Roy Leon Edwards
formerly known as
Roy Leon De Fluiter, Cox
USS Salt Lake City CA25


USS SLC...USN...Roy Leon De Fluiter, Cox

US FLAG Roy L. De Fluiter passed away on Jan. 5, 2002
Oct. 30th, 2001

Dear Sandy:

First and foremost I want to thank you for compiling this comprehensive list and web application about the USS Salt Lake City. I have browsed through its contents and can only imagine all the effort it has taken. Thank you so much for doing so.

I am writing to you on behalf of my father Roy Leon Edwards formerly known as Roy Leon De Fluiter. I am happy to report that although ill he is alive and happy living in Southern California. I would like to include some information, photos, etc. about him and I await your instructions as to how to go about it.

Roy Leon Edwards was born Roy Leon DeFluiter on July 10, 1923. On February 13, 1941 he enlisted as an Apprentice Seaman in the United States Navy.

The first time I saw the SLC site was on Memorial Day this year. At the time my dad was extremely ill and things were so bad we were looking into funeral arrangements. I was on the net looking at WWII Veterans' burial benefits (and found out that there really are none) and one search led to another until I found your page. The significance of the day, my state of mind, the subject of your site... I tell you I had copious tears falling on the keyboard, when I found my father's name on the list I absolutely lost it (and I really mean this in a positive way).

I am happy to report that since then his health has improved somewhat and that now, albeit on morphine, he spends his days relatively comfortably. We sat down the other day (unfortunately we live far apart) and he told me some great stories about his days in the service. It's amazing how his short term memory is nearly gone but his recollection of those days gone by is so vivid I can almost smell the brisk salt air of the Pacific when I hear him talk about it.

Anyway, I was going to include in this email some general details and facts about his life after the service, but I have chosen instead to make it a project that is worthy of his legacy (and of those who served alongside him)... so instead I'm going to sit with the "old man of the sea" and ask again in detail (so that I can properly record it) what it is that his life consisted on in the days since his honorable discharge.

I will tell you one thing... I know he was dropped off in Seattle Washington and given $178.38 plus five cents per mile to Reno, Nevada (where he is originally from). Instead he went to San Francisco and the moment he arrived he became a bicycle messenger boy for Western Union.

The understated simplicity of that fact overwhelms me. Here's a man who's decidedly a hero of our greatest war and humbly and eagerly accepts the first job offered to him. Nowadays (since we've become so spoiled, selfish, and complacent) I would probably want to take two years off, write a book (or even a series of books) and consider my television and film production options if I had undertaken a journey one tenth in significance.

Life really was different then -and with this I'm sure you'll agree- and not a day goes by when I don't think about the fact (a fact of which I'm utterly convinced) that the greatness of our nation rests on the shoulders of that selfless generation that asked so little for themselves and gave so much in return.

Thank you again Sandy for the part you play in our family's history.

Respectfully yours,

Fernando Edwards Carcamo
adopted son of Roy Leon Edwards fka Roy Leon DeFluiter

SLC Deck Log, Dec. 1942


In memoriam of Roy Leon Edwards.
July 10, 1923 - January 5, 2002

March 26, 2002, marks the 59th anniversary of the Battle of the Komandorski Islands, part of the Aleutian Island chain very near what was once the Soviet Union. The U.S.S. Salt Lake City -or the "Swayback Maru" as the ship was known- was heavily involved in a running battle with a Japanese naval task force that was 10 ship strong. The Salt Lake received six hits, and was "dead in the water" for eight long minutes.

The Komandorski Battle is not one of the "memorable" battles of the Pacific Theater of Operations in World War II, however there were no unimportant battles in that Great War, and the Salt Lake played an integral role in most of the enemy engagements in the Pacific.

From Pearl Harbor, to Wotje, to Wake, to Guadalcanal, to Savo, to Komandorski, to Kiska, to Tarawa, to Apemmama, to Taroa, to Saipan, to Iwo Jima, the Salt Lake made its presence felt and contributed its share. The men who served in it referred to it as the "one ship fleet".

From February 13, 1941 to September 19, 1945, the U.S.S. Salt Lake City was the home of one Roy Leon Edwards then known as Roy Leon DeFluiter. A slight and lean blue eyed hero with a ruddy complexion and the quintessential navy tattoos depicting the word "Mother" on one deltoid and "United States Navy" on the other.

He held the ratings of Apprentice Seaman, Seaman Second Class, Seaman First Class, and finally a Coxswain. He was never a high ranking officer, and to the best of my knowledge he was never decorated, though the resolve and bravery with which he served his country can never be questioned.

He was merely seventeen when he enlisted in the war effort, and stayed with his ship practically from the beginning to the end of its operations in World War II. Upon receiving an honorable discharge, and a check for $178.38 -based on a monthly salary of $81.90- (plus 5 cents per mile from Seattle -his port of disembarkation- to Reno his hometown), he took the next train to San Francisco, where he accepted the first job that was offered to him: that of bicycle messenger for Western Union.

The thought of such heroes walking the streets, performing seemingly mundane tasks immediately after the war is baffling to our present and privileged generation, yet such was life and reality in post war America.

It was this quiet excellence which remarked the remainder of his life, and he approached everything since with the resolve and integrity he learned during his years in the service. For everyone he had always a smile, a kind word, deference and respect. Late into the twilight of his life he had the grip of a bear, a lion's heart, and that twinkle in his eye which often signaled his frequent paroxysms of laughter. He loved to laugh perhaps more than anything else.

He was a father and a fisherman. An excellent machinist and a football fan. He loved Denver, Reno, Los Angeles, and America. Most of all he loved to love my mother, and he loved to say "I love you" each and every time I saw him.

He was ever grateful, and would be most uncomfortable with so much time being spent praising him and eulogizing him. He never really talked about the war, but he did talk a lot about his time serving his ship. His experiences in Brisbane, Australia, or Wellington, New Zealand, or any of the exotic ports of call he was privileged to visit. I think he was grateful for the war, for the service to his country, for the experiences he lived. Miraculously, he was spared all injury save some loss of hearing from being on the ship's deck during combat.

Although fortune eluded him, he always felt fortunate. Gratitude was his greatest virtue, and a wealth of gratitude has been released upon his passing. Were he here to speak to you today, I'm sure he wouldn't have more to say except "thank you".

On behalf of my father Roy Leon Edwards I thank you. You were all most important to him.

God bless Roy Leon Edwards.
God bless our family and friends.
God bless our nation.
Let us rejoice and be thankful.

Fernando Edwards Carcamo.

Son of Roy Leon Edwards formerly known as Roy Leon DeFluiter.



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