Daddy joined the NAVY in 1939 when he was 17. He lied about his age as many did at that time. He was assigned to the USS LOUISVILLE until after WW ll. In December of 1939 he met my Mother who lived in Clifornia where the ship was based. In December 1940 the LOUISVILLE secretly transported $148 million in gold bullion from South Africa to New York City for safekeeping. The gold belonged to the Dutch & English. The NY papers carried a front page picture of the USS LOUISVILLE steaming past Lady Liberty with the caption that the ship was coming in for routine maintenance. On the way back from NY to California, They hit a big storm as my Father suffered with appendicitis. He ws strapped to the table so he would not roll off during the operation. The docor was also strapped to the table so he could work without holding on to the table as the ship rocked severely. Back in Long Beach, CA, Daddy was able to see Mama again. They started planning a wedding. But when the LOUISVILLE got orders for Pearl Harbor, they were forced to elope. They drove to Arizona. Just over the state line were houses with signs advertising marriages. They picked a house and woke up the Preacher. He in turn woke his wife and a man sleeping on the porch to be wittnesses. It was the middle of the night. It was May 24, 1941. They didn't see each other again until after the war had started.
Pearl Harbor was attacked December 7. 1941. The LOUISVILLE was not in the port that morning but she was not far away. The Japanese kept reporting that they had sunk the LOUISVILLE in addition to all of the ships in the Harbor. The LOUISVILLE had to maintain radio silence so the Japanese wouldnot be able to locate them. They zig-zaged around arriving back in Pearl Harbor 9 days after the attack. The harbor was still full of bodies floating about and it was a horrible sight. The next day Daddy was able to send a telegram to Mama that they had not been sunk. When the telegram arrived at the house, he brother brought it to her at work immediately. When my Mother saw him coming with the telegram, she fainted. The USS LOUISVILLE operated all over the Pacific during the war; the Solomon Islands, Gilbert & Marshall Islands, the Aleutian Islands, a battle off Rennell Island and bombardment of Kiska. The battles are too numerous to name. But the LOUISVILLE survived Kamikaze attacks and torpedo attacks. His ship was there when the flags were raised at Iwo Jima. And they were in Tokyo Bay when the Japanese surrendered.
Daddy served 22 years in the NAVY and All of his 8 girls are very proud of him. The 8 girls include his beautiful red haired wife, Marie and his 7 daughters; Linda, Marcia, Bonnie, Kathy, Joan, Susan & Peggy.