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My Squadron 1963

VMFA-531 History

VMFA-531 Marines skin diving during the Cuban Missile Crisis 1963.

When liberty was restricted at NAS Key West (Boca Chica Key), we often would walk south through the swamp to the island shore.

 

Bob Powers (ComNav, 6611), Ronnie Mauer (ComNav, 6611), George Lee (ComNav, 6611) and name? (Radar, 6614)

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George Lee

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Remains of wood bridge between Big Pine Key and No Name Key and two of our group.

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Bob Powers in a boat rented from Special Services

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Name? (worked in the Radar Shop)

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Ronnie Mauer

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Navigating to a wreck south of Boca Chica.

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Bob Powers coming aboard.

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Remains of the bridge between Big Pine Key and No Name Key.  The current here was very fast during tide changes.  No Name Key was home to some Florida alligators.  We did not know about the alligators at the time.  We saw one smaller gator as we were entering the water.

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South shore of Boca Chica.

Name? (worked in the Radar Shop)

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George Lee and Bob Powers south of Boca Chica in a boat rented from Special Services.

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Roy Ratajeski and Bob Powers.  Looking for the boat wreck.

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Bob Powers , George Lee and ? (left to right)
Name? was having trouble swimming against the tidal flow between Big Pine Key and No Name Key.  Bob had already crossed to Big Pine from No Name.  When he saw Name? having trouble, Bob (a strong swimmer) went back in to assist.  Close to shore, Bob got stung by a Portuguese Man of War.  This picture was taken no more than 30 minutes later.

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George Lee and his treasure.

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Ronnie Mauer, George Lee and Bob Powers

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Ronnie Mauer starting our walk from the South shore of Boca Chica, through the swamp returning to the flight line and hot pad.  No fences, just swamp in 1963.

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Ronnie Mauer

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Roy Ratajeski

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Aboard the 35hp boat rented from Special Services.

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George Lee

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Ronnie Mauer on the Big Pine Key – No Name Key bridge.

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Ronnie Mauer on Boca Chica south shore.

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George Lee on the Boca Chica south shore.  Headed home through the swamp to base. Our return spot was the hot pad.

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Front to back:  George Lee, Ronnie Mauer,
Bob Powers.

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Roy Ratajeski and George Lee

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South side of Boca Chica

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George Lee

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Ronnie Mauer

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SSgt Rathiel (Elect Shop)

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