Larry St. Onge

Larry St. Onge served as an AN in Compron 5 (Composite Squadron 5 or VC-5) at NAS Jacksonville, Florida and in NAAS Sanford, Florida as well as on two of the squadron's deployments to Naval Air Facility, Port Lyautey, French Morocco. The first deployment departed from NAS Jacksonville in October 1952, and upon its return in April 1953 VC-5 took up residence at its new home station in Sanford. NAAS Sanford had recently been re-commissioned after having spent the post-WWII years in civilian hands as the spring training camp for the New York Giants. The newly commissioned VC-9 (January 1953), Fasron 51 (moved from Jacksonville), and VJ-62 were also on the base. The second deployment of VC-5 that Larry participated in was from 15 September 1954 to 15 February 1955.

This file contains pictures sent to me in August 2003 by Larry through Jack Demeny, a friend of his, a former U.S. Marine, and coincidentally, one of the U.S. Marines who stood guard at the site of the "Glass Factory" crash 20 July 1955. Originally the pictures were sent because among them was a picture of AT2 Billie D. Patterson (aka "B.D." or "Bulldog"), a friend of Larry's and the third crewman who, together with LT Grover and LTJG Garreau , perished in the crash off the starboard catapult of USS Coral Sea (CVA 43) in the early morning of 8 November 1954.
 

Larry St. Onge at right, working on engine
It is uncertain whether this picture is from Larry's first or second deployment. He is shown at the right, working on a Pratt & Whitney R-2800-48W Double Wasp radial piston engine from a North American Aviation AJ-2 Savage. (Or maybe it is a Pratt & Whitney R-2800-48 from an AJ-1. If you can tell the difference, you can help me date the picture. ;-)) The person at the left is unidentified.

 
There is a remote possibility that this picture was taken on the first deployment of October 1952 to April 1953, but more likely it was taken near the beginning of the second deployment in the first few weeks after 15 September 1954. The location appears to be Rabat, French Morocco.
On the left is Billie D. Patterson, and on the right is Steve Blass.
Note the young Moroccan boy at the right edge of the picture and the woman in a black jallabah, who is partially concealed behind the post upon which Patterson is leaning.
Patterson, of course, would lose his life soon thereafter on 8 November 1954.
Billie D. Patterson and Steve Blass in Morocco

 
Xmas day menu at Port Lyautey 1952
Keeping with the U.S. Navy's tradition for good chow, the U.S. Naval Facility at Port Lyautey, French Morocco fed its sailors well on Christmas day 1952.

 
AJ-1 on flight line, Port Lyautey
AJ-1 NB/3 on flight line, Port Lyautey
AJ-1s on flight line, Port Lyautey
Flight line pictures. The Butler hangar, the blast deflecting wall, and the somewhat elevated terrain in the background of the second picture indicate that these photos were taken at NAF Port Lyautey. Since the planes are AJ-1s rather than AJ-2s, the time was during Larry's first deployment (October 1952 to April 1953).

 

On Sunday, 21 November 2004 I received an email from Jack Denehy (see below) informing me of Larry's death. Jack said:

Just got home and was informed that Larry St. Onge passed away this afternoon at the Veterans Hospital in New Haven, CT. He had been fighting leukemia for the past few years. He fought the good fight - you would never know that he had a serious disease. He was playing golf several times a week. I know that he greatly appreciated what you did for him with your web site. He would show it to his kids and grandchildren. He was very proud to have served in the Navy. Thanks, Benny for all that you did for my buddy.
And we are all proud of Larry and also of his service in the US Navy. I am grateful to him for offering his pictures and to Jack for being the go-between in bringing them to me. May this page remain as a humble memorial to Larry's life and service. Requiescat in pace.

An email from Carol Denehy on 1 May, 2010: "Last evening, April 30, 2010, my husband and your friend, Jack Denehy, passed away."


Return to my navy file at my old site.

 


Kenneth Jennings Wooster
woosterk@cortland.edu
27 Abdallah Avenue
Cortland, NY 13045-3302
(607) 753-3558
File created: August 17, 2003.
File modified: October 8, 2003; December 11, 2004; May 1, 2010.