1940-1949 Torpedomen Part 2

Updated 04-27-17

On Eternal Patrol - Lost Submariners of World War II

Arthur Allen Gurganus

Sailor Rest Your Oar

May He Rest In Peace.

http://www.oneternalpatrol.com/gurganus-a-a.htm

Torpedoman (Warrant Officer)

WWII

WWII Boats

Pre-WWII

Pre-WWII Boats

Post-WWII Boats

Purple Heart

Rank/Rate Torpedoman (Warrant Officer)

Service Number W-319695

Birth Date July 24, 1910

From Kansas, Alabama

Decorations Purple Heart

Submarine USS Cisco (SS-290)

Loss Date September 28, 1943

Location In the Sulu Sea west of Mindanao, Philippine Islands

Circumstances Probably sunk by air and surface attack

Remarks Arthur was born in Corona, Alabama.

Information courtesy of Paul W. Wittmer.
 

New 04-27-17

 

TM3 Joseph Martin Boeding

Sailor Rest Your Oar

May He Rest In Peace

https://findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSvcid=423012&GRid=56115748&

Memorial
Birth: Oct. 5, 1920
Kansas, USA
Death: Apr. 21, 1946

Joseph Martin Boeding

Birth: 5 Oct 1920 Kansas

Torpedoman's Mate, Third Class, U.S. Navy

Service # 6287356

United States Navy

Entered the Service from: Kansas

Date of Enlistment: 30 Jul 1942

Duty Ship: USS Trigger (SS-237) a Gato-class submarine

Date 1st on-board: 8 Mar 1944

USS Trigger (SS-237) Ship and Crew Missing in Action or Buried at Sea

Died: Assumed 28 March 1945


Awards: Purple Heart

Father's Name: Conrad Boding

Mother's Name: Mary M Boding

USS Trigger (SS-237) a Gato-class submarine with new skipper Commander David R. Connole and 88 other Crewmembers stood out to sea on 11 March 1945, to begin her 12th war patrol and headed for the Nansei Shoto area (An island group of southwest Japan). On 18 March, she attacked a convoy west of the islands, sinking the cargo ship Tsukushi Maru No.3 and damaging another. She reported the attack on 20 March, and the submarine was subsequently ordered to radio as many movements of the convoy as possible to help find a safe passage through a known mined area of the East China Sea. On 24 March, Trigger was ordered to begin patrolling west of the islands the next day, outside the 100 fathom curve, and to steer clear of restricted areas. On 26 March 1945, she was ordered to join a wolf pack called "Earl's Eliminators" and to acknowledge receipt of the message. A weather report came from the submarine that day but no confirmation of her having received the message. The weather report was Trigger's last transmission. On 4 April, she was ordered to proceed to Midway, but she had not arrived by 20 Apr 1945 and was reported as presumed lost/Missing In Action. Trigger was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on 11 July 1945.

Postwar Japanese records showed a Japanese aircraft detected and bombed a submarine on 28 March 1945. Two Kaibokan-Mikura, escort ships CD-33, and CD-59 were then guided to the spot and delivered an intensive depth charging. After two hours, a large oil slick appeared.

Torpedoman's Mate, Third Class, Joseph Martin Boeding, was a member of her crew at the time of her lost.

Torpedoman's Mate, Third Class, Joseph Martin Boeding, US Navy Declared Presumed Dead Date 21 Apr 1946 from "US Navy Final Disposition Report of the crew USS Trigger (SS237) Apr 1946"

Note: Entered the service from Kansas.

Burial:

Honolulu Memorial *

Honolulu

Honolulu County

Hawaii, USA

Plot: Courts of the Missing

*Cenotaph [?]

Maintained by: Debbie (Tetrault) & Bruc...

Originally Created by: CWGC/ABMC

Record added: Aug 06, 2010

Find A Grave Memorial# 56115748

New 04-26-17

Bell, Frederick Richard, TM2

Sailor Rest Your Oar

May He Rest In Peace

https://navy.togetherweserved.com/usn/servlet/tws.webapp.WebApp?cmd=ShadowBoxProfile&type=Person&ID=484725


Fallen

Service Photo Service Details
 

View Time Line

Last Rank

Torpedoman 2nd Class

Last Primary Designator/NEC

TM-0000-Torpedoman's Mate

Last Rating/NEC Group

Torpedoman's Mate

Last Duty Station

1942-1944, TM-0000, USS Grayback (SS-208)

Service Years

1941 - 1944

TM-Torpedoman's Mate

Last Photo Personal Details

Home State

Kansas

Year of Birth

\1922

This Military Service Page was created/owned by Tommy Burgdorf (Birddog), FC2 to remember Bell, Frederick Richard, TM2c.

If you knew or served with this Sailor and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s)

Casualty Info

Home Town

Elmdale, KS Last Address

22 Beckwith St

New London, CT

(wife Ruth Barbra Bell)

Casualty Date

Feb 26, 1944

Cause

Non Hostile- Died while Missing Reason

Lost At Sea-Unrecovered

Location

Pacific Ocean Conflict

USS Grayback (SS-208)

Location of Interment

Courts of the Missing at the Honolulu Memorial - Honolulu, Hawaii Wall/Plot Coordinates

Cenotaph

New 04-26-17

Dick Fuller TorpedoMan

https://fourstateheroes.com/browse-a-hero/hero/Dick-D.-Fuller

Branch: U.S. Navy

Rank: TorpedoMan

Home Town: Fairland, OK

Wartime Service Dates: 1941 - 1946

Wartime Locations: Pearl Harbor

Major Battles: Pearl Harbor

Unit: Submarine Division

Accomplishments: During the attack on Pearl Harbor, my grandfather did a selfless act. He and a buddy of his took over a small fishing boat and went out into the water in the harbor and proceeded to pull fellow service men out of the water, while bombing was going on all around them. My grandfather did not get a medal for this act, but in my and my families eyes he is a true Hero.

New 04-26-17

On Eternal Patrol - Lost Submariners of World War II

John Joseph Madden, Jr. Torpedoman's Mate, Third Class
http://www.oneternalpatrol.com/madden-j-j.htm
 

WWII

WWII Boats

Pre-WWII

Pre-WWII Boats

Post-WWII

Post-WWII Boats

Additional Loss

Purple Heart

Rank/Rate Torpedoman's Mate, Third Class

Service Number 671 70 73

Birth Date May 25, 1926

From Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Decorations Purple Heart

Submarine USS Swordfish (SS-193)

Loss Date January 12, 1945

Location Near Yaku Island off Kyushu, Japan

Circumstances Lost at sea, cause unknown

Remarks John was born in Kansas City, Missouri.

Photo courtesy of Susan Parker, niece. Information courtesy of Paul W. Wittmer.

New 04-26-17

 

Glen Colbert Page Torpedoman’s Mate, First Class

Sailor Rest Your Oar

http://zorkmids.com/?p=1622

Glen Colbert Page
Rank/Rate Torpedoman’s Mate, First Class
Service Number 660 14 70
Birth Date January 14, 1920
From Woods Cross, Utah
Decorations Purple Heart
Submarine USS Snook (SS-279)
Loss Date April 9, 1945
Location Near 18° 40? N x 110° 40? E
Circumstances Lost at sea, cause unknown

New 04-19-17

 

The Family History of Rev. Robert L. Bailey of Rhode Island:Sources

http://www.genealogy.com/ftm/b/a/i/Robert-Leo-Bailey/WEBSITE-0001/UHP-Sources.html

C.P. Henry Co., Providence.

54. probaby buried in Beauport, Quebec Canada.

57. C.P. Henry Co Served during World War II in the Navy as Torpedoman, 3rd Class and a Deep-Sea Diver. He served from June 1944-January 1946.

New 04-17-17

Utah State in World War II

Presented By
Utah Genealogy Trails

 Navy, Marines & Coast Guard Casualties of World War II
State Summary of War Casualties [Utah] Compiled Feb. 1946 U.S. Navy

http://genealogytrails.com/utah/state/military/military_ww2_navy.html

Sailors Rest Your Oars

DENNY, Thomas Patrick

Torpedoman's Mate 3c USNR

Parents Mr. & Mrs. Samuel E Denny

Sunnyside, County Carbon

PAGE, Glen Colbert

Torpedoman's Mate 1c, USNR

Wife Mrs. Rhoda Faye Page

Woods Cross, Davis County

New 04-17-17

Reider Kristiansen

Torpedoman Kristiansen, a typical underseat fighter --calm, quiet,...

Sailor Rest Your Oar

July 9, 1942 – Salt Lake City, Utah

Name
Reider Asmund Kristiansen

Birth
24 Apr 1904

Somerset Farm, Vaagan, Nordland, Norwa

Death
3 Sep 1965
Salt Lake City Utah

Time In Service

From: 6 Dec
To: 1938

https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/view/Military.aspx?tid=20456904&pid=950204200&vid=882bcbda-9f18-47f6-a2c5-15c2d617e87b

 


 

Photo from Salt Lake Tribune, January 9, 1942. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "Undersea fighting is like undersea drilling; you just carry out your assigned duties." Chief Torpedoman Reider Kristiansen, who has seen much duty and considerable combat in "tin fish" so remarked Thursday as he streched out at ease on the front porch of his parents' home, Mr. and Mrs. Edwin Kristiansen, 455 Hollywood avenue.

He is home on leave after duty in Asiatic stations and fighting in the battles of Macassar straits and the Java Sea. "Can't tell you very much," he said. "Wait'll it's all over and we'll come home and tell you all about it." How did it feel to fight under water, braving depth charges? "It's mostly a routine matter in battle," he said. "It's the same thing you've seen training in all the time. It may feel a little different at first, and after that it's just routine." Torpedoman Kristiansen, a typical underseat fighter --calm, quiet,...

New 04-17-17

 

World War II: Eugene F. Hutchinson, U.S. Navy, Torpedoman’s Mate, 3C

https://www.tapinto.net/towns/clark/articles/world-war-ii-eugene-f-hutchinson-u-dot-s-navy-to
 

By WILLIAM DUFFY
May 16, 2016 at 10:29 PM

US Navy Torpedoman's Mate 3C Eugene F. Hutchinson and his shipmates aboard the submarine Albacore are on "eternal patrol."
Credits: William Duffy

The USS Albacore was lost to an enemy mine in the Pacific, Nov. 7, 1944.
Credits: William Duffy
 

US Navy Torpedoman's Mate 3C Eugene F. Hutchinson and his shipmates aboard the submarine Albacore are on "eternal patrol."
Credits: William Duffy

“All hands were lost.” Among them, Eugene F. Hutchinson.

Hutchinson, a U.S. Navy torpedoman’s mate, 3C, served aboard the USS Albacore (SS-218).

The Albacore, a submarine credited with sinking eight Japanese ships during ten WWII patrols, was sunk on its 11th patrol by mines off North Hokkaido Island, Japan.

On Oct. 24, 1944, Albacore left Pearl Harbor, arriving at Midway Island on Oct. 28 to top off her fuel tanks. On Nov. 7, 1944 a Japanese patrol boat witnessed the explosion of a submerged submarine presumed to be Albacore. Witnesses saw many items rise to the surface and the Albacore was never heard from again.

Hutchinson and the entire crew were lost and all are said to be on “eternal patrol.”

This Fallen Hero grew up in Florida, but married Clark resident Gertrude Amon. The young couple moved to the Amon’s parents’ address on Westfield Avenue.

Clark's Fallen Heroes profiles those 21 soldiers from Clark who died in service to their country. Author William Duffy’s research into Clark’s fallen heroes included such primary sources as United States military records kept at the National Archive, articles and reports from “The Elizabeth Daily Journal,” photographs, letters and, when possible, interviews with family members and friends of the deceased.

Find out more about William Duffy: One Man’s Quest to Keep Alive the Memory of Clark’s War Dead

New 04-17-17

 

Robert Fulton

 

A submarine torpedoman in the South Pacific during

 World War II

http://www.funeralplan.com/obits/view.html?action=view&id=6917

Sailor Rest Your Oar

May He Rest In Peace

Service:


Date/Time January 14, 2003/11:30 AM


Location


Dawson Memorial Cemetery

Glendive, MT 59330


Robert C. Fulton, age 81, of Glendive, died at Aspen Meadows in Billings on Thursday, January 9, 2003.

