The Old One
. Bio of Frank "The OLD One" Pine - oldest full CVMA member Nationwide
Frank F. Pine
Born March 9, 1914. Middletown, RI to Mary Branco, Frank Pine (Anglicized from “Pacheco”).
Lived on a farm in Middletown. When 10, took him out of school to board on a farm, until 1928. Milked cows, planted farm products. Never got paid for 4 years. 1928 went off on his own to work for other farmers until 1930 – 1932 worked in nursery.
Frank is number 3 of 15 kids. There were 10 at home at the time he left for work.
1932 Joined CC Corps. Nooseneck, Washington RI. Handled explosives. Transferred to Ft Adams to drive trucks – delivery to CC Camps. Buzzard’s Bay, Martha’s Vineyard, Freetown, Mass., Nooseneck, RI, Westerly, RI
1935 out of CCC’s Got Married.
Discovered motorcycles 1930 – 1927 Henderson. Various Bikes – including Indians.
Met ma through Star Rider member – ma’s brother Dennis. Mass. bike club.
Broke off and started Viking Riders in Newport. West Broadway. About 1930.
Met ma in 1931. She was living Little Compton (Wind Mill Hill)
Quit CC late ’35 (June/July)
Got married Nov. 4, 1935 . Newport, Jesus Savior’s Church.
Was working nursery at that time – for 2 years.
Then worked for WPA 1937 (late in year) until 1939.
Worked as a tree surgeon with WPA; mostly around Newport
Work for government 1939 as truck driver under WPA. 90 days. 3 days week.
Also worked at a junk yard cutting up steel for shipment overseas (Japan)
Laid off from govt., Worked in junk yard (Marsh St., Newport)
After 4 months, worked govt. another 90 days as mechanic.
Laid off, worked driving trucks for Mello Construction. Hauled material for part of Torpedo Station. (1941)
Govt. called for another 90 days, laid off ’42, went with 4 trucks to Cedar Point, Maryland.
Worked there 6 months until airport was completed.
Late 42, went back with govt. for 90 days as bulldozer operator. About six months on naval base.
Drafted into navy 1943. Probably Sept.
Had six children at home at the time. Living Second Street # 42
*Went to Boot Camp at Sampson NY, sent to Groton for sub training, but they took him out
Sent down to Ft. Pierce Florida. Late for training because of Groton mistake.
So, down in Florida they put him to work for some weeks with UDT. Just filled in.
Sent to school at Ft. Pierce for Higgins Boats. MMO/seaman (Motor machinists mate)
Transferred to rifle range Little Creek, VA
Sent to Great Lakes. Waited for the LST which was built on Great Lakes.
Picked up LST at Great Lakes; went down Mississippi on LST. Still welding ship on way down.
Changed screws down in New Orleans. Different from river screws.
Went on shakedown cruise around Florida (Surf City, FL?)
Transferred to NY to join convoy headed for England. Largest convoy ever.171
Went to Londonderry, Ireland. 1944 (maybe March. Missed Normandy invasion)
Loaded up with CB’s making caskets. (?)
Made a delivery to France. Back to Plymouth England. On to Norfolk, Va.
Encountered a hurricane on way across Atlantic.
Took about 5 days to cross Atlantic.
Norfolk, took on an LCT. Did get 7 days leave.
Headed for San Diego via Panama Canal.
Then to Pearl Harbor. 1944
Pearl was still pretty much destroyed at that time.
Then ordered to Pacific War, via lots of different islands. Philippines.
Okinawa invasion. April 1, 1945.
Dropped hook on submarine – check book
Used small boats to loosen LST from mud. Innovation.
PC nailed the Jap sub.
At Okinawa until they dropped atomic bomb.
Had pulled away because of Great Typhoon.
When they returned, bow gunners got a Jap plane.
Sailed for Tokyo for surrender. In vicinity.
Went to Guam for supplies and troops.
Transferred to Saipan and Tinian. Earned discharge by points.
(actually trained as diesel mechanic at ft. Pierce.)
Passed training by actually assembling engine, due to lack of reading/writing ability
Only just started the fourth grade.
(had diesel explode at Londonderry)
Left Saipan on carrier Slanto Bay.
San Diego, train to Boston, Discharged. Dec. 30, 1945
Joined Naval Reserve at training station. Unit 135.
*Worked on navy base Newport for 2 years as diesel mechanic, bulldozers, also cars. 46-48
Laid off. Worked for Aero Mayflower moving until 49 – 50.
Activated Jan. 1950 for Korean War. Had 7 children at home.
San Diego, transported by USS Anderson (Liberty Ship) to Mojii Japan, Yokohama
Stayed aboard a former Russian ship as living quarters.
Then to Sasebo, Japan
Then to USS Thompson, DMS 38.
Returned home in ’51 from Korean War. Now 8 children at home.
Was flown back from Japan. Stopped on Wake on the way back.
Engine of plane knocked out by lightning on the way back, 7 hours short of Hawaii.
(refused to fly on two engine plane)
Pearl Harbor – landed with bad engine.
Traded with a sailor who was to go back by ship. Mother had died. Dad stayed to wait for ship transport instead of plane. Easy duty while waiting.
Caught another plane to San Diego and then home by rail. Discharged from navy active reserve in San Diego. Left Navy reserve.
Went to work for PWC as heavy duty diesel equipment mechanic and operator on permanent basis. Retired June 1973. Still worked at shipyard on part time.
After retired, worked Carnie and Fitz
Worked at P&M Shipyard
Worked for Armored Carrier Corp at nights for 5 years.
Decided to buy another motorcycle 1990, age 76.
Still riding at age 94.
Started Viking Riders in 1930. Stayed until 35 when he got married.
Had a bike up to ’43. Sold bike when he went into service.
Got another bike 1935 Harley after WWII
Sold bike to George Troy…Needed money.
Didn’t ride own bike from ’46 ,til 1990.
Year 2000 first accident – guy driving while using cell phone pull out in front of him. He flipped over the car and walked away (until the EMT’s arrived and made him stay still). Bike destroyed. Got another one…Honda Shadow.
Still a member Viking Riders – Only life member.
Still associated with Star Riders.
Member of Middletown Viking Riders.
Knights of Columbus – 31 years – life member
American Legion – 63 years life member
VFW about 14 years. Life member
Newport Artillery started in 1937. Never discharged. Promoted to rank of Captain in 2006.
Vietnam Veteran’s Association
Wife of 72 years – Angeline “Angie” Pine – died January 2008.
Enjoyed retirement for 35 years, but stays busy!
August 11, 2011 we said “Good Bye” to Frank Pine until we can ride together again.