Joesph W. Bel
Mike Bel- His Son
I served aboard the Leyte for a year beginning in May of 1950. I was aboard her in Korea where I believe she put on an exemplary performance. The Air Group aboard in Korea was the same Air Group that went to the Med with us so when we got in combat we were already a smoothly functioning team.
I'm writing to add a footnote to one of your facts about the Leyte. You state that she was at sea for 62 days. True. But you didn't mention that that was 62 days without pulling into port which, at that time, was a record for an aircraft carrier (obviously pre-nuclear times).
As I get older (I'm 69) I remember with great fondness the USS Leyte and my shipmates. We all did a hell of a job on one of the best fighting machines ever designed--the aircraft carrier. I was a "yellow shirt" on the flight and hangar deck. It wasn't easy, it wasn't fun, but for pure excitement it was unmatched.