Graveside services with military honors will be held at 11:30 A.M., Tuesday, January 14, 2003 in the Dawson Memorial Cemetery with Father Joseph Ponessa officiating.

 Silvernale-Silha Funeral Home of Glendive is entrusted with arrangements.
Bob was born on December 28, 1921 in Whittier, California to Thomas Lee and Isabella (Grijalva) Fulton. As a young man he joined the United States Navy and served as a submarine torpedoman in the South Pacific during World War II.

He was honorably discharged on December 7, 1945 in San Pedro, California.

His adventure brought him to the Pacific Northwest in 1947 where he met and married Ethel Marie Kuklenski, together they raised five children.

His talent and curiosity to see how machines worked gave him the opportunity to be a part of the building of a nation. From the Grand Coulee Dam, down the waterways of the Columbia and Snake Rivers to the Nuclear Power Plants on the Hanford Reservation in the Tri Cities, Washington. He was a heavy duty mechanic for the Operating Engineers Local 370 for 47 years. His marriage to Alice Badt in 1975 became another of the wonderful adventures of his life. They decided to continue that adventure from Glendive, Montana in 1993.

From the badlands of Montana to the Pacific Ocean, from Canada to California, we are all better people for having met the greatest man we ever knew. Robert began his next adventure in the hands of our Lord on January 9, 2003.

Bob was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Alice; and one stepson, Conrad Badt.

Bob is survived by his brother, Thomas Fulton and sister, Rosemary Holmes both of Long Beach, California; sons, Tom Fulton of Cheney, Washington and Tim Fulton of Benton City, Washington; daughters, Marna Wilson of Burbank, Washington, Erin Tillenburg of Burbank, Washington, and Gina Eoff; his stepson, Gary Badt of Bellvue, Washington; eight grandchildren and fifteen great grandchildren.
Memorials are suggested to the Dawson County Food Bank, P.O. Box 1309, Glendive, MT 59330.

New 04-13-17

 

World War II veterans remember: J.D. Smith was torpedoman on a naval PT boat in the Pacific

http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/ww2veterans/world-war-ii-veterans-remember-j-d-smith-was-torpedoman/article_3b110aa4-4fd6-59f2-a91e-70c144fa28d5.html

J.D. Smith WW2 Veteran

J.D. Smith was a torpedo man on PT 126, a "Patrol Torpedo boat" that was small and fast, during his Navy service in the Pacific Theater during WW2. He's shown here at his home in Tulsa, OK, Dec. 3, 2015. MICHAEL WYKE/Tulsa World

J.D. Smith was a torpedo man on PT 126, a “Patrol Torpedo boat” that was small and fast, during his Navy service in the Pacific Theater during WW2. He’s shown here at his home in Tulsa, OK, Dec. 3, 2015. MICHAEL WYKE/Tulsa World

Posted: Monday, December 14, 2015 12:00 am | Updated: 8:58 am, Mon Dec 14, 2015.
By TIM STANLEY World Staff Writer 

At the time, J.D. Smith just assumed he would get his helmet back.

But sadly, the friend he loaned it to never got the chance to return it.
“I was looking at him — and suddenly his head just disappeared,” Smith said, recalling the moment the “daisy-cutter” bomb hit near their PT boat, sending metal fragments in every direction.

Severed at the neck, the sailor’s “head rolled right off into the water. Still with my helmet on it.”

It was another case of wrong place, wrong time.

On a PT boat — with a crew of only a dozen or so, and sharing such a small space — any loss is a big loss, Smith added.

“Everybody’s a close friend.”

Unfortunately, during his time in the Pacific in World War II, Smith and his mates experienced that loss more than once.

‘Devil boats’

The first time Smith laid eyes on a Navy PT boat, he liked what he saw.
“I thought, ‘that’s pretty neat.’ They really are a high-class looking boat,” recalled Smith, 89, in a recent interview at his home.

Originally trained to fire torpedoes on a destroyer, he was surprised to learn he would be serving instead on a PT boat.

The PT boat was a dramatically different naval experience.

Small at roughly 80 feet long, the vessels were highly maneuverable.
And they were fast, Smith said. Running on 100-octane gasoline and powered by three 1,600-horsepower Packard engines, they “could go up to 50 to 60 miles per hour if they have to. Not advisable, but they could.”

PT boats stuck to coastal waters, on the lookout for enemy vessels to attack.
They patrolled in pairs, and almost always at night. During the day, the crafts were highly vulnerable to enemy aircraft, Smith said.

Patrolling in the darkness “was kind of spooky,” he said. “Usually you’d run across (the enemy) like they came out of nowhere. And they might start firing at you first. But a lot of times you initiated it.”

Almost every night they had an engagement of some kind, he said.

Hailed by the Americans for their daring, PT boats would come to be hated by the Japanese, who had another name for them: “Devil boats.”

Ahead of the draft

Smith’s journey to the Navy began, he said, in Stillwater, where he grew up.
One of five children and the only boy, Smith enlisted in December 1943 when he turned 18.

“Everybody was getting drafted,” he said, and the Army didn’t appeal to him.
“I didn’t want to wear those big ol’ field boots.”

His decision to go with the Navy, he said, “worked out pretty good.”

From San Diego, Smith sailed out for Australia. There he was assigned to a PT squadron as a torpedoman.

He would serve most of his time on PT 126. His crews had 12 men typically, though at times up to 14.

Starting from Australia, Smith’s squadron moved up the coast of New Guinea, then operated for a while out of the Indonesian islands of Biak and Mios Woendi.

From there, they moved on to the Philippines. That’s where Smith’s biggest engagements would come, including, in October 1944, the invasion of Leyte.

Arriving three days before the invasion, Smith’s and other PT boats were the first vessels to enter Leyte Gulf, followed by the minesweepers, which came behind them, clearing the waters of mines ahead of the bigger ships.

One of his most vivid recollections is from later at Leyte’s Ormoc Bay.

With American ground forces on the island on their tails, Japanese troops tried to escape on barges.

“We’d watch them and then come along and sink them,” he said.

On one occasion, Smith and his boat sank about five of the barges close together, each containing about 40 of the enemy.

“Water was full of (Japanese troops),” Smith said.

Since shooting them would’ve violated international law, he added, his commander had another idea.

“We ran over them with our propellers.”

Food and drink

Smith knew his designated weapon intimately.

The torpedo was a “delicate, precision instrument,” he said.

Every PT boat carried four of them, at a cost of $10,000 to $12,000 each. It was Smith’s job to take care of them, he said, and when the time came, to fire them.

About 20 feet long and packing 600 pounds of TNT in its warhead, a torpedo had its own engine. When it hit the water, the engine would kick in, and could propel it as far as 15 miles.

Not that you ever needed it to go that far, Smith said. His targets were at most 600 to 800 yards away. He said he fired about 12 total during his time at sea, with only three missing their targets.

One of the interesting facts about torpedoes is what they were fueled on, Smith said.

“Each one held 22 pints of 100-proof alcohol.”

Eventually, somebody wised up and the formula was changed, he added. But until then, sailors frequently indulged.

“I was pretty popular at Christmas time,” Smith said, chuckling, adding that as torpedoman, only he knew how to get the alcohol out.

By the time the 1944 holidays had passed, he recalled, “two of our torpedoes would not fire at all. All the alcohol was gone.”

The alcohol was commonly mixed with orange juice, he said, and canteens of it were stowed around the boat.

The food on board wasn’t bad, either. Particularly prized, Smith said, were the gallon cans of beef and the chocolate pudding. Each boat also had a cook.

Smith remembers how he and his crew once toiled all day repairing the boat only — to their chagrin — to be served peanut butter sandwiches for dinner.

“All the cook had to do, while we did all the work, was make us something good,” Smith said.

“We took turns throwing him over the side.”

Going home

From the Philippines, they eventually went on to Okinawa. By that time, after weeks of fierce fighting, the island was mostly secure, Smith said.

Their next stop was a small island about 25 miles north of Okinawa. There, they began preparing for the expected invasion of mainland Japan.

“Fortunately, they dropped the bomb,” Smith said of the Americans’ atomic bomb attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, making invasion unnecessary.

When he and his crewmates got the word, they knew finally “we were gonna go home.”
There was no feeling like it, he said. By that point in the war, “you felt like you could be there forever.”

It hadn’t helped that, over his three years of service, Smith never had one day of leave.
“I was never in a situation where I could take any,” he said.

He had gone from basic training to torpedo school, and then on to the South Pacific, where he had an assignment virtually every day.

Nothing to hide

One of the first things you notice about Smith are his tattoos.'

Drawn in blue ink on each tanned forearm, one is a profile of an Indian chief, the other an Indian woman. Letters above the former, faded but still just legible, spell out “Oklahoma.”
He got them, he said, in San Diego when he was in torpedo school, just before he shipped out for the Pacific.

After the war, when he rose to become a chief engineer with Borden, he kept the tattoos concealed under shirtsleeves, he said.

These days, however — long since retired — the longtime west Tulsa resident has nothing to hide.

That includes talking about the war, although he admits the effects of dementia are beginning to rob him of some of the details.

It also includes the public life he actively maintains. Smith, a longtime volunteer, was Oklahoma Legionnaire of the Year in 2008, and when it comes to serving his fellow military veterans, he is still present and accounted for.

He was commander for seven years of American Legion Post 17 in Sand Springs, and remains active in both the Legion, Tulsa’s Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 577, and at the VA Medical Center in Muskogee, where he’s donated his time for many years.

A few years ago, he helped lead the statewide fundraising effort for “Operation Homecoming,” which brought area troops home for the holidays from Texas where they were training for Iraq.

“Somebody has to do it,” he said when asked what motivates him. “The guys who did it before me — I was real proud of them and respected them tremendously.”

If his health holds out, Smith has no plans to stop volunteering. He knows what can happen when you have nothing left to do.

After their job was done in the war, most of the surviving PT boats were completely dismantled, he said.

“They took out the engine, the radar and other vital parts. They boxed those up and shipped them off. Then they burned the hull.”

He didn’t feel too bad about his boat’s fate, though.
By then, “it was getting pretty old,” he said.

Tim Stanley 918-581-8385
tim.stanley@tulsaworld.com
Please direct inquiries about this series or the veterans who have been featured via email to bobby.marshall@tulsaworld.com .

J.D. Smith WW2 Veteran
 

 

On Eternal Patrol - Lost Submariners of World War II

Jack Kenneth Nash

http://www.oneternalpatrol.com/nash-j-k.htm

Sailor Rest Your Oar

May He Rest In Peace

Jack Kenneth Nash

 Purple HeartPrisoner of War Medal

Rank/Rate

Chief Torpedoman's Mate

Service Number

368 11 89

Birth Date

September 2, 1909

From

Bozeman, Montana

Decorations

Purple Heart, Prisoner of War Medal

Ship

USS Canopus (AS-9)

Date of Death

October 24, 1944

Location

Aboard the Hellship Arisan Maru

Circumstances

Died when Arisan Maru, transporting Allied Prisoners 
of War from the Philippines to Japan, was sunk by 
USS Shark (SS-314)

Remarks

Jack was born in Livingston, Montana.

Photo courtesy of John Nash, son, via Robert Estes. Information courtesy of Paul W. Wittmer.

New 04-13-17

Montana WW2 NMCG Casualty List – B Surnames

 

https://www.accessgenealogy.com/montana/montana-ww2-nmcg-casualty-list-b-surnames.htm

Sailor Rest Your Oar

May He Rest In Peace

BAIR, Arthur Irvin, Torpedoman’s Mate 3c, USNR. Parents, Mr. and Mrs. Irvin Lewis Bair, Box 654, Wibaux.

BOHIER, Robert Joseph, Torpedoman’s Mate 3c, USN. Parents, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Steven Bohler, P.O. Box 173, Augusta.

Topics:

World War 2,

 

Collection:

Department of the Navy. Bureau of Naval Personnel. State Summary of War Casualties from World War II for Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard. Item from Record Group 24: Records of the Bureau of Naval Personnel.

New 04-13-17

Montana WW2 NMCG Prisoners of War

NASH, Jack Kenneth, Chief Torpedoman’s mate, USN. Wife, Mrs. Laura Maude Nash, 438 E. Mendenhall, Boseman.

