USS SLC...USN...George N. Barritt, GM3c
George N. Barritt passed away on Nov. 16th, 2009. Information from niece, Dee Russell
Nov. 18th, 2009
George N. Barritt was a crew member of the U.S.S. WEST VIRGINIA on Dec. 7th, 1941.
After the W. VA sunk, he and others from that ship got to shore where some Marines gave them dry clothes. They sat outside, not wanting to be inside in case they were bombed again, and although he had dry clothes, all he had to eat were some raisins. Then they were all rounded up and went aboard the SLC, which was probably not more than a day or so later. He said he was just happy to get off Pearl Harbor and onto a ship again, especially since there was food on board!
He was a Seaman 2nd class on the W. VA, but on the SLC became a GM3c on the #4 turret. The SLC was the only other ship he was on for the remainder of his service at sea. Toward the end of the war, he was sent to Washington state from the SLC to travel by train to San Diego to gunnery school, but just as he finished up school, the war ended.
He mentioned to his family that one of his good friends was
J. Roy Stones, GM2c, who was also on the #4 turret, and he told a couple of stories about
Warren E. "Pappy" Wells, Jr., CBM. He commented, "There were some really good guys on that ship." He also recalled that the W. VA was a spit and polish, very much by the regulations ship, but he could go barefoot on the SLC if he wanted to and seemed to be much happier with that attitude!
George was born 17 Feb 1921 in Princeton, Missouri. After the war he worked as a lineman for a couple of different power companies until he got too old to be climbing poles in, as he put it "the freezing ass cold" out on the plains of Kansas and Colorado.
The family recently donated George's picture and a neatly pressed and preserved dress uniform to a museum in Woodward, OK. They had uniforms from every branch of the military except the Navy and they were thrilled to get that one. The uniform was still neatly pressed, turned inside out and packaged away in plastic with the medals still on it, still shining. When the family told Uncle George that the museum now had his uniform, he couldn't believe that anyone would want it, but he was actually quite pleased that it would be permanently displayed along with his picture.
After his wife Rotina died in 1983 he lived alone in Lamar, CO., until he fell and broke his pelvis about 8 months ago. After hospitalization, he had to go into a skilled nursing facility because he just wouldn't hear about living with family members. He did have friends in a really pleasant nursing home in Holly, Colorado, so it was decided to let him stay there. He was a favorite of the nurses, even though they tried to clean up his language without much success. Once a sailor, always a sailor!
#21 in 4th Division, 1943-1945 picture from Lloyd Wilbur
SLC Deck Logs Dec. 1941