Larry DeCuir (1922- ) was an officer in the 509th Composite Group on Tinian Island during World War II.
DeCuir was born in Sacramento, California on May 22, 1922. After completing two years at the University of California-Berkeley, DeCuir was called to active duty during the Second World War. He was assigned to the Army Air Corps as a communications officer. He went to Boca Raton, Florida for his initial training. He completed communications training at Yale and attended Radar School at Harvard. He received a third certificate from MIT.
After his training, DeCuir was assigned to a bomber group in Great Bend, Kansas as a radar maintenance officer. From there he helped establish an airborne radar maintenance facility in Puerto Rico. He was then sent to Miami to learn how to operate and maintain the ANAPQ7 radar system.
When he returned to Great Bend, there were no openings for him. One of DeCuir’s superiors thought that his experiences would be valuable to the newly formed 509th Composite Group at Wendover Army Air Field in Utah. In April 1945, DeCuir moved to Wendover. He was assigned to the 1st Ordnance Squadron.
Shortly thereafter, DeCuir deployed with the 509th to Tinian Island in the Northern Mariana Islands. DeCuir helped with the operation and maintenance of instruments used on dummy bombs to test the characteristics of their drop. He was also involved in the assembly and testing of X-5 fuses for the Fat Man bomb.
For more, please read The 509th Remembered by Robert and Amelia Krauss.