New 04-13-17

 

LESTER LEROY BAKER - Pima, AZ (TORPEDOMAN FIRST CLASS) WWII

http://warmemorial.us/mediawiki3/index.php?title=LESTER_LEROY_BAKER_-_Pima,_AZ_

(TORPEDOMAN_FIRST_CLASS)_WWII

Name: BAKER, LESTER LEROY

Service Branch: NAVY

Rank: TORPEDOMAN FIRST CLASS

Date of Death: 0000-00-00

Hostile: Kia

Home of Record City/County: Pima

Home of Record State: Arizona

PARENTS MR AND MRS GEORGE W BAKER 1648 E 9TH ST

Conflict: WWII

New 04-07-17

 

Re: WWII USS WAHOO & Submariner MAULDING/IL>CA

http://www.genealogy.com/forum/surnames/topics/maulding/153/

Greetings!
I am a volunteer with “On Eternal Patrol” looking for family of, George Evans MAULDING
He was Sailor aboard the WWII submarine USS WAHOO (SS-238) that went missing in northern Japan in 1943.The submarine has been discovered and in October, 2006, the Naval Department declared it is theUSS Wahoo. We wish to share the news and planned memorial, with the families and friends of the submariner.
 

Point of Contact for the USS WAHOO (SS-238): On Eternal Patrol. http://oneternalpatrol.com  http://oneternalpatrol.com USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park.11 Arizona Memorial Dr., Honolulu, HI96818.Phone: 808-423-1341.E-Mail: info@OnEternalPatrol.comIf you are of this family or have any knowledge of the family of the Sailor, please make contact to the above or to this posting.Thank You!

{Data should be proven for accuracies and connections}
MAULDING {USSWAHOO} RESEARCH NOTES
 

Torpedoman’s Mate 3c George Evans Maulding. U.S. Navy. Hometown: Vista, CA. Killed In Action


GEORGE EVANS MAULDING.Torpedoman’s Mate, Third Class. #06803241. From: Vista, California. Purple Heart. Submarine: USS Wahoo (SS-238) Loss Date: October 11, 1943. Location: In La Perouose Strait, Northern Japan. Sunk by a combination of air attack, shore batteries, and depth charging. [On Eternal Patrol.
http://www.oneternalpatrol.com] {San Diego Co.}

New 04--03-17

 

NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive

http://www.navsource.org/archives/08/08155.htm 

 


Contributed by Mike Smolinski

S-44 (SS-155)

 


S-42 Class Submarine: Laid down, 14 January 1921, at Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corp., Quincy, MA.; Launched, 27 October 1923; Commissioned, USS S-44 (SS-155), 16 February 1925; Final Disposition, lost 7 October 1943, as a result of enemy surface action en route to patrol area in Kuriles. S-44 was sunk by IJNS Ishigaki, a Shimushu class escort. S-44 earned two battle stars during World War II.

Specifications: Displacement, Surfaced: 903 t., Submerged: 1126 t.; Length 225' 3"; Beam 20' 8"; Draft 13' 1"; Speed, surfaced 14.5 kts, submerged 11 kts; Depth Limit 200'; Complement 4 Officers, 34 Enlisted; Armament, four 21" torpedo tubes, 12 torpedoes, one 4"/50 deck gun; Propulsion, diesel electric engines, New London Ship and Engine Co., diesel engines, 1,200 hp, Fuel Capacity, 46,363 gal.; Electro Dynamic Co., electric motors, 1,200 hp, Battery Cells, 120, twin propellers.

Chief Torpedoman Harold Arvid Stromsoe points with pride to the record of sunken Japanese ships noted on the # 2 inner door.

Sailor Rest Your Oar.

New 03-06-17

State summary of war casualties, California

https://archive.org/stream/statesummaryofwa00unit_15/statesummaryofwa00unit_15_djvu.txt

 

Important Notice

Inclusion of names in this State group has been determined solely
by the residence of next of kin at the time of notification of the last
wartime casualty status. This listing does not necessarily represent
the State of birth, legal residence, or official State credit according to
service enlistment.

Casualties listed represent only those on active duty in the U. S. Navy,
Marine Corps, and Coast Guard, resulting directly from enemy action
or from operational activities against the enemy in war zones from
December 7, 1941, to the end of the war. Casualties in the United
States area or as a result of disease, homicide, or suicide in any location
are not included.

This is a State summary taken from casualty lists released by the
Navy Department, corrected as to the most recent casualty status and
recorded residence of next of kin.

Personnel listed as MISSING are under continuous investigation by
the Navy Department, and therefore are subject to momentary status
change. Many of these will be officially presumed or determined
dead. Some will be found alive. The last official notice to next of
kin will take precedence over this list.

The WOUNDED tabulation represents a count by individuals* and
includes only those whose next of kin were officially notified during
the war. It does not reflect the number of wounds inflicted by the
enemy since many individuals were wounded more than once and
many minor wounds were recorded only by Purple Heart awards in
the fields of action. Complete data on all wounded naval personnel
will be available later.

COMPILED JUNE 1946 BY

CASUALTY SECTION, OFFICE OF PUBLIC INFORMATION
NAVY DEPARTMENT

California

STATE SUMMARY OF WAR CASUALTIES

KILLED IN ACTION, DIED OF WOUNDS, OR LOST LIVES AS RESULT OF OPERATIONAL MOVEMENTS IN WAR ZONES

Sailors Rest Your Oars

ALLISON, John Edward, Jr., Torpedoman’s Mate 3c, USNR. Mother, Mrs. Clara C. Allison, 615 Crystal Ct., Long Beach.

BALLINGER, William Franklin, Chief Torpedoman’s Mate, USN. Wife, Mrs. Winifred Eulalia Ballinger, 1822 S. Muscatel Ave.,

BLUM, Carl, Torpedoman’s Mate 2c, USN. Wife, Mrs. Renee Lois Blum, 1948 Divisadero St., San Francisco.
 

DRISCOLL, George Crittenden, Chief Torpedoman’s Mate, USN. Mother, Mrs. Lena Wallace Ryan, 950 Cabrilo St., San Francisco.

HUMPHREY, Vincent Eugene, Chief Torpedoman’s Mate, USN. Wife, Mrs. Hazel Louis Hum-
phrey, 956 Post St., San Francisco.

KIBBONS, Clarence Vernon, Chief  Torpedoman’s Mate, USN. Wife, Mrs. Betty Kibbons, 6102 E. Ocean Ave., Long Beach.

LEECY, Raymond Arthur, Chief Torpedoman’s Mate, USN. Wife, Mrs. Lois Marie Leecy, 1740 Casitas Ave., Pasadena.

MURDAUGH, Herbert Edwin, Jr., Torpedoman’s Mate 2c, USN. Father, Mr. Herbert Edwin Murdaugh, Sr., 516 W. 31st St., Los Angeles.

O’LOUGHLIN, Kenneth Edward, Torpedoman’s Mate Ic. USNR. Wife, Mrs. Mary E. O’Loughlin, 1416 Q St., Sacramento.

PROUTY, Walter Raymond, Chief Torpedoman’s Mate, USN. Wife, Mrs. Zora Ve^ma Ruth Prouty, 4372 38th St., San Diego.

RALSTON, William James, Jr., Torpedoman’s Mate 3c, USNR. Parents, Mr. and Mrs. William James Ralston, Sr., 1357 Perris Hill Rd., San Bernardino.


SHEPARD, Surtes Garrison, Jr., Torpedoman’s Mate 2c, USNR. Parents, Mr. and Mrs. Surtes Gar-
rison Shepard, Sr., 645 Ballantyne Lane, El Cajon.

TELLO, George, Torpedoman’s Mate Ic, USNR. Mother, Mrs. Augusta Tello, 101 Cleveland St., San Jose.

TOWNSEND, Clark Keptlar, Jr., Torpedoman’s Mate Ic, USN. Wife, Mrs. Florence C. Townsend, 207 S. 2d St., San Jose.


WADSWORTH, Charles Waite, Torpedoman’s Mate 3c, USNR. Parents, Mr. and Mrs. Harry L. Wadsworth, 4257 Beeman Ave., North Hollywood.
 

WEEKLEY, Leland Stanford, Chief Torpedoman’s Mate, USN. Wife, Mrs. Edith Kleven Weekley, 3005 N. Santa Fe, Compton.

New 03-06-17
 

FROM A FORWARD TORPEDO ROOM TORPEDOMAN
By: Leo Bonner


Since 09-20-03

Because of the bad exploders in the torpedoes most of the fish did not explode during one of the patrols. Some of the torpedoes penetrated into the ship that they hit but would not explode. It may have been this fact that saved us on another occasion.

During the fourth patrol, a fish (torpedo) got stuck half way out one of the forward tubes during a battle action. We knew that the outer door would not close and we knew that the depth and gyro spindles could be engaged. This is an indication that the tube was clear. But the outer door did not close.

We ran all night in this condition and the torpedo must have surely armed itself while we were hastily clearing the area of the last action with the enemy. A surface run with a fish sticking out of the bow end would allow water to turn a wheel under the torpedo, and after a predetermined number of revolutions, the warhead would become armed.

Once armed it only takes a nine pound impact to explode. We didn't know that a fish was sticking out the bow.

The next morning, it was decided to examine this possibility. Men were sent topside to dive and see what they could see. Sure enough, there it was; warhead protruding out the outer door.

I stayed in the forward room with some other volunteers to fire that torpedo. We were on the surface and backed down on all four engines, charged the impulse tanks way over 600 pounds per square inch and fired that fish. It didn't explode.

New 02-23-16

 

SEARCHING 4 JFK 109 CREW

PT-109 was sliced in half by a Japanese destroyer
on August 1-2, 1943;
two crewmen were killed,
11 survivors were rescued
by PT-157
on August 8, 1943.

To Orwell Today,

I'm doing research on the fate of the surviving PT 109 crewmen. I've got some information on the life and death of Kennedy, Thom, Ross, Albert, Harris, Maguire, and McMahon. However, there seems to be little information on the other PT 109 crewmembers.

Do you have any information on the post WW 2 life and death of William Johnston, Maurice Kowal, Edgar Mauer, and Raymond Starkey? I can't seem to find information on them or find their obituaries anywhere.

Thank you in advance for any help you can give me.

-Mike Geary

Greetings Mike,

So far, the only info I have on JFK's PT-109 (and PT-59) crew members is what's already on ORWELL TODAY (and which I assume you've already read).

For future reference, in case they update their info, you could check the Maritime Quest website which has links (with a bit of biographical info) on three of the four crewmen you're searching for:

William Johnston, born Dumbarton, Scotland moved to the USA when he was two. His family settled in Dorchester, Massachusetts. He was thirty three when he joined the crew. After the collision he swallowed a large amount of gasoline and passed out due to that and the fumes. He remained violently ill for several days after the sinking. After his rescue he was found to be unfit for further service and was discharged.

Edgar E. Mauer, from St. Louis, Missouri was twenty eight when he joined the crew. He had been on the USS Niagara AGP-1 when it was sunk by a Japanese air attack on May 22, 1943. On the PT-109 he would be quartermaster, cook and signalman. He would also join Kennedy, Maguire, Drewitch, Kowal and Drawdy on the PT-59.

Raymond L. Starkey, from Garden Grove, California was twenty nine when he joined the crew of the PT-109. He came aboard to replace Edmund Drewitch, who had been injured earlier on the Pt-109.

The ranks and positions of the USS PT-109 FINAL CREW is also posted there:

Lt. jg.           John F. Kennedy             Commanding Officer
Ensign          Leonard J. Thom            Executive Officer
Ensign          George H. R. Ross          Lookout/gunner
S1C              Edgar E. Mauer              Quartermaster/cook/signalman
RM2C           John E. Maguire              Radioman
S1C              Raymond Albert             Gunner
GM2C           Charles A. Harris            Gunner
MOMM1C      Gerald E. Zinser              Motor mechanic
MOMM1C      Patrick H. McMahon         Motor mechanic
MOMM2C      Harold W. Marney           Gunner
MOMM2C      William Johnston            Gunner
TM2C           Raymond L. Starkey        Torpedoman
TM2C           Andrew J. Kirksey           Torpedoman

Kirksey died

It would be interesting to hear the results of your research into the post-war lives of JFK's PT-109 crew members. Perhaps it would inspire others to write in with info they may have.

All the best,
Jackie Jura

To Orwell Today,

Jackie,

Thank you for your encouraging reponse. I'll keep you posted with whatever information I turn up.

