Memories from John I. Lund, RM1c
My interest in radio began when I was a Boy Scout. My friend, Leslie
Leigh and I earned merit badges in electricity which led to one in radio.
When we went into High School we built our own transmitters and acquired
our "Ham" tickets.
Like most Radio Amateurs, we subscribed to a radio magazine called "QST",
which means "I have information for you" in International Q signals. The
Navy advertised in QST that they would purchase radio transmitters and
receivers from Radio Amateurs.
Frank Quement, owner of the local radio supply store was also a Naval
Reserve Officer in the local NCR unit. He encouraged all the radio
amateurs in the area to join the local NCR (Naval Communications Reserve).
So we decided to join. When we went for our physicals, I passed but Les
didn't. I was in and Les was out, but he went on to become a radio
operator for RCA which took him all over the world and a career with RCA
that lasted until his retirement. I joined the local unit of NCR and was
called to active duty in the Spring of 1941.
I reported to the Los Angeles Naval Reserve radio and signal school.
There I met other Radio Amateurs who had responded to the invitation to
join the NCR units around the country. We completed a four month course,
which included the Boot Camp Program along with Naval Communications,
theory and procedure. Upon graduation as an RM3/c, I was assigned to the
USS SALT LAKE CITY CA25, and reported for duty 19 October, 1941.
It was just a matter of time when the USA would become involved in a war,
and that my call sign, W6AYS, would be on hold for the duration of the
national emergency. You all know where we were on 7 December, 1941, a time
we will never forget.
Sometime in December, Radar was installed and we were informed by
Norman Hildebrand, CRM that we were to learn
how to operate and maintain the Radar equipment. That was also a selling
job for the Radar gang.
Most everyone from fire control, gunnery, and navigation were skeptical
about what Radar could do. They were trained to rely on Optics.
As Radar became better known, the Radar gang expanded and became accepted
by officers and enlisted personnel.
15 November, 1942 I was transferred to Pacific fleet Radio School at
Pearl Harbor for temporary duty. I completed school and returned to the
Salt Lake City to operate and maintain new additional Radar equipment for
search and fire control. 1 April 1943 I advanced to RM2c and 1 June, 1944
to RM1c. On 18 September, 1944 I left the Salt Lake City for new
I was assigned to the Troop Transport, USS General C. G. Morton AP 138
and was leading Petty Officer of the Radio gang. We were anchored in a
protected area along with many other ships in the Philippines. A real
surprise happened, there about 500 yards away, was the USS SLAT LAKE CITY
riding at anchor. Our signalman signaled the SLC for me to say hello to
the Radar and Radio gangs. The next response was that six members of the
two gangs were coming over to my ship and we had a great visit. That was
the last time I saw the old "Swayback Maru" and my friends.
The transfer to new construction was the easy part, saying farewell to my
shipmates was the hardest. I will always remember the shipmates and how
well we worked together as a team under all conditions. The USS Salt
Lake City's war record is a success story because of our team spirit and
pride we had in our ship. I will always have fond memories of the USS
SALT LAKE CITY.
John Irving Lund, RM1c
Friends with SLC Veteran
#13 in Radar Gang, 1943
Radio Gang List
Mentioned in Letter from
Lieut. John A. McWaid
SLC Deck Logs
Attended the following SLC Reunions:
Reunion Tidbits, Sept. 1998, Carson Valley Inn, Minden, NV.