slc1-bowlin anchor
Robert B. Bowlin, MM1c
USS Salt Lake City CA25


USS SLC...Enlisted Navy...Robert B. Bowlin, MM1c

US FLAG Robert B. Bowlin passed away on October 9, 2013. Information from dau. Cindy Parker
Oct. 18th, 2001 Letter & Pictures

Dear Sandy,

We sure missed you at our reunion in Reno. I was hoping to meet you. You have done a marvelous job in setting up the SLC Website. There is a tremendous amount of information about our ship. I'm not sure I can add much more, but for what it's worth, I can tell you I spent 3 years of my life aboard her during the war.

I was born and raised in Toledo, OH. I went through high school, and then got a job at Haughton Elevator Co. where I worked in 1941 as a draftsman in the engineering department. Then the war came along and the Navy sounded good to me, so on Sept. 8th, 1942 I joined. I was sent to Great Lakes Training Center where I received a good 4 weeks of learning "Navy" ways. After 8 days leave, our Company was rushed out to the west coast and then to Pearl Harbor for further assignment.

On Thanksgiving Day, our group was split up to three different ships. As luck would have it, I went aboard the SLC, which was in dry-dock.

I have many great thoughts about the next 3 years on ship from the Battle of the Komandorskis through the end of the war.

I was assigned to the Engineering Division "A". Our battle station was in the mess hall where we waited for problems during battle requiring fire-fighting and repair duties.

Some pleasant thought are: We got to see a large part of the Pacific Ocean [with 2 cans of warm beer or coke on a sandy atoll somewhere out there].

We made lots of fresh water in the evaporators everyday needed for the ship's boilers. The evaporators were quite warm, but French fries and eggs were tasty [not always available].

I will always remember the great liberties we had on Attu. A barge would pick up liberty parties from each ship anchored in the harbor and then take us ashore to a Quansot Hut where we could imbibe in all the beer we could handle within a limited amount of time. Can you imagine the fun we had on that barge going back to our ships?

I received 9 battle stars and the Unit citation for the Komandorski Battle. The SLC is the only ship I served on, but I did spend 5 days on the SJ South American - Great Lakes on my honeymoon.

Best of luck to you and keep up the good work.

Bob & Betty Bowlin
#13 in A Division, 1944
#29 in A Division, 1945
SLC Deck Logs Nov. 1942  Jan. 1943

Bob attended the following SLC Reunions:   1973  1975  1981  1985  1987  1991  1993  2001  2002


on the SLC 1942

It happened right after Thanksgiving in 1942. I was with a group of recruits, fresh from the States that was assigned to the Salt Lake City in Pearl Harbor, (others were assigned to the Indianapolis, & I think to the Nashville). The Salt Lake was in dry dock being repaired from damages during the Savo Island & Cape Esperance battles.

What a sight for a bunch of new sailors to see! But, we were happy to have a new home after having been moved around from one spot to another since boot camp. Also, our mail could catch up with us along with a pay day.

After a few days, most of us started feeling ill & after reporting to sickbay, we were told to get our gear together & be transferred off the ship. What a sorry bunch!! They loaded us in trucks & sent up to a naval hospital not far from Pearl Harbor. There it was determined that some of us had the mumps & others the measles. I had the mumps & we were required to hit the sack for a week & not get up.

We were waited on hand & foot during this time. This was great, but after the 1st week, it was our turn to wait on new sick sailors for the second week.

We learned a lot about the Islands when in the hospital, especially the Hawaiian music. There were a couple of "old timers" that had guitars. This helped pass the time. But, during the second week, someone said, "look! our ship is leaving port!" Oh, no! we are stuck again! (the hospital was located on a hill where we could see the harbor). However, after a few days, the ship came back to port and we were relieved to see that. (the ship had gone out on a trial run).

Happy Day! We were sent back to our Ship! This was a start of a 3 year cruise for me & I am sure glad that I wasn't assigned to the Indianapolis. We all pray for all those that were and never got home.
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slc1-bowlin2 Bob Bowlin on a Delaware River Cruise
at the SLC's Aug. 1987 Philadelphia Reunion



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