-Mike

JFK BET PT-109 FASTEST

PATRIOT SWINDAL JFK AF-1 PILOT

JFK PT-109 GUNNER HARRIS

JFK PT-59 FRIEND FACTO

JFK FRIEND FAY FONDLY REMEMBERS (about Paul "Red" Fay who was an ensign at Melville Naval Academy where JFK was his instructor on PT boats)

JFK PT-109 SONG

JFK PLUM PUDDING SWIM

JFK PT-109 WHO'S WHO

JFK TO NAVAL CADETS

JFK SAVED THE MARINES (...neither Colonel Bigger & Dr Stevens had the slightest idea of the identity of the PT-59 skipper who had rescued them in the dark off Choiseul...)

JFK'S PT-59 CREW

PT 109 HIT BY TSUNAMI

JFK'S PT 109 CREW (Albert, Drawdy/absent); Drewitch/absent; Harris, Johnston, (Kirksey died), Kowal/absent; Maquire, (Marney died), McMahon, Mauer, Ross, Starkey, Thom, Zinser)

JFK'S BOAT & COCONUT

JFK SWAM TO NARU NOT NAURU

JFK'S BROTHER FLEW DRONE (died in airplane explosion one year after JFK's PT-109 was sunk)

JFK'S LETTER TO SOLOMONS

JFK PT-109 MOVIE

JFK NEPHEW THANKS NATIVES

SEARCHING FOR JFK'S...BOAT

JFK'S JUDGE WAS PRO-LIFE (...Byron White was a Navy Intelligence Officer in the Solomons during WWII and he wrote the Intelligence Report on the sinking of PT-109)

STORY OF JFK & PT-109

Jackie Jura
~ an independent researcher monitoring local, national and international events ~

email: orwelltoday@gmail.com
HOME PAGE

website: www.orwelltoday.com

(New 01-15-16)

 

Full text of "State summary of war casualties, Missouri"

https://archive.org/stream/statesummaryofwa00unit_19/statesummaryofwa00unit_19_djvu.txt

U. S. NAVY
1946

 Important Notice
 
 Inclusion qf names in this State group has been determined solely
 by the residence of next of kin at the time of notification of the last
 wartime casualty status. This listing does not necessarily represent
 the State of birth, legal residence, or official State credit according to
 service enlistment.
 
 Casualties listed represent only those on active duty in the U. S. Navy,
 Marine Corps, and Coast Guard, resulting directly from enemy action
 or from operational activities against the enemy in v^ar zones from
 December 7, 1941, to the end of the wslt. Casualties in the United
 States area or as a result of disease, homicide, or suicide in any location
 are not included.
 
 This is a State summary taken from casualty lists released by the
 Navy Department, corrected as to the most recent casualty status and
 recorded residence of next of kin.
 
 Personnel listed as MISSING are under continuous investigation by
 the Navy Department, and therefore are subject to momentary status
 change. Many of these will be officially presumed or determined
 dead. Some will be found alive. The last official notice to next of
 kin will take precedence over this list.
 
 The WOUNDED tabulation represents a count by individuals and
 includes only those whose next of kin were officially notified during
 the war. It does not reflect the number of wounds inflicted by the
 enemy since many individuals were wounded more than once and
 many minor wounds were recorded only by Purple Heart awards in
 the fields of action. Complete data on all wounded naval personnel
 will be available later.
 
 COMPILED JUNE 1946 BY
 CASUALTY SECTION, OFFICE OF PUBLIC INFORMATION
 NAVY DEPARTMENT

 

KILLED IN ACTION, DIED OF WOUNDS, OR LOST LIVES AS RESULT
OF OPERATIONAL MOVEMENTS IN WAR ZONES

 ANDREWS, Harold Doyle, Chief Torpedoman's Mate, USN. Wife, Mrs. Emma Nell Andrews, Maiden.

(New 01-15-16)

Ex-torpedoman recalls WWII service
 

REAL PEOPLE
Ronnie Thomas
rthomas@decaturdaily.com

 

DAILY Photo by Jonathan Palmer
Bob Strehle served aboard the USS David W. Taylor during World War II as a torpedo-tube operator. The ship took out a Japanese submarine while she was coming to the aid of the USS Riddle.

BROOKSVILLE — Sharp-witted and on solid ground at his home here between Priceville and Somerville, 83-year-old Bob Strehle Sr. speaks of seas made rough, tumbling and deadly by World War II.

Two of the more significant events occurred on Independence Day. He knows of one as a matter of record. The other is personal.

On July 4, 1942, four months before he joined the Navy, workers launched the USS David W. Taylor (DD-551), a Fletcher-class destroyer he would ride as torpedoman first class for more than three years. It showed Strehle the world.

Until enlisting, a 360-mile ride to a Pillsbury Co. feed mill job in Clinton, Iowa, was his longest journey from hometown Omaha, Neb. He had boot camp at Great Lakes, Ill., torpedo school at Newport, R.I., and advanced torpedo school at San Diego.

Now, he was ready for his first trip south, to Chickasaw, where Gulf Shipbuilding Co. constructed the Taylor and prepared it for commissioning.

"We boarded Sept. 18, 1943," Strehle said. "We went from Mobile Bay to a fitting-out yard in Charleston, S.C., where we test fired our guns. We did a shakedown cruise to the Bahamas."

Popping every kernel of corn in Nebraska while fireworks went off in Omaha wouldn't have caused as much commotion as July 4, 1944, in the Pacific.

The Taylor traveled in a convoy of escort carriers and fleet oilers supporting the Marianas operation.

Trouble

Just past 5 p.m., the USS Riddle reported contact with an enemy submarine and called the Taylor for assistance.

"Destroyer escorts don't have depth charges. They fire small rockets called hedgehogs," Strehle said.

"They have 24 in a gang box and can fire them all at once. But their purpose is more for surface contact, such as a small fishing ship. We executed an emergency turn."

At 6:26 the Taylor fired an 11-pattern depth charge, six 325-pound teardrop-shaped charges — three from either side of the ship — and five 500-pound "ash cans" from the stern.

"There was an intense explosion. Two minutes later, we lost contact with the sub, then sighted an oil slick and debris," Strehle said.

The sunken vessel turned out to be the I-10, one of the large subs of a class called the I-Boat, superior in range and firepower to the best American subs of the Pacific fleet at the time the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.

During the heat of the Marianas campaign, submarine commander Admiral Sokichi Takagi moved his headquarters to Saipan to better manage the fleet.

The Japanese Navy sent the I-10 to rescue him. He committed suicide.

The mission wasn't over for the Taylor. On the morning of Jan. 5, 1945, she joined the bombardment of Chichi Jima in the Bonin Islands.

Shortly before 8, Strehle recalls a "terrific underwater explosion, probably a mine, that did considerable damage forward and flooding, trapping four men."

Officials ordered the Taylor to take a direct route to the nearest base.

"We couldn't go forward. We backed alone to Saipan. Traveling at about 5 knots top speed, it took us three days," Strehle said.

"We entered a portable dry dock about noon Jan. 8. After the water drained out of our ship, we went into the magazine and retrieved the four sailors. We buried them in the Second Marine Cemetery on Saipan. They were our ship's only losses of the war."

Strehle said he joined the Navy because of a cousin who served on the USS Marblehead, a cruiser.

"It got sunk from under him and he came home," Strehle said. "He told me that there is one thing about the Navy, 'You've got three square meals and a clean bed to sleep in every night. You might have to swim a little bit. But you ain't crawling around in the mud.' "

Strehle and four brothers served during the war.

"Jack, Bernard and I were on subs," he said.

"Phil was on a PT boat. Frank, who lives in Chula Vista, Calif., served about four months in the Air Force before getting an honorable discharge. He is 6 feet 6 inches tall, weighs 240 pounds and wears a size 16 shoe. They told him, 'You're very good, but we can't use you. We're not sure we're gonna have clothes and shoes to fit you all the time.' "

What came afterwards

The Navy discharged Strehle on Jan. 12, 1946. He married his wife, Sally, that summer. He held several management positions for Pillsbury and other companies before arriving in Decatur in 1974 as plant manager of ConAgra flourmill.

"I put a snow shovel on my shoulder and walked down Sixth Avenue," he said. "Someone walked up and said, 'What in the world is that?' I said a snow shovel. He said, 'I never saw one of them.' And I said, 'That's why I want to stay.' "

(New 01-13-16)

The Ship that Almost Sank the President

Sunday Ship History: The Ship that Almost Sank the President

Despite the common sayings that "You make your own luck" or that "“Success always comes when preparation meets opportunity,” many sailors believe that some ships have good luck and some ships have bad luck. Obviously, you'd rather serve on a "good luck" ship than on the other kind. Of course, with the U.S. Navy in wartime, you aren't given much choice.

Let's take a look at the notorious hard-luck ship USS William D. Porter (DD-579), commonly referred to as the "Willie D."

Willie D was "a 2050-ton Fletcher class destroyer, ... built at Orange, Texas. Commissioned in July 1943, she shook down and conducted routine operations in the Caribbean and western Atlantic until November 1943 .."

Ah, sweet November. Willie D was assigned to a secret mission and then, well, bad luck or poor training and supervision began to meet opportunity.

Before we get to that part of the saga, we first begin with the only U.S. Navy ship equipped with a bathtub.The new battleship USS Iowa (BB-61) had completed one combat sea patrol when she was ordered into a shipyard for some special modifications, including a bathtub. When the work was completed, Iowa traveled up Cheasapeake Bay unit she met up with a yacht traveling down from Washington, DC, carrying a distinguished guest who was transferred to the battleship. President Franklin Roosevelt was going to travel by sea to a meeting of the Allied heads of state in North Africa. The bathtub was needed because the crippled president couldn't use a shower. After the president was aboard, Iowa headed down to the Atlantic Ocean for the high speed transit.

On her way, the now "Presidential Battleship" picked up some escort destroyers, including the Willie D. Now, as set out here, the Willie D began to earn her reputation as an "unlucky" ship:

The mishaps began in earnest with the mysterious order to escort the pride of the fleet, the big new battleship IOWA to north Africa. The night before it left Norfolk, Virginia, the W.D. Porter successfully demolished a nearby sister ship when she backed down along the other ship's side and, with her anchor, tore down railings, a life raft, the captain's gig and various other formerly valuable pieces of equipment. The Willie Dee suffered merely a slightly scratched anchor, but her career of mayhem and destruction had begun.

The next event occurred just 24 hours later. The four-ship convoy, consisting of the IOWA and her secret passengers, the W.D. porter and two other destroyers, was under strict instruction to maintain complete silence as they were going through U-boat deeding ground where speed and silence were the best defenses. Suddenly, a tremendous explosion rocked the convoy and all of the ships commenced anti-submarine maneuvers. The maneuvers continued until the W.D. Porter sheepishly admitted that one of her depth charges had fallen off the stern and detonated in the rough sea. The safety had not been set as instructed. Captain Walker's fast track career was fast becoming side-tracked.

Shortly thereafter, a freak wave inundated the W.D. Porter, stripping everything what wasn't lashed down and washing a man overboard who was never found. Next, the engine room lost power in one of its boilers. And, during all, the captain had to make reports almost hourly to the IOWA on the Willie Dee's difficulties. At this point, it would have been merciful for the force commander to have detached the hard luck ship and sent her back to Norfolk.

But that didn't happen. The morning of November 14, 1943 dawned with a moderate sea and pleasant weather. The IOWA and her escorts were just east of Bermuda when the President and his guests wanted to see how the big ship could defend herself against air attack, so the IOWA launched a number of weather balloons to use as antiaircraft targets. Seeing more than 100 guns shooting at the balloons was exciting, and the President was duly proud of his Navy. Just as proud was Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. Ernest J. King, large in size and by demeanor a true monarch of the seas. Disagreeing with him meant the end of a Naval Career. Up to this time, no one knew what firing a torpedo at him would mean!

Over on the Willie Dee, Captain Walter watched the fireworks display with admiration and envy. Thinking about career redemption and breaking the hard luck spell, the captain sent his impatient crew to battle stations, and they began to shoot down the balloons that, missed by the IOWA, had drifted into the W.D. Porter's vicinity.

