In addition to participating in Academy organizations and numerous extra-curricular activities, Commander GILLETTE found time to take part in several sports, earning his varsity letter in basketball.
After his graduation in 1936, Commander GILLETTE served aboard the battleships NEW MEXICO and TEXAS, and the heavy cruiser PORTLAND. During this period he acquired valuable experience in Engineering, Communications, and Gunnery. While serving as Control Officer of the anti-aircraft battery on the NEW MEXICO, he was officially commended when the battery won the Fleet Trophy.
His ship was engaged in "Neutrality Patrol" in the north Atlantic when the United States entered the war, after which it continued active escort, convey, and blockade duties basing at Argentia, Newfoundland and Iceland.
Commander GILLETTE commenced flight training at New Orleans in September 1942. While there he met and married Dixie Elizabeth FRIEDRICHS, who is now waiting for him there with their nine-months old daughter. After receiving his wings from the "Annapolis of the Air", he went to Jacksonville, Florida for operational training. Following five months as an instructor, he was ordered to the West Coast to re-form and command Patrol Bombing Squadron SEVENTY-ONE.
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