Your Grandfather's MOS

(Military Occupational Specialty)

Pilot Captain Guy J Ward and Co-pilot Lt. Billy W. Elliott wished the men who replaced the engine on their C-47 42-23407 had been a bit more attentive. After an engine replacement, Ward was flying in a 4-hour test hop, before the aircraft would be placed back "in service". Four miles out over the Mediterranean the C-47 lost an engine. Fire warnings. No power. Looking out the right window, Elliott saw there was no engine. It had fallen off its mounts, and was dropping like a stone into the Mediterranean. Skillful flying got the aircraft ditched- it sank in 21 minutes- and the crew eventually made it back to base without injuries. They never admitted it, but each crewman probably saw his life flash before his eyes for a few moments. The powerplant mechanics had some explaining to do.

Many of us do not know specifically what our Army Air Corps father, grandfather or great-grandfather did. Or he might have spoken of his duties "differently". Many men had multiple military occupational specialties. "MOS", as their skill set grew. The MOS's here are extracted from military records. Most handled their skill set well. Some had bad attitudes and were assigned more menial tasks. In war-as in peace-attitude is 90% of the job. I am very grateful that your descendants MOS kept my father’s aircraft flying, and my father safe. The unsung fuel truck drivers, the powerplant mechanics who works in the cold until their hands became frostbit, the radio repairmen, the parachute riggers who gave aircrews one last resort, the cooks who fed them 3 times per day 7 days a week, the clerks who typed and retyped and retyped, the mail clerks who brought the news from home. All of these unsung men had a role to play, and there were many more roles.

View the Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) List by clicking