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Sunbird Photos by Don Boyd | all galleries >> U. S. Coast Guard Stock and Non-Stock Photos Gallery > 1944 - Deep Sea Diver CM1 Richard Mathias Besola, USCG
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1944 - Deep Sea Diver CM1 Richard Mathias Besola, USCG

1944 - Deep Sea Diver CM1 Richard Mathias Besola, USCG

Navy Deep Sea Diving School, Washington Naval Yard

My friend Dick Besola's dad Richard M. Besola during World War II. Mr. Besola was born 2/23/23 in Princeton on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and raised in Negaunee, MI.

According to Dick, his dad started as a shipbuilder apprentice at Merrill-Stevens in Miami, after serving in the Escanaba River CCC Camp in 1940. He then worked as a master shipbuilder and went to Miami Shipbuilding Corporation where they built the 63-foot "air sea rescue boats" or "crash boats" with Lee and Troy Wollard. The 63-footers were sea trialed at Miami Beach along with the PT boats. His dad had already reinforced the very first group being sea trialed at Miami Beach because they were breaking up in heavy seas, and ASR's were supposed to be the fastest and most maneuverable craft in the US fleet.

Mr. Besola enlisted in the USCG as they needed his trade (early boats were mostly wood) and he was brought in as a Carpenter's Mate 2nd Class. The USCG stationed him at "Everglades City" (sub chaser base) for about 15 months, then he was sent to Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Manhattan Beach, Brooklyn and Norfolk navy yards, Ft. McHenry, Coast Guard Headquarters (twice) and discharged at Jacksonville discharge center #6, August 14, 1945, the day the President announced the Japanese surrender. he started as "Carpenters Mate 2nd class", then CM 1st class, then deep sea diver. He was sent to Cape May where they were testing torpedo guidance systems and having troubles so they were re-designing them because some would go down into the mud. The deep sea divers had to retrieve them with huge water jets and air compressors.

According to Dick's father's military records, while assigned to Coast Guard Headquarters, his dad worked directly for Admiral Waesche who was Commandant of the Coast Guard during World War II.

Many thanks to Dick for providing his dad's photo and the information on his Coast Guard service.

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