Down on the torpedo mounts, the W.D. Porter's crews watched, waited and prepared to take practice shoots at the big battleship, which, even at 6000 yards seemed to blot out the horizon. Torpedoman Lawton Dawson and Tony Fazio were among those responsible for the torpedoes and for ensuring that the primers (small explosive charges) were installed during actual combat and removed during practice. Dawson, unfortunately, forgot to remove the primer from torpedo tube number three.

Up on the bridge, a new torpedo officer ordered the simulated firing and commanded. "Fire one," "Fire two," and finally, "Fire three." There was no "Fire four." The sequence was interrupted by a whoooooshhh - the unmistakable sound made by a successful armed and launched torpedo.

Lt. H. Seward Lewis, who witnessed the entire event, later described the next few minutes as what hell would look if it ever broke loose. Just after he saw the torpedo hit the water on its way to the IOWA, where some of the most prominent figures in the world history stood, he innocently asked the captain, "Did you give permission to fire a torpedo?"
***
The next five minutes aboard the Willie Dee were pandemonium. Everyone raced around shouting conflicting instructions and attempting to warn the IOWA of imminent danger. First, a flashing light attempted a warning about the torpedo but indicated the wrong direction. Next, the W.D porter signaled that she was going in reverse at full speed.

Despite the strictly enforced radio silence, it was finally decided to notify the IOWA. The radio operator on the destroyer yelled, "Lion (Code word for the IOWA), Lion to come right!" The IOWA operator, more concerned about improper radio procedure, requested that the offending station identify itself first. Finally, the message was received and the IOWA began turning to avoid the speeding torpedo.

Meantime, on the IOWA's bridge, word of the torpedo firing reached President Roosevelt. he only wanted to see the torpedo and asked that his wheelchair be moved to the railing. His loyal Secret Service bodyguard immediately drew his pistol as if to shoot the torpedo!

The IOWA began evasive maneuvers, yet trained all guns on the William D. Porter. There was now some thought that the W.D. Porter was part of an assassination plot. Within moments of the warning, a thunderous explosion occurred behind the IOWA. The torpedo had been detonated by the wash kicked up by the battleship's increased speed. The crisis was over, and so were some careers. Captain Walter's final utterance to the IOWA was in response to a question about the origin of the torpedo. His answer was a weak, "We did it."
 

From that time forward, the Porter was often greeted with a signal, "Don't shoot! We're Republicans!"

Not surprisingly, the Porter had been banished from the Iowa convoy and sent to Bermuda, where an investigation revealed the torpedo shot was a human error and not an intentional attempt to assassinate President Roosevelt. The ship was sent off the Aleutians where she performed adequately except for an incident during which an allegedly drunken sailor managed to shoot a 5" round at the base commander's quarters (no one was injured except, I suppose, the sailor who did the shooting).



Porter left the Aleutians and participated in a number of battles and escort duties, doing her job well and finally becoming part of the anti-kamikaze screen off Okinawa (see here). It was her luck, bad or otherwise, finally ran out.

Willie D shot down a kamikaze but the aircraft landed close enough to the ship that the suicide plane's bomb, exploding near the destroyer's hull, ultimately sank the Porter despite efforts by various LCSs to assist her (see here). In a rare moment of good luck, the entire Porter crew was saved. As the caption of the nearby photo says:

Sinking after she was near-missed by a "Kamikaze" suicide aircraft off Okinawa, 10 June 1945. USS LCS-86 and another LCS are alongside, taking off her crew.
Though not actually hit by the enemy plane, William D. Porter received fatal underwater damage from the near-by explosion.

Though she will always be remembered as the ship that almost sank the president, her crew also should be remembered as men to went into harm's way and, except for a few bumps along the way, defended their country. It's time to give them some credit and a salute.

(New 01-13-16)

 

Torpedoman Lawton Dawson and Tony Fazio

The Ill-Fated
USS WILLIAM D. PORTER

Kit Bonner, The Retired Officer Magazine, March 1994

The "Willie Dee" created havoc from the time she was commissioned in July, 1943 until her unusual, and perhaps, charmed demise in June 1945.

From November 1943 until her bizarre loss in June 1945, the American destroyer William D. Porter was often met with the clever greeting. "Don't shoot, we're Republicans!" when she entered port or joined other naval ships. The significance of this expression was almost a cult secret of the United States Navy until the story resurfaced and received wide publicity after a ship's reunion in 1958.

Half a century ago, the "willie Dee," as the William D. Porter was nicknamed, accidentally fired a live torpedo at the battleship IOWA during a practice exercise on November 14, 1943. As if this weren't bad enough, the IOWA was carrying President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Secretary of State Cordell Hull and all of the country's World War II military brass to the "big three" conferences in Cairo and Teheran. Roosevelt was to meet with Stalin of the Soviet Union and Churchill of Great Britain, and had the W.D. Porter's successfully launched torpedo struck the IOWA at the aiming point, the last 50 years of world history might have been quite different. Fortunately, the W.D. Porter's warning allowed the IOWA to evade the speeding torpedo, and historic events carried on as we know them.

The USS William D. Porter (DD-579) was one of hundreds of big war-built assembly line destroyers. Although smaller than current destroyers, they were powerful and menacing in their day. They mounted a main battery of five dual-purpose 5-inch, .38 caliber guns and an assortment of 20mm and 40mm AAA guns, but their main armament consisted of 10 fast-running and accurate torpedoes that carried 500-pound warheads.

The W.D. Porter was placed in commission on July 6, 1943, under the command of LCdr Wilfred A. Walter, a man on the Navy's career fast track. In the months before she was detailed to accompany the IOWA across the Atlantic in November 1943, the W.D. Porter's crew members learned their trades; but not without experiencing certain mishaps that set the stage for the "big goof".

The mishaps began in earnest with the mysterious order to escort the pride of the fleet, the big new battleship IOWA to north Africa. The night before it left Norfolk, Virginia, the W.D. Porter successfully demolished a nearby sister ship when she backed down along the other ship's side and, with her anchor, tore down railings, a life raft, the captain's gig and various other formerly valuable pieces of equipment. The Willie Dee suffered mearly a slightly scratched anchor, but her career of mayhem and destruction had begun.

The next event occurred just 24 hours later. The four-ship convoy, consisting of the IOWA and her secret passengers, the W.D. porter and two other destroyers, was under strict instruction to maintain complete silence as they were going through U-boat deeding ground where speed and silence were the best defenses. Suddenly, a tremendous explosion rocked the convoy and all of the ships commenced anti-submarine maneuvers. The maneuvers continued until the W.D. Porter sheepishly admitted that one of her depth charges had fallen off the stern and detonated in the rough sea. The safety had not been set as instructed. Captain Walker's fast track career was fast becoming side-tracked.

Shortly thereafter, a freak wave inundated the W.D. Porter, stripping everything what wasn't lashed down and washing a man overboard who was never found. Next, the engine room lost power in one of its boilers. And, during all, the captain had to make reports almost hourly to the IOWA on the Willie Dee's difficulties. At this point, it would have been merciful for the force commander to have detached the hard luck ship and sent her back to Norfolk.

But that didn't happen. The morning of November 14, 1943 dawned with a moderate sea and pleasant weather. The IOWA and her escorts were just east of Bermuda when the President and his guests wanted to see how the big ship could defend herself against air attack, so the IOWA launched a number of weather balloons to use as antiaircraft targets. Seeing more than 100 guns shooting at the balloons was exciting, and the President was duly proud of his Navy. Just as proud was Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. Ernest J. King, large in size and by demeanor a true monarch of the seas. Disagreeing with him meant the end of a Naval Career. Up to this time, no one knew what firing a torpedo at him would mean!

Over on the Willie Dee, Captain Walter watched the fireworks display with admiration and envy. Thinking about career redemption and breaking the hard luck spell, the captain sent his impatient crew to battle stations, and they began to shoot down the balloons that, missed by the IOWA, had drifted into the W.D. Porter's vicinity.

Down on the torpedo mounts, the W.D. Porter's crews watched, waited and prepared to take practice shoots at the big battleship, which, even at 6000 yards seemed to blot out the horizon. Torpedoman Lawton Dawson and Tony Fazio were among those responsible for the torpedoes and for ensuring that the primers (small explosive charges) were installed during actual combat and removed during practice. Dawson, unfortunately, forgot to remove the primer from torpedo tube number three.

Up on the bridge, a new torpedo officer ordered the simulated firing and commanded. "Fire one," "Fire two," and finally, "Fire three." There was no "Fire four." The sequence was interrupted by a whoooooshhh - the unmistakable sound made by a successful armed and launched torpedo.

Lt. H. Seward Lewis, who whitnessed the entire event, later described the next few minutes as what hell would look if it ever broke loose. Just after he saw the torpedo hit the water on its way to the IOWA, where some of the most prominent figures in the world history stood, he innocently asked the captain, "Did you give permission to fire a torpedo?"

Captain Walter uttered something akin to. "Hell, No, I, I iii, aaa, iiiiii - - WHAT?!" Not exactly in keeping with some other famous naval quotes, like John Paul Jones', "I have not yet begun to fight." or even Civil War era RAdm David Glasgos Farragut's, "Damn the torpedoes - full speed ahead!" although the latter would have been more appropriate.

The next five minutes aboard the Willie Dee were pandemonium. Everyone raced around shouting conflicting instructions and attempting to warn the IOWA of imminent danger. First, a flashing light attempted a warning about the torpedo but indicated the wrong direction. Next, the W.D porter signaled that she was going in reverse at full speed.

Despite the strictly enforced radio silence, it was finally decided to notify the IOWA. The radio operator on the destroyer yelled, "Lion (Code word for the IOWA), Lion to come right!" The IOWA operator, more concerned about improper radio procedure, requested that the offending station identify itself first. Finally, the message was received and the IOWA began turning to avoid the speeding torpedo.

Meantime, on the IOWA's bridge, word of the torpedo firing reached President Roosevelt. he only wanted to see the torpedo and asked that his wheelchair be moved to the railing. His loyal Secret Service bodyguard immediately drew his pistol as if to shoot the torpedo!

The IOWA began evasive maneuvers, yet trained all guns on the William D. Porter. There was now some thought that the W.D. Porter was part of an assassination plot. Within moments of the warning, a thunderous explosion occurred behind the IOWA. The torpedo had been detonated by the wash kicked up by the battleship's increased speed. The crisis was over, and so were some careers. Captain Walter's final utterance to the IOWA was in response to a question about the origin of the torpedo. His answer was a weak, "We did it."

Shortly thereafter, the new state-of-the-art destroyer, her ambitious captain and seemingly fumbling crew were placed under arrest and sent to Bermuda for trial. it was the first time in the history of the United States Navy that an entire ship and her company had been arrested. The William D. Porter was surrounded by Marines when it docked in Bermuda and was held there for several days as the closed-session inquiry attempted to find out what had happened.

The outcome was delayed for a couple of days until Torpedoman Dawson finally confessed to having inadvertently left the primer in the torpedo tube, which caused the launch. Just after the torpedo left the tube, Dawson had thrown the primer over the side to conceal his mistake. The truth was eventually priced out of him, and the inquiry drew to a close. The whole incident was chalked up to an incredible set of circumstances and placed under a cloak of secrecy.

That's not to say that the Navy took no action. Captain Walter and several former William D. Porter officers and sailors eventually found themselves in obscure shore assignments, and Dawson was sentenced to 14 years of hard labor. President Roosevelt intervened, however, and asked that no punishment be meted out as the near disaster had been an accident.

The destroyer next found herself in the upper Aleutians on patrol. It was probably thought that this was as safe a place as any for the destroyer and those around here. But before being reassigned to another area in the Pacific, she accidentally, but of course successfully, lobbed a 5-inch shell into the front yard of the American base commandant.

When the William D. Porter later joined the other ships off Okinawa, the destroyer did distinguish herself by shooting down a variety of Japanese aircraft and, reportedly three American planes! She was generally greeted by, "Don't shoot, we're Republicans." and the drew of the Willie Dee had become used to the ribbing. However, the crew members of a sister ship, the USS Luce, were not so polite in their greetings after the W.D. Porter accidentally riddled her side and superstructure with gunfire.

On June 10, 1945, the hard luck ship met her end. A Japanese "Val" bomber constructed almost entirely of wood and canvas slipped through the defenses. As it had very little metal surface, the bomber was not unlike our present-day stealth planes. It did not register on radar. A fully loaded kamikaze, the bomber headed for a ship near the W.D. Porter but, at the last moment, veered away and crashed alongside the unlucky destroyer. There was a sigh of relief as the plane sank out of sight without exploding. Unfortunately, it then blew up underneath the destroyer and opened up the ship's hull in the worse possible location.

