USS SLC...Enlisted Navy...Syd Foster, Elect. Mate
Dec. 8th, 2000:
Source: Dec. 2000 USS SLC Association Newsletter Article called
"Sparks" by Sandy Oppenheimer
Syd Foster, who served on the USS SLC years before WWII, had a strange
and timely reunion with his beloved ship.
The story started on March 6th, 1934. After nine months of trying to get
in the Navy by going down to the recruiting office weekly, he was finally
accepted. the country was in a depression and Syd figured
he could learn a trade in the Navy, but the Navy had not been taking anyone.
In fact, the military, as the rest of the government, had suffered a 17
per cent cut.
"Our pay was $17.00 and we were glad to get it," Syd remembers.
He took his boot training at Norfolk in a brand new barracks. However, in
a few days they were transferred to ancient barracks that the recruits had
to refurbish themselves.
In a few months the SLC made a visit to Norfolk after making some appearances
in big Eastern cities. The Seaman Second Class was assigned to the third
Division. His battle station was Turret Three where he was a rammer --
pushing the shell into the gun.
Later he wrangled a transfer to the "E" Division. He met a great group of
electricians. A lot of them went on to be commissioned officers. Syd
went on to the lighting shop and then communications. He worked all over
the ship and made friends from all the divisions.
Some of the fellows he worked with in the fire control left the ship and
went to the Asiatic fleet. Some were captured in the Philippines and
forced on the infamous Death March.
In 1938, Syd left the ship while it was in Honolulu and was discharged in
San Francisco. He went to work for General Motors and then the Telephone
Company. He was working in the Boston navy Yard when Pearl Harbor happened.
Although he was in the reserves, Syd was frozen in his job.
During the war he helped build ships in Michigan. After the war he was
transferred to Long Beach and ran into his old ship, the USS SLC. Syd was
assigned to outfit the ship for the Bikini Atom Bomb Test.
Later he worked for Hughes Aircraft and sold real estate part time.
After 19 years with Hughes he retired and sold real estate full time,
which he is still doing at the present time in Minden, Nevada.
Syd and his wife Ruth, have been married for 60 years and they have a
daughter who is a teacher and a son who is a lawyer.
If you wish to contact Syd,
please contact Sandy Eskew at the email address on the SLC Main Index page
In Picture from
The Rope Yarn of the USS SLC Nov. 17th, 1934
Reunion Tidbits, June, 1996, from Gardnerville, NV. Newspaper
Reunion Tidbits, Sept. 1998, Carson Valley Inn, Minden, NV.
Syd attended the following SLC Reunions: