World War II · US Navy · Admiral
The San Bernardino County Sun, 14 Dec 1969, Sun, Page 17
Remembering Admiral Spruance during his retirement.
In 1965, I was assigned to the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California as an enlisted Navy lifeguard. Over a period of about eight months it was my distinct honor to be on duty when then retired Admiral Spruance came to the pool for his frequent swims.
The Admiral was a strong swimmer, and would easily do a half mile. As an E-3, I was at first nervous (all capitals in bold) with the idea of being on the deck while one of the most respected Admirals in U.S. Naval history took his swim just like everyone else.
However, over the months, Admiral Spruance not only set my mind at easy being around him (well, mostly), but actually befriended me and a couple of the other lifeguards. I will never forget how he made me feel proud to be in the service of my nation, and offered his influence on my behalf.
Looking back on my five years of active duty, I consider the privilege of serving that great man in even my own humble capacity as an enlisted lifeguard as the highest of my honors.
Dennis D. Frey, ETR-2, 1964-1969