Fernley World War II veteran honored for his service
Special to the Nevada Appeal
Dec. 22 was a time for memories for Fernley resident Everette Martin Furr.
Furr, a native of McKinney, Texas, voluntarily enlisted in the U.S. Navy in September 1941. He completed basic training at North Island, Calif., and was sent to Shipboard Radio School in Los Angeles. While he was training there, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor.
Furr was selected for advanced radio school (aircraft) and sent to Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. From there, he boarded the USS Horton with the 2nd Marine Raiders, who won fame for defeating the Japanese Army at Guadalcanal.
Furr was assigned duty on PBYs. “P.B.Y.” was nomenclature determined in accordance with the U.S. Navy aircraft designation system of 1922. “PB” stood for “Patrol Bomber” and “Y” the code used for the aircraft’s manufacturer, Consolidated Aircraft. PBYs were the American flying boat of the 1930s and 1940s. It was one of the most widely used multi-role aircraft used in World War II. (It was used in anti-submarine warfare, patrol bombing, convoy escorts and search and rescue missions.)
Furr would go on patrols (generally 7 or 8 hours, but up to 13 hours) searching for enemy submarines and enemy shipping from the air. Since PBYs could take off and land on water, they would hide at night in lagoons on various atolls.
Veteran Furr was bombed and strafed many times and even took machine gun fire from a Japanese submarine. Furr saw duty all over the Pacific Theatre including Eniwetok, Saipan, Fiji Island, Guam, and Kwajalein before returning to the U.S. in December 1945, after four years in combat duty. He was discharged in May 1945 as a 2nd class aviation radioman.
Furr was the recipient of a surprise presentation of the Navy Good Conduct Medal, the WWII Victory Medal, the Pacific Campaign Medal and Flag and certificate. Attending the home presentation were Lt. Col. Bill and Tammy Johnson, retired Master Chief Hospital Corpsman Vic and Karon Martin, retired Master Sgt. Bob and Debbie Aslett, retired Master at Arms 1st Class Matt and Evette Schmelzer and A.I. and Dory Justice.