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Thread: USMC Pilot Photographer J.R. Todd

  1. #21

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    Sep 2007
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    Re: USMC Pilot Photographer J.R. Todd

    Quote Originally Posted by Swoopr View Post
    Sir:
    I had the honor to serve with Master Guns Todd at MCAS Cherry Point NC MARS-27. in 1962 He was a true American Hero
    but you would never know it. He was a mentor and magnificent role model to me and many others. When my son was born in Philadelphia, he flew me up in a Sandy,(A-1E) and picked me up and flew back to Cherry Point "just because". I never forgot his kindness and huge smile. If you ever choose to get rid of one of the leather patches, I can promise you it will have a good home forever..Semper Fi Mike D
    Hi Swoopr, I'm so glad to hear from you, and your friendship with MSGT and pilot Todd. Send me your address via PM. It's good to keep his memory alive.

  2. #22

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    Sep 2016
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    Re: USMC Pilot Photographer J.R. Todd

    If you send me a quick e-mail, marine@bellatlantic.net, I will respond with my contact info. could not figure out the PM
    Semper Fi
    Mike D

  3. #23

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    Re: USMC Pilot Photographer J.R. Todd

    Sure, I just sent you an email. Former Navy here, so I'll have to sign off with "Go Navy!"

  4. #24

    Re: USMC Pilot Photographer J.R. Todd

    Hello goamules,

    Thank you so much for writing about your experience at my stepdad's estate sale. I was urged not to attend the sale because it is so very difficult to watch strangers pawing through the memories of loved ones. I really appreciate that you found items that you will treasure. It does my heart good, and I appreciate your sharing the experience.

    I tried to save everything that I could. As you saw, the house was two stories of wonderful memories and personal items, mostly my dad's. I have some of those patches, and so much more. I've had many of his things in a storage unit, and many others at my home! Jim didn't have any children, only me as stepdaughter. So, there weren't any others who wanted all that he collected.

    There was only my family and me who looked out and cared for him the last year of his life. I can assure you that he was treated like a hero to the end. That old Marine handed his life over to me, and I took that as a sacred order to ensure his comfort and dignity. I fought for him every step of the way!

    In the 1980's, I cajoled him into writing and compiling stories and photographs of his military career--and he did! When he was being cared for in Hospice, I took him his book of photographs and memories. He looked at it everyday (and loved being a "Flying Peon"). I remember him telling me about a particularly harrowing mission when there were Marines on the ground under fire, without support. He flew overhead, under fire himself with his crew, providing support until ground troops could arrive. For that he was awarded a Distinguished Flying Cross. I asked him, Weren't you afraid of being shot down? He replied, in his usual firm and gruff voice, "I was never afraid."

    I've saved lots of documents, his flight jacket, uniform, flightsuit, photographs, and his favorite camera, and a few other personal items. But, the most treasured things I have are his stories, memories of his courage, and the love we got to share before his passing.

    I don't know how to share photos here, yet, but if anyone is interested and writes that they'd like to see some, I'll give it a try in the future. I keep his military things hoping that someday there'll be a museum or historical society that will want them.

    He had a really good life in so many ways, but it was lonely as he aged and outlived his buddies. I'm thankful for being there, and for all of those who now have a few of his things to remember a truly exceptional man.

  5. #25

    Re: USMC Pilot Photographer J.R. Todd

    Hi goamules,

    Just have to clarify here. I am MGySgt J. R. Todd's stepdaughter. I was the relative that stepped up to care for him in his last year. There wasn't a stranger hired to help him, although he did need Hospice care near the end. Please see my other reply to your excellent story about my dad's estate sale.

    I wanted to keep everything, but that is not always possible. I've kept all that I could, and may have missed some treasures, but there weren't any other relatives around, nor any relatives willing to help or take every treasure (except my husband and son). It is really sad.

    He was very kind and generous, and I'm thankful to have been around to ensure his safe and dignified passing.

    Thank you for sharing your experience. I'm around if you'd like to share more, or if you have any questions.

  6. #26

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    Re: USMC Pilot Photographer J.R. Todd

    Hi Linda, so nice to hear it was you that took care of him. I got the wrong story somewhere, so it's great you clarified. I would have liked to have known him, I could tell. I'd be happy to hear some of his stories, and help you keep his memory alive! I'll send you a private message too.

  7. #27

    Join Date
    May 2015
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    2

    Re: USMC Pilot Photographer J.R. Todd

    I flew with MGYSGT Todd out of MCAS El Toro back in 66. Was part of a flight crew on some of the last C-117. At that time we had the last 6 enlisted pilots in the Marine Corps flying with us. Most retired from there. Some going back to flying in SE Asia for Air America. Learned a lot from those guys and an incentive to make a career of the Marine Corps myself.

    GWalls
    Msgt. USMC Retired
    Last edited by GWalls; 19-Feb-2018 at 07:51. Reason: spelling

  8. #28

    Re: USMC Pilot Photographer J.R. Todd

    Quote Originally Posted by GWalls View Post
    I flew with MGYSGT Todd out of MCAS El Toro back in 66. Was part of a flight crew on some of the last C-117. At that time we had the last 6 enlisted pilots in the Marine Corps flying with us. Most retired from there. Some going back to flying in SE Asia for Air America. Learned a lot from those guys and an incentive to make a career of the Marine Corps myself.

    GWalls
    Msgt. USMC Retired
    I flew with Air America pilots in Vietnam in '66-'67. I wonder if any of them had been in Marine aviation?

  9. #29

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    May 2015
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    Re: USMC Pilot Photographer J.R. Todd

    If you ever flew or worked with Papa Mahew during your time there. Then you worked with one of them. He retired out of El Toro in 66 and went directly to SE Asia. He was one of the last 6. All of them were there in 66. I left in July of 67 and two had retired by then.

  10. #30

    Join Date
    Sep 1998
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    10,526

    Re: USMC Pilot Photographer J.R. Todd

    Quote Originally Posted by bloodhoundbob View Post
    I flew with Air America pilots in Vietnam in '66-'67. I wonder if any of them had been in Marine aviation?
    I was USAF Rec Tec in the early 60s and we were offered the opportunity to volunteer for TDY for 60 days to work with a private airline in SE Asia with a guarantee that we could not then be sent PCS to that area. One of our guys took the offer and returned with a neat Aussie hat!
    Another went when he was discharged and came back on leave and told us not to take the offer!
    When Tonkin Gulf happened the first one with the guarantee was put on the alert plane with the rest of the squadron and went directly to Thailand. So much for guarantees!

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