USS SLC...Enlisted Navy...Odas F. Furman, MM1c
After a long illness Odas passed away in his sleep on Feb. 21st, 2006
Sept. 1, 2004
Newspaper clipping found in the USS SLC CA25 Memorabilia Collection, 1944
Komandorski Veteran Takes Himself a Bride at Williamsburg
by Louise Lux, Staff Correspondent
If you want to know where Odas F. Furman, MM1c has been since Dec. 7, 1941, better read Robert
J. Casey's book "Torpedo Junction," or the article called "My Speed Zero" in The Saturday
Evening Post, because Odas won't tell you.
"Anything it says in those articles goes," he declared Saturday at his home, while his bride of
less than a week hung over a hot iron in the family kitchen and pressed his uniform. "I just
don't want to talk about it. I get all jumbled up inside and anyhow, I'm on leave and I want
to have a good time."
Odas wouldn't even bring out the book and let me see his picture. He wouldn't give me a
glimpse of the magazine article, a copy of which his mother had in her room. But when the
sandy-haired sailor went to comb his hair before having his picture taken she surreptitiously
handed it over.
So we can tell you that Furman, who entered the service four years ago last month, took part in
the battle of the Komandorski Islands in the Aleutians in March, 1943, on a heavy cruiser which
battled almost 2 to 1 odds against a Jap task group.
His ship was hit four times, finally had all her engines killed, but lived to tell the tale.
His ship has seen more action than almost any other on the seas and the Komandorski Island
battle, according to the Post, was "the longest continuous gunnery duel in the history of the
modern Navy"---3 1/2 hours of defensive retirement which ended gloriously when American
destroyers put the Jap ships to rout.
Furman's older brother, Louis L. Furman, volunteered the information that Odas had been "right
outside" Pearl harbor when it was attacked. Ever since then he's been somewhere in the South
Pacific, and although we know he didn't mention all the places, we did pry out of him that they
included the Solomons campaign, Midway, Kiska, Attu, Savo Island, and by the way, his cruiser
helped convoy the aircraft carrier Hornet, whose planes bombed Tokyo.
That sound interesting? Sure it does, but don't expect Odas to tell about it. "Our cruiser is
supposed to be called the "one-ship fleet" he smiled, "but that sounds cocky. No, I was never
wounded, honestly. Yep, I saw some other fellows killed. But listen, let's not talk about it,
So what can you do with a guy like that?
May, 1944, will never be forgotten by Odas Furman. He landed back in Williamsburg May 11,
completely surprising his parents, Mr. & Mrs. L. L. Furman, and his girl, Miss Mildred
Thomas of Albia. His dad didn't even recognize the smiling gob with dimples, who walked up the
stairs, and when he did, he just stood a few minutes and let the tears run down his cheeks.
"Thrilled? I was shocked!" reported the new Mrs. Furman, a brown-eyed, brown-haired girl, as
she handed over Odas' well-pressed trousers (the crease runs down the side instead of the
middle, inside out, in approved sailor fashion). The couple were married May 15 at a small
church service. And Odas will be 25 next Thursday, May 25.
"I've been thinking about getting married for a long time," said Odas. "Just about eight
years, in fact. So when I got home this time we decided to do the job."
He wears ribbons for the Asiatic-Pacific theater, with four stars (for four major campaigns, if
you can find out what they are); the American Defense ribbon with one star, the American Area
ribbon and the Good Conduct bar.
He will report the end of the month on the west coast.
#12 in "A" Division, 1944