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Lt. Marine Stanley "Chief" Synar

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Lt. Marine Stanley "Chief" Synar

Postby Steve Hoog on 22 Jan 2009 18:41

This was my stepfather; I will always respect what he did for his country.

I hope some may enjoy the family photos.

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Re: Lt. Marine Stanley "Chief" Synar

Postby Camp Upshur on 22 Jan 2009 19:43

Thank you for posting these outstanding photos. Would it be possible to share with us any details about this man's life?

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Re: Lt. Marine Stanley "Chief" Synar

Postby Steve Hoog on 22 Jan 2009 20:20

I’ll tell you what I can.

His Father and Mother came from Poland I would guess around the turn of the century and had 6 children.

1. Joe B24 Pacific pilot and a career Air Force that may have been a Colonel at retirement, died in the last 10 years
2. Ed B24 Europe tail gunner, still alive
3. Val Pacific paratrooper, still alive
4. Stan Marine Ace, died of cancer in 1998
5. Steve Merchant Marine, died just before Stan
6. Harry, Navy France

Stan; my step dad, grew up in the school of hard knocks. The family was very poor and lived in a two room shack that was still standing last time I was at the farm; they all walked many miles to a one classroom school and at times struggled for food. As they grew all of age at the time of war; and consequently all were involved in the war.

Stan flew with the Wolfpack; two different squadrons, he was an Ace and still holds the record for the fastest consecutive kills (something like 2 seconds). He later ran for US Congress but was not elected; he then started his own land broker company that he ran until his death. Ed’s son did run for congress and was a multi term US Congressman; I think he took aspiration for Stan’s attempted election. Ed and Steve were also successful entrepreneurs in the land business; and Ed actually still works to this day. I have talked to Ed at times about his war experience; he is still most concerned at why the German people followed a coat hanger artist, those are his words and I don’t know the meaning of coat hanger other than I’m sure it’s derogatory. His plane was badly damaged one time and they had to land in a German field for several hours while they repaired the plane; he said that was the most fearful event in his life, but alas nothing came to pass and they returned to England. Joe has an extensive flight record in the Pacific and I’ll post it once I find where I put the file; Val and Steve I do not know much about their war time, but a shame I don’t go talk to Val before he passes. Val reportedly does not like to talk about it. Stan was good friends with another man that was a secret agent or operative in China; that was one very interesting man who was ordered to never even talk to his wife about his service up until two years ago and he died shortly after that point.

My brother who obviously knows more detail about his father recalls his father said the years in service and in the Pacific were the best years of his life; one of his favorite stories to tell was when his group would load a machine gun on a jeep and hunt wild pig for dinner. I can remember seeing the shrapnel still embedded in his leg from a close call in the air; he never talked much about the actual combat other than I can remember him smiling as he would briefly discuss blowing a Zero out of the sky. He wasn’t much of a fighter man to man; but apparently behind the joystick he was a warrior of the first class.

Both of my real grandfathers were in the service; and one of those was a pilot. I also had a step grandfather that was at Midway; I respected that man above all the rest.

I hope that was what you wanted.
Last edited by Steve Hoog on 22 Jan 2009 20:26, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Lt. Marine Stanley "Chief" Synar

Postby Steve Hoog on 22 Jan 2009 20:25

Joe, front row far right.

The flight record for Joe's B24 http://www.428gto.com/wwii/FlakFledFlapper.pdf

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Last edited by Steve Hoog on 22 Jan 2009 20:32, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Lt. Marine Stanley "Chief" Synar

Postby Steve Hoog on 22 Jan 2009 20:31

Harry right

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Not sure which brother this is, but it may be Val, sorry I don't know the uniforms that well.

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Harry again right

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Re: Lt. Marine Stanley "Chief" Synar

Postby Steve Hoog on 22 Jan 2009 21:20

Camp Upshur

I don't think I fully understood the magnitude of who he was until the funeral; seeing the honor squad and watching the F16 missing man formation fly over just about dropped me to the ground, I had no clue what he was until that moment.

The most successful Corsair pilot in the US Navy or USMC was Marine 1st Lt. Robert Murray Hanson of VMF-215 with 25 victories - all made between August 1943 and February 1944, scoring 20 of these kills in a 17 day period.

VMF-214 On Hanson's first combat mission, 4 August 1943, he flew wing for 1st. Lt. Stanley "Chief" Synar. Returning from a strafing run against the Shortlands, the Swashbucklers were jumped by the Japanese. One pounced on Chief, dived and then came up beneath him. His gunfire struck the cockpit and injured Synar. But Hanson got behind Synar's attacker, and "shot his a-ss off," only to get shot up himself, his Corsair taking a 20mm rounds between the guns, in the flap, and in the right stabilizer. In a probable case of mistaken identity, Hanson reported his victim as a Zero, although the more experienced Synar described the white spinner, in-line engine, and rows of exhaust stacks that almost certainly indicated a Ki-61 Tony. Later that month, in a landing mix-up, he stomped on his brakes, flipping over and destroying his Corsair (#18072).
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Re: Lt. Marine Stanley "Chief" Synar

Postby Camp Upshur on 22 Jan 2009 21:53

Thank you very much for sharing these personal details of your family.

