Seaman Ist. Class
In 1946, at the age of 17, I enlisted into the United States Navy. Boot camp training was at Great Lakes, Illinois. After that I went to the Torpedo Station in Key Port, Washington. My job there was to chase torpedoes from an electrified fired submarine and to retrieve them when they surfaced and return them to the submarine.
Six months later I was shipped to Guam and then 2 months later Saipan and Tinian in the Mariana Islands, next to Saipan, my job was doing military security. For 9 months I was assigned to the liquor warehouse, which supplied all the liquors to everyone on the islands. My job was to make sure no illegal entries were made into the warehouse. Also, when not on watch duty I tended bar for the officers at their clubhouse 2-3 nights a week. I earned $2.00 – $4.00 per night. My other duty was to transport, by semi-truck, the liquors from the incoming ships to the warehouse.
Also while on Saipan, our security department of all services discovered the locations of 9 Japanese soldiers that had been hiding on the island. They were asked to surrender, 5 did, and 4 did not.
When my time on Saipan was over after 18 months, I was transferred stateside for 30 days of liberty. After that I was assigned to the USS Toledo CA 133, which was a heavy cruiser. This ship toured all the southern ports of the Pacific, including Nagasaki, where the Atom Bomb was dropped. I saw the only 1 building that had remained standing that was over 5-feet tall in the center of the city, everything else was flattened because of the bomb.
While on board I was a Seaman “deck ape” in Division 4. One of my duties included being a pointer on a 5″ gun during 1st alerts. Otherwise my normal duties included chipping, painting and maintenance on board to help keep the ship in good condition. I also would stand at least 4 hours every 24 hours every day as part of the sections duty watch schedule.
I was discharged from San Francisco, CA on February 8, 1950. There was a Naval Code, “al nav 116″, which stated that if you had in more than 2 years of service and less than 1 year remaining to serve, and had an allotment going home, then you were eligible for discharge. I took it” I then served an extra 4 years on inactive Naval Reserve duty.
I now belong to the USS Toledo CA 133 Association, VFW and The American Legion.