Gerald Weaver

Gerald Weaver

AFRH-W Resident Highlight – Gerald Weaver
By Christine Baldwin | Librarian

Gerald Weaver was born in Michigan. His father served in the U.S. Army during WWII and his mother worked in a tank factory. At the age of three, Gerald’s father was killed in the Philippines.  A year later, his mother died in a car crash, so he and his sister were raised by his grandparents. Later, they were adopted by a family, but were always in contact with both sides of his real parents’ families. After graduating high school, Gerald went to college, but didn’t care for it. So he decided to join the Marines. But when he went to the recruiting area, the Marine recruiter was out to lunch. A very alert Navy recruiter motioned Gerald over, and he signed up with them! He was supposed to go to Chicago, Illinois for basic training, but they were looking for volunteers to go to San Diego, California. “Let’s see, sun and sand vs. snow and sleet,” thought Gerald. Needless to say he volunteered to go to San Diego.

Gerald was first stationed at Naval Air Station, Whidbey Island, Washington working as an aircraft repairman for seaplanes, but he didn’t like it. So he got sent to Naval Air Station, Pensacola, Florida for photography school. He was only there for four months and didn’t make the grade. Gerald then got stationed at Norfolk, Virginia aboard the USS Randolph (CVS-15) working in photography. Later he was assigned to the USS Little Rock (CLG-4), where he made 3rd class photographer. His next assignment was to the Naval Support Activity near Memphis, Tennessee, where Gerald made both 2nd class and later 1st class photographer. He then was assigned back to Pensacola, Florida, where he became an instructor and served there for several years. Interestingly enough, he ended up teaching some of the same students he was with when he didn’t make the grade before.

Gerald was next transferred to Naples, Italy and the Atlantic Fleet Combat Camera Group (AFCCG).  From there he traveled the world; literally all the continents! Then it was off to Los Angeles, California and the University of Southern California to become a student. Here he learned how to produce motion pictures. He then went back to AFCCG to apply his new trade. At this point, he even had a crew to supervise. From Antarctica to the North Pole, Gerald traveled. His most memorable trip was to Chicago, Illinois, where he taped our POWs that had come back from Vietnam. He retired out of Norfolk, Virginia and remained there, becoming a cabinet maker and installer with his wife.

Gerald then went with a company and used his skills with general carpentry for hospitals and restaurants. His niece is the one that told Gerald about the Home and he decided to come to AFRH-W in 2013.