Frank Baillie


Frank Baillie 1948-52 - Lt - Submitted 4/02/07

1949 - Frank Baillie
Frank Baillie - 1949

I was aboard the Estes, homeported in Tsingtao, China, from 1948 until it was relieved by the Eldorado in 1949. We carried the Flag of VADM Oscar Badger, ComNavWesPac, title changed to 7th Fleet in later years.


When Korea broke out I went back to sea on Estes in 51 as the Amphibious Forces flagship, we relieved the Mt McKinley at Inchon not too long after the invasion. We were relived (don't recall name of the ship (maybe Eldorado again) & went stateside into the Mare Island Naval Shipyard for alterations made to serve as Operation Ivy Flagship. 

When Ivy was over I had orders to Eldorado & back to Korea/ Japan. Weather office was on the 03 level just aft of the CO stateroom & galley which abutted the bridge.

We were in the N division (Navigation) with the QMs & Signalmen.

Frank Baillie

Frank Baillie 1948-52 - Lt - Submitted 4/02/07

China Fleet Club - Hong KongChina Fleet Club photo was taken when I was aboard Eldorado just before we went to Shanghai where the Weather gang got TAD for two weeks at Fleet Weather there (no duties just liberty).

US forces evacuated in May of 49 & we also carried the entire complement of wether guys from Fleet Weather & Kang Wan (or was it Kai Tak? airfield).

Amphib Wx Crew Group in the office was during Korea (prob 1951) I'm the 1st class sitting at left.




Tsingtao, China

Frank Baillie 1948-52 - Lt - Submitted 4/02/07

Estes Returns

This is when Estes returned to San Diego from Korea/ Japan. There is an arrow pointing to my wife Shirley (an AG2), my friends Don Dennis then an AG1 & his wife (got out at convenience of the government was an AGAN). Don got commissioned ret as a LCDR. I'm the only one of the four still around. Were any of you aboard when I was there (48 to 49 China evacuation, 51 to 52 Korea-Japan & operation Ivy.

Frank Baillie

Frank Baillie 1948-52 - Lt - Submitted 4/03/07

Capt. Byerly & Chiang Kai ChekThe ComNavWesPac Intelligence & weather officer on Estes was Captain Irwin Forest Byerly who was the CO of SACO, Naval Group China, during his previous tour (having relieved then RADM Miles). He's the guy in lower right hand corner in gray uniform. Yes that's Chiang Kai Chek in the middle of the picture.
Frank Baillie






Frank Baillie 1948-52 - Lt - Submitted 4/03/07

Frank Baillie & Bert KlineLeo Galang & Fred FarnsworthI was TAD from Estes to the Marine Air Station Tsangkou (just inland from Tsingtao) for 8 months. Bert Kline was a Marine weather guy & we were buddies. I had just made 3rd class (1948). Other picture is AG2 Freddie Farnsworth who flew up from Guam to Tsingtao with me for duty aboard Estes, (he retired as a Lcdr). Leo Galang , the Filipino guy was the CO's Steward (CO stateroom & galley just forward of our office & used to hang out with us and sometimes we got left-overs from the galley of Captain Davidson (?). He was interested in what we were doing & Captain Byerly got his rate changed to Aerographer. He made 3rd at his next duty station in the PI, got a medical for tuberculosis. He and his wife visited me here in Port Orchard, WA a couple years ago. They were on a trip around the states visiting family & friends. He's in his 80s now & haven't heard from him for a couple of years.
Frank Baillie

Frank Baillie 1948-52 - Lt - Submitted 4/03/07

Lt. Kimberly was the Intel & Meteorology officer on Estes for PhibPac-3 during Korea.two other pix are from 48-49.
Frank Baillie

Lt. Kimberly
Lt. Kimberly

Tsingtao, China 1948

Tsing Pag Pier, China
Tsing Pag Pier 1948

Frank Baillie 1948-52 - Lt - Submitted 4/04/07

My old friend, "J. R." Cutter, doesn't like his first & middle names. He is now a ret Lcdr who lives on nearby Bainbridge Island, WA. We are both from Mass. & were AG1 fellow instructors at the Navy Weather school NAS Lakehurst, NJ. I was a Ltjg at NAS Whiting Field (just east of Pensacola) at the time. The following is an article that I wrote for AEROGRAPH, the newsletter for the Naval Weather Service Association.

USS Estes, AGC-12, with ComPhibGru-3 embarked was heading north from San Diego to conduct inter service exercises with Fort Lewis, WA Army units. LT J.R Cutter was the MetOceano-Assistant Intelligence Officer in the staff. Although trailing the storm with moderate winds Estes was forced to reduce speed to 12 knots as it rolled substantially from the effects of 20 to 25 foot port beam swells. The storm rushed eastward at 30 knots. Downed trees & various other damage was evident as Estes moved south to an Anchorage off of Tacoma.

By this time the storm had passed & weather was much improved. Soon the crew was listening to President Kennedy announce the quarantine of Cuba.

Hurry up orders found the PhibGru-3 staff loading aboard USAF a/c & returning to San Diego where they embarked in USS Eldorado, AGC-11 which headed south along the Mexican coast to transit the Panama Canal & join the quarantine Task Force. History tells us that the Russians backed down, avoiding what could have been a nuclear war.

