pace Families" in 1988. Bernice and Robert published "Brooks Family History" in 1982 and published "Olliff Family History" in 1992.

Harold Casey died on January 8, 1991 in Stillwater, Oklahoma and Bernice (Brooks) Casey died on March 9, 2002 in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Both were buried in the Gracelawn Cemetery in Edmond, Oklahoma."

Robert Casey

Lieutenant (j.g.) Alvin Harold Casey

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