USS SLC...Enlisted Navy...John J. Allensworth, QM3c
John J. Allensworth passed away on Dec. 17th, 2014. Infor. from family member Terry Yri
Written by John J. Allensworth
The article about Chuck Westerman in the last SLC Newsletter really caught
my eye. We apparently have common experiences aboard the SLC.
I went into the Navy in Sept. of 1943 as an 18 year old. I spent the next
month at Farragut, Idaho Boot Camp, 3 weeks in quarantine for scarlet fever
and 6 months in Quartermaster School, leaving as S1c, QM Striker.
After 3 weeks at Camp Shoemaker near San Francisco, 3 of us QM graduates,
R. O. Kipp, QM3c, of Minnesota,
E. E. Kopanos S1c Striker, of San
Francisco, and myself joined the ship in dry-dock at Mare Island. I had
never seen an ocean before or any seagoing ships for that matter.
Getting back to the experiences in the article that caught my eye:
I remember the sudden unexpected roll of the ship at the mouth of the
Columbia River on Oct. 21, 1945. I had just been "volunteered" to go up
the mast and untangle the Flag. I was reaching out on the cross arm as far
as I could when the roll occurred. I looked down and saw only water
beneath me and the same on the roll back. Probably would have drowned if
I had fallen off into the ocean. We were moving at 20-25 knots and no one
in particular knew where I was.
My fingerprints were probably still on the mast when the SLC got to Bikini.
What a "grip" I had on that mast.
We had several hundred Army personnel on board as passengers and their
luggage was lost overboard as was one of the scout planes. I believe the
gun shields around the 5 inch guns were bent also.
Bringing back these Veterans as passengers was just the beginning, as we
became part of the "Magic Carpet Fleet" making several trips back to Guam
Later in 1946 with the SLC in San Pedro Bay, Long Beach, I was offered a
promotion from QM3c to 1c for the trip to Bikini and then to Chief QM if I
stayed in the Navy after Bikini. I politely declined the offer and became
a civilian again. Probably the wisest decision I ever made.
Very Truly Yours,
John J. Allensworth
SLC Deck Log Jun. 1944
#14 in small group of Shipmates
1973 SLC Reunion