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07DEC41 USS Oklahoma, my grandpa's Navy papers and more

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Fantastic family group! Thanks for sharing. I hope you had plenty of time to get all the living history, your grandpa had to offer. I can tell from his writings he had a nice, dry sense of humor. What town in ND was he from? My dad spent his first 12 years in ND a mile from the Canadian border before his dad moved them from the extended family farm to MN. That part your grandpa wrote about the Oklahoma sinking a freight train got me wondering-- did they knock out a trestle or what? Here's that and some other Oklahoma trivia-

 

https://newsok.com/article/2632948/states-battleship-forged-many-firsts

 

 

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I looked into the train sinking a long time ago. I'm a little fuzzy on it, but I seem to recall reading when they were leaving the East Cost to go to the West coast a train did go off a bridge at that same time. Grandpa was from Breckenridge N.D. About two years before he passed I helped him move to the Fargo area and we stopped at all of his old stomping grounds on the way. Before the war he was with the CCC and worked on the restoration of Ft. Abercrombie near Wahpeton N.D. I guess the CCC was a two year deal and he told me he enlisted in the Navy because it was the only place that offered three hots and a cot and some money once a month. He liked knowing the galley was open 24/7. He never talked about the war except for one time. I interviewed him for a high school history project on Pearl Harbor. We used to go to the beach when I was a kid and Grandpa would never go in the water. Dad said it was he couldn't swim, but one day Grandpa told me the truth. He said his friends were buried there and he just couldn't go in the ocean. My Grandparents slept in different rooms because his nightmares were so bad that thrashing around caused my grandma injury. Everything else I know came from tracking down ships history"s after he passed and story's from my dad. Of all of his brothers and sisters I only met one of his brothers, Lars and his wife. All of them including my Grandma and Dad are at the Riverside National Cemetery.

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Grandpa told me after he found out this would mean a cut in pay he passed on it. Time in grade payed better.

post-169522-0-80858200-1546886783.jpg

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I remember the other thread, but wanted to say that your grandfather had a lucky career; survived the Oklahoma, and got off the Helena before it was sunk. It's great you have so many records and reminders of his life.


***WANTED*** Uniforms to Pearl Harbor Survivors.

Wanted: USN uniforms to Pearl Harbor survivors & WWII sunk ship survivors. http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/index.php?/topic/264131-wanted-uniforms-to-pearl-harbor-and-sunk-ships-survivors/

 

WANTED - seriously interested in named Chief/Senior/Master TORPEDOMAN USN uniforms from the 1950s-1960s-1970s, and named USN jumpers or CPO coats from WWII. http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/index.php?/topic/321179-wanted-torpedoman-uniforms-named-1920s-1970s/

 

"All Torpedoes running Hot, Straight and Normal."

donation2015.gifdonation2016.gif

 

 

 

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Wonderful history and group. It's great that you're the guardian of your grandpa's Navy legacy. I will be sure and pay my respects to him next time I'm at Riverside.

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Just to add some detail to the grouping. Your GP enlisted in 1940. He was originally, a Shipfitter, (Metalsmith, welder, plumber Damage Controlman). He became a Pipefitter (Plumber), when that was made a separate rate. Reverted back to Shipfitter, when Pipefitter was folded back into the Shipfitter rate. Made Chief Petty Officer in 1956. In 1960, after 20 years of active duty, he transferred th the FLEET RESERVE. This is NOT the Navy Reserve. The Fleet Reserve is a List that we Transfer to at the end of 20 years. We draw a pension (officially called Retainer Pay). It is supposed to be a pool of Old Hands that can be recalled immediately in emergencies. For all intents and purposes, youre retired. Ten years later, on the 30 year anniversary of your Active Duty Start Date, you are officially moved to the Retired List. But, for that 10 years, you are NOT in the Reserves. You dont report to anyone, attend drills, do not attend summer training.

 

The assorted discharges are because at the end of each enlistment, you must be discharged in order to re-enlist. When you Ship Over, they hand you all your discharge papers ( they have a code on them that says For immediate Reenlistment). Then slide your Shipping Over papers to you and a pen to sign up again. Always good for a bit of humor ?.

 

Any way, beautiful display! He sounds like a great Old Sailor. Thank you for sharing.

 

Steve.

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