Three hours later, the last man, the captain, jumped to safety of a rescue vessel, leaving the ship that almost changed the face of the world and national politics to slip stern first into 2,400 feet of water. Miraculously, not a single soul was lost in this sinking. It was almost as if the ship that had been so unlucky chose to let her crew live. The sage of the USS William D. Porter was over.

Every so often, the crew of the Willie Dee gather and remember their ill-fated ship. They remember the good times, and now, nearly 51 years later, the notorious torpedo incident elicits amusement rather than the heart-wrenching embarrassment it caused in 1943.

This article is naval historian Kit Bonner's first for The Retired Officer Magazine. He dedicates it to his father and every other officer who has served on a destroyer.

(New 01-13-16)

 

Alabama WW2 NMCG Casualty List – B Surnames

BOOKER, William Dawson, Torpedoman’s Mate 2c, USNR. Wife, Mrs. Jannite Walls Booker, Rt. 3, Box 284B, Mobile.

Alabama WW2 NMCG Casualty List – G Surnames

GURGANUS, Arthur Allen, Torpedoman, USN. Father, Mr. James Monrow Gurganus, P. O. Box 58, Kansas.

Alabama WW2 NMCG Casualty List – H Surnames

HARRIS, Clarence, Torpedoman’s Mate 2c, USN. Sister, Miss Mary Elizabeth Harris, General Delivery, Dothan.

Alabama WW2 NMCG Casualty List – J Surnames

JONES, James Acton, Torpedoman’s Mate 1c, USNR. Parent’s, Mr. and Mrs. James Ned Jones, 901 Sansom Avenue, Gadsden.

Alabama WW2 NMCG Casualty List – M Surnames

MARSTON, George Franklin, Jr., Torpedoman’s Mate 2c, USN. Wife, Mrs. Mabel Clare Marston, 1314 15th Avenue, North Birmingham.

Alabama WW2 NMCG Casualty List – O Surnames

ODOM, Leonard Wilbur, Torpedoman’s Mate 3c, USNR. Parents, Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Odom, Rt. 4, Brewton.

(New 01-13-16)

 

MZHS Newsletter
Special Memorial Day Issue (May, 2009)
Published by the Mt Zion Historical Society
James Burke, President and Editor
B Nay,Web Coordinator


 

MEMORIAL DAY WEEK-END DEDICATION AND CELEBRATION
SATURDAY MAY 23rd AT 1:00 AT MT. ZION HISTORICAL PARK

 

Before They Knew It
©2009 By Mary Bentz


Seventy men aboard USS Grunion (SS-216) were alive one minute, and then without a second for prayer or a goodbye thought, they were gone!

By Mary Parziale Bentz, USS Grunion Family Search Team

USS Grunion, a Gato class submarine, originally designed to carry a complement of 4 officers and 54 enlisted men for a total crew of 58, left New London, Connecticut on Sunday afternoon, May 24, 1942 carrying a complement of 6 officers and 64 men for a total crew of 70.

On that day, Torpedoman's Mate 3rd Class, Carmine Anthony Parziale of Weedville was one of 6 men from the state of Pennsylvania to sail with Lieutenant Commander Mannert L. Abele bound for Pearl Harbor via the Panama Canal. Carmine (Carmen) enlisted in the Navy on June 18, 1940. He was received on board USS Barracuda at US Navy Yard, Portsmouth, NH as Seaman Apprentice. In October, 1940 he was promoted to rank of Seaman 2nd class and in August, 1941 he became Seaman 1st class. On November 15, 1941, Carmen left Barracuda for the Navy Torpedo Station, Newport, R.I. for training.

He was received on board USS Grunion April 11, 1942 as Torpedoman's Mate Third Class. Grunion was a new submarine and there was a waiting list of those who wished to sail on this new sub with Lt. Commander Abele.

On 24 May 1942, Grunion left New London for Pearl Harbor via the Panama Canal. The boat arrived there on 20 June; and on June 30, she left Pearl Harbor on her first war patrol near the western Aleutian Islands, then occupied by the Japanese. Grunion reported heavy anti-submarine activity in the area. When all U.S. subs were ordered to return to Dutch Harbor, Grunion was the only submarine that failed to return. A Pearl Harbor survivor who was on USS Finback in the Aleutians writes that on August 3, 1942 they were instructed to contact Grunion during darkness, asking for her position. There was no response. On August 4, a final broadcast to Grunion went unanswered.

For 65 years USS Grunion was listed on official Navy records as "missing, cause unknown."

To be continued.

 

(New 01-03-16)

Oral Hull Board and Friends Honor 50 Year Veteran-George Morgan

100_0717

April 20, 2013 – Board members and friends of 50 year Oral Hull Foundation for the Blind, and past board member, George L. Morgan was recognized at a luncheon in his honor. More than 50 people attended the event.


George began in 1964 as an unpaid volunteer and has served without interruption since then as Board member, Treasurer, President and now as Assistant Treasurer. He is a leader, a mentor and an inspiration to those many decades younger and adds even more diversity to our Executive Committee. George brings Native American heritage to our board.


His accomplishments include spearheading development of our facilities including the creation of the ADA-accessible O’Keefe Memorial Garden. He also chaired a multi-agency effort creating Summer Camps for people with autism at Oral Hull Foundation for the Blind. More than 260 persons were served in a three-year span. In fitting tribute to his accomplishments, our recreation building was named Morgan Hall in his honor in 2008.


George was born in southwest Washington and spent much of his youth in Springfield, Oregon on farms or in logging camps. In 1944, he left high school and joined the Navy Submarine Service as a torpedo man. He served in combat in the South Pacific. When he returned to Portland after World War II, he entered the insurance field and rose to become a partner in Walrad Insurance in Gresham from which he retired in 1989. Among other activities, he has served for many years on the Board of Directors of the Mt. Hood Community College Foundation where he chaired the annual golf tournament which has raised multiple thousands of dollars to benefit the college. He is also still active professionally serving on the Board of Directors of Clackamas County Bank, the oldest community bank in Oregon. George is also active in his support and recently donated money to upgrade the gazebo at Oral Hull Retreat Center; but he did not stop at a cash donation. He donned his work clothes and wielded a paint brush to restore the gazebo.


George Morgan’s unwavering commitment and excellence on behalf of Oral Hull Foundation has made life better for countless blind individuals and therefore made life better for the whole community.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, April 30th, 2013 at 1:21 pm and is filed under Abeyance. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

(New 01-03-16)

Missouri WW2 NMCG Casualty List – H Surnames

HIMMELMANN, Leroy Rudolph, Torpedoman’s Mate 2c, USN. Wife, Mrs. Eva Himmelmann, 5307 N. Union, St. Louis.

HOOD, Earl Verner, Torpedoman’s Mate 1c, USNR. Parents, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Harmon Hood, Rt. 2, Parma.

 

HUGHART, Robert Edwin, Torpedoman’s Mate 2c, USN. Mother, Mrs. Alice Hughart, 7464 Warner Ave., Richmond Heights, St. Louis.

(New 01-03-16)

 

On Eternal Patrol - Lomon Bruce Crane

Sailor Rest Your Oar

Lomon Bruce Crane

Lomon Bruce Crane

 Purple Heart

Rank/Rate

Torpedoman's Mate, Third Class

Service Number

656 95 71

Birth Date

November 3, 1919

From

Lowell, North Carolina

Decorations

Purple Heart

Submarine

USS Tullibee (SS-284)

Loss Date

March 26, 1944

Location

North of Pelews

Circumstances

Sunk by circular run of own torpedo

Remarks

Lomon was born is Murphy, North Carolina.

Photo and information courtesy of Paul W. Wittmer.

(New 08-26-15)

Gene Slover's New Guestbook

Leon Burnett Chief Torpedoman

Sailor Rest Your Oar

My Uncle, Leon Burnett, was the Chief Torpedoman on the USS Cassin Young DD793 at commissioning in Dec.1943, until 1945 when it returned from the Okinawa campaign in WW2. The ship took a kamikaze hit VERY close to his battle station,and I am surprised that he managed to survive it, the good lord was surely smiling on Uncle Leon that day. There were 22 crewmen lost in that hit, including members of his torpedo gang. Lee passed away a few years back, but my memories of the stories that he came home with live on.

(New 08-26-15)

Connecticut Obituary Collection - 17

Cecil Craft  Torpedo Man, First/Class

Sailor Rest Your Oar

Cecil "Chris" Craft, age 74, husband of the late Rita (Rhea) Craft of 13 Albert Road, Danbury, formerly of Newtown, died Sunday, August 29, 1999, in Ashlar of Newtown.

He was born in Oyster Bay, NY, on April 16, 1925, son of the late Cecil and Margaret Ann (Clemens) Craft.

Mr. Craft enlisted in the US Navy in 1943 and served on destroyers in the Pacific Theater during World War II and the Korean War. He was the recipient of several battle stars. He retired from the Navy with the rank of Torpedo Man, First/Class in 1962.

Mr. Craft moved to Newtown following his discharge from the Navy and was hired as a Stationary Engineer at the power plant of Fairfield Hills Hospital, a position he held for 15 years. More recently he was employed as a courier for Newtown Savings Bank.

One of his favorite pastimes was ballroom dancing.

He is survived by two sons, Christopher Craft of Brookfield and Timothy Craft of Southbury, 2 brothers, Edgar Campbell of Scarsdale, NY and George Campbell of Kingston, NY and a granddaughter, Cristen L. Craft.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Rose of Lima Church Thursday, Sept. 2, 1999, at 10 a.m. Cremation will follow. Friends may call at the Honan Funeral Home, 58 Main Street, Newtown, Wednesday from 7 to 9 p.m. Contributions may be made to Ashlar of Newtown, P.O. Box 5505, Newtown, CT 06470.

(New 08-26-15)

10 WWII veterans from the Carolinas decorated with France’s highest honor [fr]

In order to express France’s eternal gratitude to those who liberated it from oppression from 1944-45, the Consul General of France in Atlanta, Denis Barbet, bestowed the Legion of Honor upon 10 American WWII Veterans from North Carolina during a ceremony on July 11, 2014 in Charlotte, NC.

Founded by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802, the National Order of the Legion of Honor is the highest honor in France. It recognizes eminent services to the French Republic. Recipients of this honor are designated by the President of the Republic, François Hollande.

The following veterans were decorated with this prestigious award in recognition of their courage:

Lynn Aulick from Matthews, NC (Torpedoman’s Mate Second Class, MTB Squadron 34)

(New 08-26-15)

North Carolina WW2 NMCG Casualty List - C Surnames - Access ...

Sailors Rest Your Oars

CALDWELL, Broadus Montoe, Torpedoman’s Mate 3c, USNR. Mother, Mrs. Mollie Caldwell, Smyre, Gastonia.

CRANE, Lemon Bruce, Torpedoman’s Mate 3c, USNR. Parents Mr. And Mrs. Spencer Crane, Woodlawn Station, Lowell.

(New 08-26-15)

Search Results (+race:Hispanic) : Veterans History Project ...

Acevedo, Joseph Walter

Torpedoman's Mate Third Class, Navy Veteran
World War II, 1939-1945 - San Diego Naval Training Station, California; New Guinea; Australia
Digitized content includes: video recording(s), photos  View Digital Collection

 

Image of Joseph Walter Acevedo

War: World War, 1939-1945
Branch: Navy
Unit: USS Euryale (AS 22); USS Clytie (AS 26)
Service Location: San Diego Naval Training Station, California; New Guinea; Australia
Rank: Torpedoman's Mate Third Class

(New 08-25-15)

WORLD WAR II VETERANS

VETERANS OF WORLD WAR II
From Crittenden County, Kentucky

A local group is trying to compile a complete list of all Crittenden County veterans who served during World War II. If you know anyone from Crittenden County whose name is not on this list, contact Lucy Tedrick at 965-3269. If there are any names spelled incorrectly or where middle names are omitted, please advise. You may also email updates to sislucy@pngusa.net
 

Updated Dec. 31, 2004


Walker, Doyle O.  Torpedoman 3/C   Navy 1943-46 
Submarine  in the Atlantic Fleet  

(New 08-25-15)

Obituaries — Page County

Eutaw J. Rodgers

Sailor Rest Your Oar

Eutaw James Rodgers, 91, of Elkton, died on Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012, in Suffolk.