Of course all Marine Officers know of Bob Hansen if for no other reason that the Dining Hall at The Basic School at Quantico is named for him. Guys such as your stepfather (and your uncles) are every bit as impressive and I would say that probably every Marine Aviator would stop and read this with great interest and concern.

Thanks Again
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Re: Lt. Marine Stanley "Chief" Synar

Postby Steve Hoog on 22 Jan 2009 21:57

You alone made the effort of the thread worth while.

Sincerely
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Re: Lt. Marine Stanley "Chief" Synar

Postby jkws on 30 Jan 2009 21:54

There are many events in which Stanley Sr. participated which were unknown to us until recently. My son, Stanley Jr., happened on to an obscure reference about his dad participating in some test piloting with Lindbergh in California. I (JK, Stanley Sr.'s second wife) visited with Betty, his first wife, about the meaning of the brief mention. She informed me that the two pilots did test aircraft over the Pacific for several weeks; while they were engaged in this endeavor, Betty and her son Pat were invited to stay at the Lindbergh residence for the duration. She told me that the reason for these flights was to engage/test some new designs/instrumentation. Explaining further, she said that Lindbergh had been requested to visit with the WWII fighter pilots regarding things they didnt like about their aircraft or things that could be improved. The adjustments were made/added, then Synar & Lindbergh would test the new-improved versions of the aircraft before permanent changes were made. Betty is still living in Oklahoma. We visit regularly. She is a producing artist, as is her son Pat who lives also in Oklahoma and her daughter Addie who lives in Santa Fe, N.M. Stanley Sr. and I had a daughter, Remy, also an Oklahoma producing artist. Our son, Stanley Jr., is the keeper of the Medals. My son, Steven, of whom I am very proud, is the initiator of this forum.
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Re: Lt. Marine Stanley "Chief" Synar

Postby jkws on 30 Jan 2009 22:25

Stanley Sr. flew P-38's in the beginning. He flew with the Swashbuckler Squadron which later became the Black Sheep. He flew with Pappy on a couple of occasions; then while with the Wolfpack Squadron, he flew Corsairs & was detailed back to the Black Sheep for a couple of missions. This is what he told me. I dont have any specific dates.

My favorite story: When Stanley & I married in 1965, we were driving to Old Mexico for our honeymoon. It was afternoon on a two lane highway in south Texas in a rural area, very few cars on the road, warm & sunny. The car behind us began honking & blinking his lights. Stanley turned the steering wheel back & forth thinking the driver behind was perhaps trying to signal to us that a tire was flat. But the balance of the tires seemed perfect to my husband and he kept on driving. Mind you, we are 600+ miles from our home in Tulsa. The car behind us never tried to pass nor did he drive up on Stanley's side of the car; he just kept honking and blinking his lights. This went on for about five minutes; finally, Stanley said, "Oh hell, I'm going to pull over and find out what that son-of-a-bitch wants!" We pulled onto the shoulder. The car trailing us pulled in behind and parked. A man got out, running to the driver's side of our car. He was smiling ear to ear. He immediately reached inside the window and slapped Stanley on the back laughing, saying: Chief, you goddamned son-of-bitch, I knew that was you by the back of your head! It was a man (I wish I could remember his name) who flew with my husband 20 years previously when they were both in the Wolfpack Squadron during WWII. Stanley got out of the car and the two of them stood in the grass next to the little highway for almost two hours talking about their lives, the war, and their mutual friends. That is how my honeymoon began; this event occured about 2 hours after we were married.
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Re: Lt. Marine Stanley "Chief" Synar

Postby Steve Hoog on 30 Jan 2009 23:18

Mother dearest, I don't even want to know how in the world you found this 8O

Be useful and tell us who this in the pic below and you may as well tell about your father since you are here.

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Re: Lt. Marine Stanley "Chief" Synar

Postby Andy H on 31 Jan 2009 02:04

Thanks to all involved in this thread, very interesting

Regards

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Re: Lt. Marine Stanley "Chief" Synar

Postby jkws on 02 Feb 2009 00:34

In response to your question, Steven, as to which Synar (pants tucked into boots) stands by the pagoda? I would guess that it is Val. I sent Betty an email asking her to take a look but I havent heard from her.
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Re: Lt. Marine Stanley "Chief" Synar

Postby Steve Hoog on 02 Feb 2009 23:45

Not that it really matters to anyone; but that is Val.

Stan Jr. called him today and Val said "hell yeah that was me, I was the one that went over there and kicked their ass until they signed that contract".
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