Donald G. Loe, QM3c
USS Salt Lake City CA25

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USS SLC...Enlisted Navy...Donald G. Loe, QM3c
US FLAG Donald G. Loe passed away on Sept. 1st, 2011. Info. from son, Don.
Feb. 2003

Donald G. Loe's Biography from son, Donald S. Loe

Pre World War 11

My father, Donald G. Loe, was raised mainly in the Tacoma, Washington and San Francisco Bay area. At the young age of 16 he attempted to enlist in the U.S. Navy. I’m told that he had to do some real talking to get his mother to sign the papers allowing him to enlist. A pre-enlistment physical showed that he had one cavity. Prior to being allowed to report to the recruit depot he had to get that cavity repaired. On March 21, 1941, with sound and functioning 17 year old mouth, he reported to the Naval Recruit Center at San Diego. Upon completion of basic training and awaiting permanent orders he was temporally assigned to the Base Drum and Bugle Corps. On or about October or November of 1941, my father happily reported for duty on the Heavy Cruiser USS Salt Lake City berthed at Long Beach, California with the rank of Seaman Second Class.

The very short period of peace time remaining I’m sure my dad performed duties consistent with his rank. However, my father has fond memories of Liberty in Honolulu. He informed me that every liberty was a good liberty. Author’s Note...As a 17 year old Marine, I have to agree it was a fantastic place for a first duty station.

December 7, 1941

On the morning of December 7th, my father and another sailor, tentatively identified as ball-red-02 Deceased H. H. Jaekel, were charged with the responsibility of taking care of a motor launch assigned to the SLC. The SLC was out of the port and per the Cruise Book “200 miles West of Pearl Harbor.” The following are memories of that violent morning...being on the water in a motor launch following another boat to the pier, when a Japanese Plane opened fire and the first launch just disappeared ....trying to find a safe place for cover during the attack. The first place was in an area of gasoline storage. A decision was made that place was not probably the safest place to be during the attack.

After the attack, my father was employed in any number or working parties to put the Base back in readiness. My father said that it was an extremely busy period of time. He remembers driving a truck with supposedly dead sailors when one of them grabbed him letting him know he was still alive. Later that night He was assigned to a roving Shore Patrol enforcing very strict blackout conditions in the Pearl Harbor area. It should be noted that during this period of time the SLC had entered port and departed a few times. My father states it was a very busy time for young healthy sailor and on December 18, 1941 while driving a truck in the dock area he saw the SLC for the first time since the attack. He remembers parking the truck and walking up the gang plank reporting back to the SLC (I was able to verify this date by reviewing the Deck Logs contained in the Salt Lake City web site.)

Offensive Operations with the Salt Lake City

My father served continuously on the Salt Lake City from December 18, 1941 until sometime later in 1943. During that period of time the SLC saw considerable action in a number of major Campaigns. The engagements are identified as the Marshall and Gilbert islands-Wake Island-Doolittle Raid on Tokyo-Guadalcanal and Tulagi Island landings-Battle of Cape Esperance-Komandorski Battle and the invasion of Attu . I remember two separate incidents that my father commented on (as you can tell he didn’t really talk much about those days). The first incident commenced after the Battle of Komandorski involving the USS Richmond, Light Cruiser. Apparently feelings ran high after the battle in that the Richmond could have been more aggressive. He remembers a number of fistfights between ships companies over this issue. The second remembrance was the sinking of the first USS Wasp, aircraft carrier. He stated the Japanese torpedo ran under the SLC and struck the Wasp. I am sure there are more sea stories during this exciting period of time and as I can learn of them I will update this biography.

Update#1 On 2-12-03 I had an occasion to talk with Al Jowdy, Treasurer SLC Assoc...specifically the feelings of the SLC crew after the Komandorski battle, he had a hearty laugh and confirmed that indeed their were some harsh feelings for the crews who abandoned the Salt Lake City.

Naval Duty 1943 thru 1947

As previously stated sometime in 1943 my father was reassigned from the Salt Lake City and served on several ships through out the rest of the war. In retrospect, even though the war had two more hard years to run, no other ship he served on had the same hard hitting, no mercy sought or given action as the Salt Lake City. After the SLC, my father made a slow journey back to the continental United States. He remembers that being so young, he didn’t mind the constant movement, especially enjoying liberty when allowed. In 1944, he arrived in San Pedro and participated in the commissioning of the USS Jason, repair ship. After a period of time, my dad was attached to an Air Wing Staff and as a result served on the USS Chandeleur, seaplane tender, USS Boxer and USS Saidor, aircraft carriers. In trying to elicit information after so many years, my father remembers the terror of the kamikaze attacks, the terrible havoc caused by the two typhoon’s to the fleet. However all the memories from that period of time were not bad, he remembers that liberty in Shanghai, China and Australia were excellent. I asked my father if after his transfer did he ever get a chance to see his former ship. He replied,” Yes a number of times and got to board her once when they were in the same atoll to visit shipmates”.

Operation Crossroads

My father was on the aircraft carrier, USS Saidor during the two atomic bomb tests in 1946. He remembers being ordered to stand on the flight deck during the two tests. Today he is one of the veterans being monitored by the Federal Government for any long term damage resulting from the tests. As a side note, sometime during one of my dads liberties he met my mother and they were married for approximately two months before shipping out for the atom bomb test...I guess one area of my dads body wasn’t affected as a result of the atom bomb test...since I’m here writing this.....but I do have curly hair.

Peace Time - Almost

My father was discharged from the Navy on January 30, 1947 and hoped to start a quiet, peaceful life with my mother(I wasn’t around yet but getting very close). On or about early 1948, my father relocated to the State of Washington to help take care of his mother. Due to a shortage of secure jobs, my father enlisted in the United States Army and as a result of his prior military service he was made a Sergeant. My father was extremely happy with his new assignment...he was in charge of running Crash Boats in Puget Sound for the Army.


On June 25,1950 the armed forces of North Korea invaded South Korea. In July of 1950 my father was ordered overseas one more time to resist the NKA invasion. On September 15,1950, my father participated in the successful invasion of the Port of Inchon. As a Combat Engineer, his unit assisted the First Marine Division in soundly defeating the North Korean forces present. My father remained and participated in close quarter combat until 1952 when ordered back to the United States.

Peace Time

My father continued his travels in the service of his country. By now the family had grown to add my two sisters. As a military family, we moved around the country quite a bit and lived overseas for two years. My Fathers last duty assignment was Fort Ord , California. The majority of my fathers duties consisted of a Senior Drill Instructor and Instructor of Night time small unit operations. In June of 1967 my father retired from Active Duty. A short time later, my parents moved to OK and once again he wore a uniform as a peace officer for the State of Oklahoma. Even after retiring for a second time my father continued to serve the public. He single handedly ran a wild life refuge for a considerable number of years. Now my father has slowed down somewhat and his time is utilized assisting his Church and needy senior citizens. In closing, my father lived through and participated in some of the most violent and exciting times in the service of his county. I have always been proud of my father but never more so than sitting down writing this biography.

Donald S. Loe, Son

Memorandums from 1941-1942
#14 in "N" Navigation Div, 1943
Contributed article...Nimitz Decorates Son and Captain Ernest Small
Also contributed many pieces of paper money from China & Noumea & WWII newspaper clippings that will be added to the SLC Memorabilia display at the reunions.

SLC Deck Logs Dec. 1941  Jan. 1942  Aug. 1943  Dec. 1943
2003 SLC Reunion

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