Corinn & Chris O'Connor
Corinn & Chris O'Connor
Great-granddaughter and grandson of William Lamkey
Collection of Chris O'Connor, 9-1-05
    My mother, formerly Rosemary O'Connor, has just sent me a string of emails regarding your work on the history of my grandfather, Wm. Lamkey.
    Wow, I really enjoyed seeing what has been collected! I was aware of much of it, but was completely surprised by some of the facts and events.
    I had heard the tales about Pancho Villa and the sea plane with the broken wing as a kid in Burbank, CA. He lived 2 houses down from us when we moved to CA. In fact we moved to Burbank because he was there.
    My father was recently out of the Navy. He had been a fighter pilot (Hellcats & Corsairs) so they often talked about flying and the Navy at the dinner table. I didn't see it mentioned, but Grandfather retired from the Navy after 30 years before WWII and was recalled during the war as a very senior chief (CAP - Chief Air Pilot). This was kind of a honorary rate as he was in his 50's and I don't think that he flew very much. He was the "CO" of his own naval air station (actually a seaplane maintenance hanger and ramp across the bay from Port Chicago, in San Francisco back bay near Mare Island Naval Station. He stayed on as a Reservist until the 1950's and ultimately retired with 40 years!!!
    Let me know if you receive this message. We should compare notes. I've got a nice little collection of his early pictures and his Continuous Service Record as of his retirement after 30 years.
Corinn & Chris O'Connor
Ensign Corinn O'Connor, USNA Class '05
Collection of Chris O'Connor, 9-1-05
      I have thought of Grandfather often in recent years. My daughter, Corinn O'Connor, just graduated from the US Naval Academy this May. She is currently an Ensign on temporary duty at the Academy awaiting the time when she will meet her ship (Jan '06). I visited the Yard, as they call it, and was struck by wondering what he would have thought, or felt to see his great-grand daughter parading there. He spoke of the Academy the way some people speak of the Vatican.
    Corinn had a chance to go Naval Air, but she decided on Surface Warfare. It's funny, but she has absolutely no "feeling" for airplanes. They're no more meaningful to her that a semi truck is to you or me. Actually, I was a little surprised by how few Midshipman, even those who had won a slot at Pensacola, had heard of Hellcats or Corsairs. Oh well.
    I guess that's it for now. Please do let me know that you received this message and add me to your address book.
Best regards,
Chris O'Connor

BackBack Home