Norbert Eugene Rau

April 24, 1924 August 8, 2008

USS Essex 1943 - 1945

My Father was Norb Rau and he served on the USS Essex during World War II.  He was one of the originals who started the actual USS Essex Reunions.  My Father passed away August 8, 2008.  He died with his USS Essex t-shirt on, what can I say true blue till the end.  We have a number of memorabilia from the original aircraft carrier that I would like to share photographs of. My Father actually had his porch honoring the USS Essex. He loved the reunions and loved the Navy.  We have his actual diary while on board the Fightingest Ship in the Fleet, as well as part of a Jap parachute that was partially burned while trying to eject Kamikaze. He is now a fallen hero as well as our hero!  He is deeply missed by all of our family and friends.

Susie Rau Schaefer

Click on a picture for a larger view

Excerpts from Norb's Diary

Norb's Porch Honoring the USS Essex

The picture of barrels of Lube Oil is lube oil for the planes engines being poured into a container on the hangar deck.  The reason it was such a big deal was that prior to that we had to drain the Lube Oil one barrel at a time.  The large container it is being poured into was invented by one of the VIG division sailors and made by the sheet metal shop on the ship.  It was made with a  sheet  of galvanized steel bent and welded together.  Norbie Rau was the guy (middle right) with the large tattoo on his arm and the guy next to him (middle left) was Webber.  The guy on the far right in the picture and the guy next to Webber I know but cannot recall their names.  It's been too long ago.  I cannot see enough of the guys face who is in the back.  I was pouring also but had to step back to let the camera man take the picture.  It seems to me that this picture was taken in 1944 and not 1945, but after this length of time I could be wrong

Ned Henderson


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