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history: military

John Hobart "Buck" Chittick

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The Story:

Local Gunnery Sergeant Participates in Invasion
- The Pontiac Daily Press, Tuesday, July 18, 1944

ON BOARD THE USS ARKANSAS – (Delayed) – On the day of the Allied invasion of Nazi held Europe, Marine Gunnery Sergeant John H. Chittick of 17 Earlemoor boulevard, Pontiac, was on duty as the port side anti-aircraft fire control officer of the USS Arkansas. He was stationed high in the main mast of the ship with a full view of the entire show.

As the mighty American battleships slowly steamed into their positions about 6,000 yards from the shores of France, the first of the Nazi guns opened fired, hurling shells high into the air to fall around the ships. The exploding shells threw shrapnel on board, many of the pieces falling in the open fire control station, and Sgt. Chittick points with pride to one piece he vows he will wear as a good luck charm.

During the day while the heavy guns of the ship blasted and bombarded the German shore installations, the sergeants antiaircraft gunners waited in vain for a crack at the Luftwaffe, but during the night they had their chance. As darkness fell the first of the ”Jerries” sneaked in low over the waves to drop a 500-pound bomb just short of our bows and from that moment on Sgt. Chittick was on his toes directing the fire of his batteries.

During the remainder of the night the ship was never free from attacks, but each time the accurate fire of the AA batteries kept them away and with the breaking of dawn they could point with pride to a record of two “jerries” down in flames.

Although this is the first time this leatherneck gunnery sergeant has been in actual contact with the enemy, he has been looking them for many months as the USS Arkansas patrolled long stretches of the Atlantic on convoy duty.
Gunnery Sergeant Chittick enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in Detroit, September 8, 1941, and since that time has served at Parris Island, Quantico and at the sea school at Portsmouth, where he was trained for his present duties. He has been a member of the Marine detachment of this ship since September 1943, and performs the duty of non-commissioned officer in charge of drills and instructions, in addition to his regular duty as antiaircraft fire control officer.

02/10/2009 by David John Chittick

Hi Kyle, I thought I'd give this a try; I scanned both the news article of Gunnery Sergent John Hobart Chittick (Buck to his friends) and a picture of him in uniform. The news article tells most of the story.
He was my dad's (Blair R. Chittick) half brother. My dad and he shared the same father, John William Chittick (3/10/1902 - 10/31/1965). His mother was Mabel P. Kincaid married 12 July, 1919. John died in an accident in 1955. He was married to Audrey B. Chittick and had two daughters: Martha who has two sons and Virginia.

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