USS SLC...Enlisted Navy...Leslie Forrest Jenks, MoMM3c
August 15th, 2002
I volunteered in the Navy in 1943. I left a 3 year old daughter, Nancy, and my wife, Mary was
8 months pregnant with our 2nd daughter, Donna. I joined the USS SLC CA25 in Great Lakes,
Michigan. I was assigned to the Machine Ship. I volunteered to replace the 2nd Catapult to
send off two planes instead of one. It worked great. I sure was proud.
That was one of many things I was lucky enough to know how to repair with limited supplies on
board because I had been working in my town's machine shop since I was 17 years old.
One of my good buggies, Chuck Westerman, was in the machine ship with me and we experienced
the events on the Columbia River when the ship rolled 47 degrees. That was a close one!!
While stationed off Guam, I had an incredible stroke of luck. I was topside and looked over
top and there was a seagoing tug. I was amazed to see my buddy Rus Colby also in the Pacific
Our wives and children were living together in North Hartlaud, VT. I asked the Captain's
permission to go over to his tug and it was granted. While with him he had to go to the
mainland Guam for supplies. As we were walking along my buddy commented... "Look who's
coming". Our friend Higgens from North Hartlaud, VT. We had a great time together for the
day and then we went back to the tug. When we arrived back we saw something explosive in the
sky. I was ordered to get back to my ship at once as someone said we had dropped some sort of
bomb on Japan. I didn't see my buddy again until we all arrived safe in North Hartlaud, VT.
When I got home I not only had one daughter....but two. That was in 1946.
I will never forget the times I spent with my fellow shipmates on the USS Salt Lake City. Its
an experience I have been proud to be a part of.
I only had one USS SLC personnel, Admiral Brewer, who lived in Orford, N.H. He was a fine
gentleman and we spent many hours reminiscing.
When I came home I started my own machine ship. Jenks Tool & Machine Company in Lebanon, N.H.
for 30 years. In 1987 we moved to Naples, Florida to be near our grown daughters. Our only
son, Ship lived in Port St. Lucia and died in 1995.
Mary & I have been married for 62 years. We had 2 daughters and 1 son, 10 grandchildren, and
10 great-grandchildren. Our two daughters are both very successful businesswomen. Donna a
contractor & land developer with husband and Nancy a realtor for 22+years.
Leslie "Les" Forrest Jenks
#19 in picture with the 10th Division, 1943
SLC Deck Log Jan. 1945
Attended the following SLC Reunions:
Dau. Nancy Brown