October of 1962 was a stormy month in more ways than one.

Frank Baillie 1948-52 - Lt - Submitted 4/12/07

I was an AG1 (weather) aboard USS Estes, the Navy flagship for Operation "Ivy" at Eniwetok atoll, Mike H-test with an A bomb "trigger"& two a-bombs (or was iit only one?)

I was working ashore at that time of the A-bomb test as an AG1 section leader of a split AF/ Navy section. I was off duty & sitting on the beach with my back to the "shot" site, sans smoked glasses. Seems to me we were ordered to close our eyes as well. Loudspeakers gave us explicit orders & a count down. The whole atoll "vibrated" at the blast. I felt like I was on a quivering flag pole.

I returned to Estes for the BIG ONE. An AF LtCol took me to the signal bridge for the H test where we found assorted scientists, military big wigs & others. The LtCol & I were to record various angles on the bomb's mushroom cloud using a pelorus (a sighting device to obtain bearings; usually for navigation purposes). The LtCol & I had a very good vantage point. We donned HEAVILY smoked glasses prior to the count down & were warned to close our eyes before the blast until informed by loudspeaker that it was safe to look. Even wearing the smoked glasses & with my eyes closed I still experienced a bright glare for several seconds. It was a VERY impressive experience & the instant 8 mile wide, multi colored, monstrous, skirted, cumulonimbus (thunderstorm cloud) was even more so as it immediately roared toward the stratosphere. One could see the shock wave travel across the sea toward us. The scientist biggies seemed to be very surprised at the size of it & acted like fans at a football game.

When the H-burst-cloud subsided, an overcast, mid cloud deck took its place & we got some mildly (?) radio-active rain. I inadvertently stepped into a puddle in front of the balloon shack aft on the 03 level & acquired a low level Geiger counter reading from that one shoe. All hands carried a Dosimeter card which could be checked for radiation exposure.

Frank Baillie 1948-52 - Lt - Submitted 4/14/07

I just re-read the narrative on Estes history again & it helped me to remember the tour(s) I had & DISremember a few things I THOUGHT happened. Sometime that fuzzy memory was WRONG. That history shows a lot of research & was very well written. I remember odds & ends sometimes. E. G. Some Chiefs went duck hunting (with shotguns from the ship's armory) when we were in Pusan & they took hostile fire (maybe NKs that far south?) & called off their hunting.

On the same visit I was on shore patrol & remember checking guns at the door of a large bar room. Thinking that doesn't make a lot of sense.

Did another winter time shore patrol in Kobe on a very cold night. We looked for a cup of warming coffee & when we found it in a small bar it was so strong we had add a lot of sugar to get it down.

P.S. I made AGC (Chief) in 55 & "Fearless Freddie" Farnsworth made it long before that.

Frank Baillie 1948-52 - Lt - Submitted 4/18/07

Some pics from 1951

Lt. C.R. Barron

Korea Wx Gang

LT "Chuck" Barron Phib Gru 3 Weather/ Asst
Intelligence Officer
(received the bronze Star for Inchon forecast)

Staff / Ship's company - weather unit
Top row: LT Barron, SN striker Barkley, AG2 "Max" Scherbath, AG3 Banta, AG3 "Red: Reid, Chief Jones
front row: SN striker Sanguinetti, AGAN Dan Sala, AG3 Barrett, AG1 Frank Baillie

Frank Baillie 1948-52 - Lt - Submitted 6/8/07

1945 Weather Crew

Neil Opstad

I was stationed with the pictured Neil Opstad in 1958-59 Japan. He was near retirement as a CPO & I was an E-8 (Senior CPO) at Fleet Weather Central Yokosuka Japan. He was on my shift & it felt funny who was a Navy weatherman when I was a Junior in HS. After retirement he lived in various places in Europe with his Swedish wife Inga. He was in Southern Spain when I was assigned to Fleet Weather central Rota Spain & we playerd golf together a few times. When I got out we corresponded a bit, sent him a pkg of paper back books he wanted & after a month or so Inga wrote saying that he had passed away. Strange coincidence JR Cutter (62 ZLDO LT, Met Officer on Estes just called (interrupting me on this msg) & he commented that Opstad had been commissioned (prob the 18 1/2 yr EMs (1st & Chief) to Jg program) but reverted to Chief when passed over for Lcdr. Att picture Neil in middle me to his right at Inspection.

Frank Baillie

Frank Baillie 1948-52 - Lt - Submitted 9/5/07

Estes Missed Going to Cuba in '62

My old buddy was the Flag Met Officer on Estes in 1962 when they followed a really bad storm up the coast & then into Tacoma where they got word of the Cuba blockade & the Flag Unit including my buddy caught a hop from McChord AFB (in Tacoma outskirts) to San Diego where they embarked in El Dorado & headed for Cuba via the Panama Canal.


Frank Baillie 1948-52 - Lt - Submitted 9/11/08

PhibGru-5 Weather Unit 15 May 1945

PhibGru 5


Frank Baillie 1948-52 - Lt - Submitted 10/1/08

Estes Aerographers 1951 at Yokosuka

Estes Aerographers 1951 Yokosuka

Unknown, Unknown, Frank Bailie

Unknown, Unknown


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