A Dawn Like Thunder
Tornado Squadron EightA Dawn Like ThunderRobert J. MrazekWorld War II Navy PilotsBattle of Midway

Ensign Robert “Andy” Divine

Veteran, USS Saratoga, Guadalcanal, other battles

Awarded Navy Cross

Robert “Andy” Divine was aboard the USS Hornet as a replacement pilot when John Waldron led the squadron on its legendary mission at Midway. After the battle, Andy and Fred Mears were responsible for boxing up the personal effects of the lost pilots and crewmen before sending them home.

Serving under Swede Larsen aboard the Saratoga, Andy earned his Navy Cross on the 24 August 1942 mission which sank the Japanese carrier Ryujo. Afterward, he participated with the rest of the squadron pilots in the missions flown by the Cactus Air Force designed to stop the “Tokyo Express.” A sweet-natured, gregarious man, he was a popular member of the squadron as they endured the strain and brutal conditions at Guadalcanal.

After Torpedo Eight was de-commissioned, Andy was transferred with Smiley Morgan to Composite Air Squadron 35 (VC-35) out of Seattle, Washington. When Smiley became the commanding officer of the composite squadron, Andy was appointed his executive officer.

When the war ended, Divine retired from the navy and became a crop dusting pilot near Fresno, California. He and his wife Sarah had two children, Dennis and Denise. In November, 1986, they were returning to their home in Fresno when a trailer truck ran a stop sign and hit their pickup truck broadside. Sarah was killed instantly. Andy passed away from burns and internal injuries a few days later.


entire site copyright Robert J. Mrazek 2008