He was born on May 15, 1921, and was a son of the late James Thomas Rodgers and Ada Shook Rodgers.

Mr. Rodgers was a member of the Mount Olivet Christian Church and served in the U.S. Navy during World War II in the South Pacific, where he earned two battle stars as a gunner’s mate, torpedoman and as a ship cook. He was a member of Gooden Brothers VFW Post 9292. He worked for Berry Lumber Supply in Harrisonburg, John Lindsey in Harrisonburg and was a carpenter in Washington, D.C., for R.W. Bolling Co. He was self-employed for two years following retirement.

On Nov. 8, 1941, he married Mildred Dean Rodgers, who died on March 9, 2010.

He is survived by three sons, James McArthur Rodgers of Smithfield, Douglas Eutaw Rodgers of Florida, and Chauncey Eugene “Chick” Rodgers of Harrisonburg; one brother, John Rodgers of Shenandoah; two grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by four brothers, Franklin, Chauncey, Paul and Chester Rodgers.

A funeral service was conducted on Friday, Dec. 21, at the Kyger Funeral Home Chapel in Elkton by Pastor Wayne Wright. Burial was in the Mount Olivet Cemetery in McGaheysville with graveside rites by the Gooden Brothers VFW Post 9292.
Online condolences may be sent to the family at
www.kygers.com.

(New 08-22-15)

WWII Casualties Grundy Co. TN

World War II Remembered
American Heroes
By:
Janelle Layne Taylor  and Willene Nunley Campbell

Torpedoman's Mate, 1st Class, William L. Jossi

Sailor Rest Your Oar
    Torpedoman's Mate, 1st Class, William L. Jossi was born to William J. and Mary Bobo Jossi on February 14, 1908, in Tracy City. His father, who was of Swiss ancestry, ran a butcher shop and was a salesman. William was lost at sea Thursday, July 12, 1945. He was memorialized at the Manila American Cemetery at Fort Bonifacio, Manila, Philippines, but also has a marker at the Tracy City Cemetery.

He received the Purple Heart. Nellie M. Jossi Anderson, wife of John A. Anderson, was William's sister and only sibling.
ID # 02951900
(Source: US military records, William Ray Turner, Anna Goforth)

(New 08-22-15)

tapsreesbros

Edward A. Kycia 

 Obituary

Sailor Rest Your Oar

 Torpedo Man 3/C, passed away November 7, 2011, was a survivor of the Okinawa Battle on April 16, 1945. He was awarded the Combat Action Ribbon, Presidential Unit Citation, American Theater Medal, World War II Victory Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, and the Philippine Liberation Ribbon.

Darrell W. Stein

Sailor Rest Your Oar

    Passed away May 6, 2003.  Veteran of WWII, TM2/c.  Placed ship in commission and was on board 16 April 1945.

     Posted 11 May 2003

(New 08-21-15)

 INDEX TO ROANE COUNTY, TENNESSEE WORLD WAR II VETERANS

JOHNSON, KINDRED BERNELLE

Sailor Rest Your Oar

Torpedoman's Mate 1c U.S. Navy

Hometown: Harriman, TN

KILLED IN ACTION [OFFICIAL STATUS]

(New 08-21-15)

History of Platte County - by M. Curry

CHIEF TORPEDOMAN'S MATE ROBERT JOHN BROCKMAN

Sailor Rest Your Oar

Robert John Brockman, Chief Torpedoman's Mate, United States Navy, was born in Leigh, Nebraska, on November 25, 1919, and met death aboard the submarine U.S.S. Trout when it was sunk in Pacific waters by the enemy in April, 1944.

Robert was the son of Ernest A. Brockman of Columbus, Nebraska, and Bess Klabens Brockman, deceased, and the grandson of Henry Brockman of Monroe, Nebraska. He had two brothers, Richard E. Brockman and Ralph Brockman, both in the United States Navy.

After the death of his mother, Robert John Brockman lived for a time near Monroe with his grandparents, and attended school there. He then transferred to the Omaha schools, where he was graduated from high school in 1938. After his graduation, he entered the United States Navy, and served for three years prior to World War II.

In cooperation with the crew of the submarine, U.S.S. Trout, during World War II, as chief torpedoman's mate, Robert J. Brockman rendered invaluable assistance to his commanding officer in the conduct of inshore attacks against the enemy. He was exceptionally skilled in maintaining torpedoes and torpedo tubes in a high state of readiness, and by his cool courage and aggressive determination, he contributed materially to the sinking of five enemy ships and the destruction of several thousand additional tons of enemy shipping, including a hostile aircraft carrier.

Chief Torpedoman's Mate Robert John Brockman lost his life aboard the submarine U.S.S. Trout, in April, 1944, when the submarine was sunk during battle in enemy-controlled waters of the Shino-Ashizuri Saki area.

His citations, awarded posthumously, included the Purple Heart, the facsimile and ribbon bar with star of the President's Unit Citation awarded to the submarine U.S.S. Trout for outstanding performance in combat during numerous highly successful patrols in enemy waters, and the Bronze Star medal.

Chief Torpedoman's Mate Robert John Brockman was a member of the Lutheran Church. He was baptized in Columbus by Reverend Richard Neumarker.

(New 08-21-15)

OKLAHOMA WAR MEMORIAL-WORLD WAR I1

 

J.W. Baker, Torpedoman Third Class

Sailor Rest Your Oar

 

Mike Harbin, Torpedoman's Mate Third Class

Sailor Rest Your Oar

(New 08-21-15)

HyperWar: US Reuben James (DD-245) Casualty Report: Sinking ...


 
NM7/Y1 (ju)
P6/00/MM

THE RECEIVING SHIP AT NEW YORK
PIER 92 W. 52nd STREET
NEW YORK, NEW YORK

 

December 5, 1941.

From:

The Commanding Officer.

To:

The Chief of the Bureau of Navigation.
     (Detail Officer, Enlisted Personnel Section)

 

 

Subject:

Personnel of U.S.S. Reuben James.

 

 

Enclosure:

(A) List of Survivors of the U.S.S. Reuben James Disaster of October 31, 1941.
(B) List of Dead of the U.S.S. Reuben James Disaster of October 31, 1941.

1.       In connection with the list of the survivors and the list of those lost on the Reuben James, which was recently forwarded, all survivors of the Reuben James disaster have reported to this Receiving Ship with the exception of THOMPSON, James C., Sea.2c., USN, 300-43-32, and TURNBULL, Thomas P., E.M.2c., USN, 223-53-96, both of whom were seriously injured.

2.       Enclosures (A) and (B) are forwarded herewith. Enclosure (A) shows the addresses of all men on leave, which address is indicated by a check mark preceding the address. Pertinent remarks have been added to Enclosure (B) that may give additional information to that already on file in the Bureau.

3.       A copy of the information contained in Enclosures (A) and (B) has been retained in the files of this Receiving Ship.

SURVIVORS OF THE USS REUBEN JAMES DISASTER
OF OCTOBER 31st, 1941

HOWARD, Robert Joseph, Torpedoman 3c, USN, #234-19-64 (Rescued)

Enlisted May 3, 1939, at Buffalo, New York.
Home address: #229 Hagen St., Buffalo, New York.
Next of kin: Father, Ernest Perry Oweard, 229 Hagen St., Buffalo, N.Y.

LIST OF PERSONNEL LOST WHEN THE USS REUBEN JAMES
WAS TORPEDOED AND SUNK ON OCTOBER 31, 1941.

COX, Charles Beacon, Chief Torpedoman (AA), U.S. Navy.

FLYNN, William Aloysius, Torpedoman second class, U.S. Navy.

REID, Lee Louis N., Torpedoman first class, Class V-6, U.S. Naval Reserve.

(New 08-20-15)

Lawrence Richard Kockler

Sailor Rest Your Oar

Posted on Wednesday 4 July 2012


Lawrence Richard Kockler
Torpedoman’s Mate, First Class
Age: 25
Birthplace: New Haven, Connecticut
Marital status: Married
Acknowledgements: Betty Kockler, sister; Frank L. Kockler, brother; William Kockler, brother; Chris Day, The Daily Advance, Elizabeth City, NC; Richard Rainey, The Day, New London, CT; Jennifer L. Durham, Journalist; Richard Tambling, Journal Inquirer, Manchester, CT

Lawrence Richard “Larry” Kockler was born in New Haven, Connecticut on January 16, 1917, the oldest of seven children born to William and Flora (Lawrence) Kockler. He enlisted in the Navy at age 17 ½ on October 10, 1935 at the Navy Recruiting Station, New Haven, Connecticut because he wanted to travel.

He was a paper boy before he enlisted. He asked to be trained as a Machinist’s Mate. In his service record under “Special Qualifications” at the Naval Training Station, Newport, Rhode Island, was the notation “Good at any sport.”

After training, he reported aboard the battleship U.S.S. Tennessee (BB-43) at San Pedro, California on March 4, 1936. After two years he asked to be transferred to submarine school at Submarine Base New London, Connecticut. There he received Torpedoman Third Class training and graduated on August 22, 1938. He transferred to Pearl Harbor for assignment and on November 25, 1938, boarded the submarine U.S.S. S-28 (SS-133) for duty. He was appointed Torpedoman Third Class on May 16, 1939. He received further torpedo training at Pearl Harbor and transferred to the submarine U.S.S. Porpoise (SS-172) on June 6, 1939; In February 1941 he became Torpedoman First Class. Four months later he transferred to the submarine U.S.S. Perch (SS-176) while in the Philippine Islands. He was honorably discharged on November 1, 1941 in San Francisco, California.

On December 8, 1941, the day after the Pearl Harbor attack, he wrote to the Navy, requesting reenlistment for submarine duty. He wrote, “I would like to get back to Manila, P.I., if such a thing is possible, otherwise New London, Connecticut or any other submarine base for submarine duty.” He was accepted and reenlisted for four years as Torpedoman’s Mate First Class on December 23, 1941 at the Naval Recruiting Station, New Haven, Connecticut. He served briefly on the submarine U.S.S. S-20 (SS-125) and then on January 9, 1942, he boarded the U.S.S. Grunion during its fitting out and became a permanent member of the crew at its commissioning on April 11, 1942.

On May 16, 1942 he married Vera L. Sherry eight days before the U.S.S. Grunion sailed for Pearl Harbor. On October 14, 1942, Larry’s father, who at the time was working at the Victory Yard in New London, wrote the Navy, “Will you please advise me if there is any hope of my son returning? My wife and his wife are very ill over the telegram and I can’t seem to ease their hearts in any way.”

In October, 1943, Larry’s wife Vera wrote Catherine Abele to let her know that she had written the Red Cross in an attempt to locate her husband. They notified her that word had been received from Washington that Lawrence was not on any casualty list and was presumed to be a prisoner, and they were still checking this in hopes of finding definite proof. Vera wrote, “Little as it is, it gives a bit more hope to the possibility that they may be alive somewhere. Although, from the very start I have always had the feeling that he would come home.”

When the telegram arrived, his sister Betty was there to receive it. She called her mother at work, but was told not to open it and to go on to school and that she would open it when she got home. Betty said, “Of course my mother immediately left work, as she must have had an idea what the telegram was. She was right; it was that telegram saying Lawrence was ‘missing in action.’” Her brother Bill recalls the day the little flag hanging in their window was switched to a gold star which indicated Lawrence was declared “killed in action.”

Sixty five years later, Betty was visiting her brother Bill when together they saw on television that Grunion had been located. She said, “We never really thought it would be found.”

In August 1, 2009 the Kockler family gathered to honor him as his memorial marker was placed by his mother’s grave site in New Center Cemetery, North Haven, Connecticut. Buried beneath his memorial marker is the vial of water from Grunion’s resting place, along with photographs of him, and the newspaper article when he first was reported as “missing.” Lawrence Richard Kockler died on his mother’s birthday.

