Stephen Lynn Jr. served in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve beginning March 1943. After becoming a Field Artillery Officer (#1193), he was chosen to become and was trained as an Aerial Observer (1st Battalion, 11th Marines, 1st Marine Division). During the Peleliu/Ngesbus operation, he was assigned to VMO-3 and landed on Peleliu in one of the first two planes (unarmored Stinson L-5 Sentinels) to land on the island flying there from the USS White Plains on September 18,1944. For the remainder of the campaign, VMO-3 performed aerial observation for the 11th Marines and then other units after the 11th Marines left the island. VMO-3 left Peleliu on October 2, 1944 bound for the Russell Islands where upon arrival they were assigned duty with the Third Amphibian Corps. Lynn, however, was separated from the VMO-3 and sent back to Pavuvu with the 11th Marines where he served as the Battery A Motor Transport Officer until February, 1945. At that time, he was ordered to report to the Third Amphibious Corps headquarters on Guadalcanal for additional training in aerial observation leading up to the Okinawa campaign.
On March 4, 1945, Lynn was ordered to proceed to Ulithi Atoll where he first reported for duty on board the USS Admiral R. Coontz and then the USS Petrof Bay (CVE-80). From March 27-31, the Petrov Bay was enroute to Okinawa. On April 2, 1945, he and his pilot flew off of the USS Petrof Bay in an L-5 Sentinel to land at Yontan Field, Okinawa to begin aerial artillery and gunship observation duties. Again his plane was one of the first two planes to land. During the nearly three months he served over Okinawa, Lynn flew as an aerial spotter in the small planes of the VMO units of the Third Amphibious Corps, searching for enemy targets (fifty six flights totaling 131 hours). He left Okinawa on June 29, 1945 after the campaign "ended" on June 21.
After the Okinawa campaign ended, Lynn was sent to Pearl Harbor for additional Air Observers' Training and for much needed R&R. On September 2, 1945, he departed Pearl Harbor with orders to return to duty with the 11th Marines who were still on Okinawa. He arrived on September 25th and shortly thereafter, the 11th Marines departed for Taku, China where the 1st Marine Division was being sent for the purpose of disarming and repatriating Japanese military and civilian personnel. He and the rest of the Division arrived in early October and went into camp at French Arsenal, Tientsin, China. It was here that he learned of the DFC citation. By the first of November, he was no longer serving as an aerial observer but was instead assigned to serve as the Battery Commanding Officer, Battalion Chemical Officer, and Battalion Intelligence Officer for the 11th Marines. On the 18th of December, he received orders to "stand detached" from the First Marine Division, and on December 21st, he embarked and sailed from Taku, China on the USS Adair headed for San Francisco where he arrived on January 15, 1946.
Because of medical issues he developed in China, he was then sent to the Great Lakes Naval Hospital near Chicago. He was discharged from the hospital on February 18, 1946 and was relieved from active duty at that time. He remained a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve until December 14, 1948 when he received an Honorable Discharge.
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