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Aviation Machinist Mate 3/c | United States Navy

They say air superiority saved Pusan and after the invasion at Inchon and push through Seoul, it appeared from the U.S.S. Philippine Sea that the war would be over soon.  A quick war was mythic, however and in December when Stanley Mislak joined VF-111 onboard, the engine mechanics were taxed daily with meticulous work on the squadron’s aircraft.  The Sundowners were now in the jet age flying F9F Panthers against ground targets and enemy MiG jets.  Flying support of the Chosin campaign had been crucial, but on board the Philippine Sea sometimes the most important task of the day was clearing the deck of snow.  Mislak was thankful to spend most of his time below deck in the shop where the heat of running tools kept the machinists toasty while outside the thick hull of the ship, temperatures dropped well below freezing and even in the summer months the Sea of Japan was not very welcoming. The war slowed from its months of rapid advance and withdrawal and by the time the Philippine Sea was sailing for Japan and ultimately the United States, the ground war was evolving from foxholes to bunkers and trenches.  Nearing forty and with a family to support at home, Mislak was granted a hardship discharge after his eight months at sea and returned to his steady job at Greenfield Tap & Die with two wars behind him.

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