(New 08-19-15)

Henry Peter Lobeck

Sailor Rest Your Oar

Henry Peter Lobeck

 

 On Eternal Patrol - Lost Submariners of World War II

Rank/Rate

Torpedoman's Mate, Third Class

Service Number

668 99 90

Birth Date

March 29, 1921

From

Kirkwood, Missouri

Decorations

 

Submarine

R-12 (SS-89)

Loss Date

June 12, 1943

Location

Off Key West, Florida

Circumstances

Foundered on a training mission

Remarks

Henry was born in Robertsville, Missouri.

Photo and information courtesy of Paul W. Wittmer.

(New 08-19-15)

VETERANS OF WWII FROM IRVING TOWNSHIP

Sailor Rest Your Oar

DONNIVAN LeROY STURGEON,  Chief Torpedoman's Mate

 (New 08-19-15)
 

Bob Strehle, WWII Torpedoman

Bob Strehle served aboard the USS David W. Taylor during World War II as a torpedo-tube operator. The ship took out a Japanese submarine while she was coming to the aid of the USS Riddle.

 

Bob Strehle served aboard the USS David W. Taylor during World War II as a torpedo-tube operator. The ship took out a Japanese submarine while she was coming to the aid of the USS Riddle.

Ex-torpedoman recalls WWII service

BROOKSVILLE — Sharp-witted and on solid ground at his home here between Priceville and Somerville, 83-year-old Bob Strehle Sr. speaks of seas made rough, tumbling and deadly by World War II.

Two of the more significant events occurred on Independence Day. He knows of one as a matter of record. The other is personal.

On July 4, 1942, four months before he joined the Navy, workers launched the USS David W. Taylor (DD-551), a Fletcher-class destroyer he would ride as torpedoman first class for more than three years. It showed Strehle the world.

Until enlisting, a 360-mile ride to a Pillsbury Co. feed mill job in Clinton, Iowa, was his longest journey from hometown Omaha, Neb. He had boot camp at Great Lakes, Ill., torpedo school at Newport, R.I., and advanced torpedo school at San Diego.

Now, he was ready for his first trip south, to Chickasaw, where Gulf Shipbuilding Co. constructed the Taylor and prepared it for commissioning.

"We boarded Sept. 18, 1943," Strehle said. "We went from Mobile Bay to a fitting-out yard in Charleston, S.C., where we test fired our guns. We did a shakedown cruise to the Bahamas."

Popping every kernel of corn in Nebraska while fireworks went off in Omaha wouldn't have caused as much commotion as July 4, 1944, in the Pacific.

The Taylor traveled in a convoy of escort carriers and fleet oilers supporting the Marianas operation.

Trouble

Just past 5 p.m., the USS Riddle reported contact with an enemy submarine and called the Taylor for assistance.

"Destroyer escorts don't have depth charges. They fire small rockets called hedgehogs," Strehle said.

"They have 24 in a gang box and can fire them all at once. But their purpose is more for surface contact, such as a small fishing ship. We executed an emergency turn."

At 6:26 the Taylor fired an 11-pattern depth charge, six 325-pound teardrop-shaped charges — three from either side of the ship — and five 500-pound "ash cans" from the stern.

"There was an intense explosion. Two minutes later, we lost contact with the sub, then sighted an oil slick and debris," Strehle said.

The sunken vessel turned out to be the I-10, one of the large subs of a class called the I-Boat, superior in range and firepower to the best American subs of the Pacific fleet at the time the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.

During the heat of the Marianas campaign, submarine commander Admiral Sokichi Takagi moved his headquarters to Saipan to better manage the fleet.

The Japanese Navy sent the I-10 to rescue him. He committed suicide.

The mission wasn't over for the Taylor. On the morning of Jan. 5, 1945, she joined the bombardment of Chichi Jima in the Bonin Islands.

Shortly before 8, Strehle recalls a "terrific underwater explosion, probably a mine, that did considerable damage forward and flooding, trapping four men."

Officials ordered the Taylor to take a direct route to the nearest base.

"We couldn't go forward. We backed alone to Saipan. Traveling at about 5 knots top speed, it took us three days," Strehle said.

"We entered a portable dry dock about noon Jan. 8. After the water drained out of our ship, we went into the magazine and retrieved the four sailors. We buried them in the Second Marine Cemetery on Saipan. They were our ship's only losses of the war."

Strehle said he joined the Navy because of a cousin who served on the USS Marblehead, a cruiser.

"It got sunk from under him and he came home," Strehle said. "He told me that there is one thing about the Navy, 'You've got three square meals and a clean bed to sleep in every night. You might have to swim a little bit. But you ain't crawling around in the mud.' "

Strehle and four brothers served during the war.

"Jack, Bernard and I were on subs," he said.

"Phil was on a PT boat. Frank, who lives in Chula Vista, Calif., served about four months in the Air Force before getting an honorable discharge. He is 6 feet 6 inches tall, weighs 240 pounds and wears a size 16 shoe. They told him, 'You're very good, but we can't use you. We're not sure we're gonna have clothes and shoes to fit you all the time.' "

What came afterwards

The Navy discharged Strehle on Jan. 12, 1946. He married his wife, Sally, that summer. He held several management positions for Pillsbury and other companies before arriving in Decatur in 1974 as plant manager of ConAgra flourmill.

"I put a snow shovel on my shoulder and walked down Sixth Avenue," he said. "Someone walked up and said, 'What in the world is that?' I said a snow shovel. He said, 'I never saw one of them.' And I said, 'That's why I want to stay.' "

Ronnie Thomas
rthomas@decaturdaily.com

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United States Navy Submarine Tenders USS Proteus AS 19

Torpedoman A. 0. TORKILDSON, U.S. Navy - Shop Superintendent, Steam Torpedoes

Torpedoman J. C. WIEGMAN, US. Navy - Shop Superintendent, Torpedo Tubes

  Actual overhaul of steam torpedoes was commenced on 27 March 1941, and was maintained on a continuous basis until 14 August 1945 except for periods when the vessel was underway. Overhaul of electric torpedoes was commenced on a small scale in April 1944. During the period from March 1944 until August 1945 a total of 1,296 different torpedoes was handled by the U.S.S. PROTEUS. 1,161. torpedoes received complete overhauls, and 910 warshot torpedoes were loaded aboard submarines for war patrols. Torpedoes were loaded on or off 83 different submarines. 218 exercise torpedoes were fired.

      During the initial "refit training" period during March and April 1944, the : U.S.S. PROTEUS, overhauled 71 steam torpedoes. One submarine was given a complete load of steam warshots, and 9 steam exercise torpedoes were fired. Five electric exercise torpedoes were fired with poor results, two being lost.

      During the 7 months the U.S.S. PROTEUS was at Midway, 466 torpedoes were completely overhauled. A program of extensive exercise firings was carried out, 94 steam torpedoes and 40 Mark 18 torpedoes were fired both for submarine training and torpedo testing purposes. The overhaul of Mark 18 torpedoes was placed on an equal basis with steam torpedoes in August, when the first full load of electric torpedoes was loaded aboard the U.S.S. PAMPANIT0 (SS383).

      The torpedo Tube Repair Shop under th direction of Torpedoman J. C. WEIGMAN, U.S. Navy performed complete tube refits on all submarines tended by the U.S.S. PROTEUS. A program of shutter alteration was carried out at this time with considerable success.

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Robert V. Courtet

Sailor Rest Your Oar

1922 - 2015 | Obituary Condolences

Robert V. Courtet, 92, of Annville, PA passed away Friday, February 27, 2015 in the M.S. Hershey Medical Center from complications of the Flu.

Born September 6, 1922 in Fontenais, Switzerland, he was a son of the late Camille and Laure (Steiger) Courtet and the widower of Catherine (Corbett) Courtet. He was also preceded in death by a son Robert V. Courtet, Jr., son-in-law Mark Eastom, sister Laure, brothers John and Camille Courtet.

Raised in Morris Plains, NJ, Bob graduated from Morristown High School in 1942 and enlisted in the U.S. Navy. Bob was a proud WWII veteran. He served as Torpedoman First Class aboard the USS Yorktown CV-10 from its commissioning in April 1943 until the end of the war. During his service the Yorktown earned 11 Battle Stars and the Presidential Unit Citation.

After the War, Bob returned to Morris Plains, joining his father and brothers in the painting business. Bob and his wife Catherine settled in the Brookside section of Mendham Township where they raised six children. He built his own successful painting contracting business and was especially proud of providing many high school and college students with their first job. He used these employment opportunities to not only teach job skills and work ethics, but also to tell his stories that often included life lessons. Bob treasured the time spent with his grandchildren. He also enjoyed woodworking, taking walks, reading, USS Yorktown CV-10 reunions, and telling a good story.

Bob was a member of the Brookside Volunteer Fire Company in New Jersey and a charter member of the Mendham Township First Aid Squad. Additionally he was a member of the Yorktown CV-10 Association in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, The Painting and Decorators Association of America, and the VFW.

Surviving are his children Patricia (Greg) Mattson of Atlanta, GA, Barbara Eastom of St. Paul, MN, Carole Cremo of Mechanicsburg, PA, Susanne and Jamie Cifuentes of Annville, PA, and Jeffrey (Meredith) Courtet of Waxhaw, NC; seven grandchildren Christie Cremo, Jamie Cremo, John Cremo, Nikolai Cremo, Aleksei Cremo, Luke Cifuentes, and Erik Cifuentes, caregiver Belinda Hoffman, and many nieces and nephews.

A Memorial Service will be held at a later date at the USS Yorktown in Mt. Pleasant, SC. Memorial contributions may be made to Kids Across America, PO Box 930, Branson, MO 65615 or the USS Yorktown CV-10 Association, PO Box 1021, Mt. Pleasant, SC 29465.
Share condolences at BuseFuneralHome.com

Published on Pennlive.com and in The Patriot-News on Mar. 3, 2015

- See more at: http://obits.pennlive.com/obituaries/pennlive/obituary.aspx?pid=174299143#sthash.c5FLvm3E.dpuf

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Shipmates

The NAF China Lake & VX-5 Roster includes names that have been submitted by other shipmates and is sketchy at best. You're welcome to e-Mail me with additions, corrections etc.

Shipmates and Memorial. Last updated

Let us not forget:

Sailor Rest Your Oar

    January 21, 1948 - U.S. Navy Chief Torpedoman Wilber K. Smith lost his life
when an air compressor exploded on "G" Range, Area "R".

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USS Gainard (DD 706) Crew List

Name

Rank/Rate

Period

Division

Remarks/Photo

Sailor Rest Your Oar

Mlynarski, Milton

PO1

1944 – 1946

Torpedoman First Class

Remarks/Photo

This is my father who is now deceased. He served in WW2 Atlantic and Pacific, and was with the occupation force of Honshu.

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In Memoriam - Washburn Lawyer, v. 44, no. 2 (Summer 2006)

Phillip S. Mellor, Torpedoman's Mate WWII

Sailor Rest Your Oar

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Ancestors of Darrell Arthur Gusner

Generation No. 1

 Darrell Arthur Gusner, Torpedoman

1. Darrell Arthur Gusner, born in Bakersfield, Kern County, California. He was the son of 2. John Overton Gusner and 3. Ollie Mayberry. He married (1) Lorama Bell Malone December 26, 1959 in Cambria, California.

Notes for Darrell Arthur Gusner:

Darrell obtained his degrees in physics and chemistry with graduate work in business applied research. He spent 25 years working directly with the US government in highly classified areas associated with submarine warfare.

He formed his own company, Integrated Scientific Systems, and for more than 10 years provided direct on site real time support for all submarines in the Atlantic fleet, designed and developed analysis work for all submarines in the Pacific fleet. His work was also the focus of SATO treaty relations with the Royal Australian Navy. His original design work formed the first successful attempt to provide uniform systems evaluation and certification of complete submarine weapon systems that had ever been achieved. His work, spanning more than 25 years, involved him at the highest levels of the US Navy from Secretary of the Navy to Torpedoman, working in forward torpedo rooms. His expertise in systems analysis, weapon systems and instrumented tracking systems or reconstruction of exercise beneath the North Pole ice caps was termed by the Royal Australian Navy as being the best kept secret in the US Navy.

Notes for Lorama Bell Malone:

There were 17 years of good marriage, then a most painful divorce. Lorama studied hard and obtained her PhD in psychology. She was employed by the California State Prison systems.

(New 08-17-15)

Post AU01 JULY 2014 NEWSLETTER.pdf

Eugene McCarty, Torpedoman, USS Downes in WWll

Sailor Rest Your Oar

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