U.S.S. SLC...USN...Sidney Perry 'Moose' Mathews, CWT
Deceased date unknown
May 6th, 2011
Thank you for all of your hard work on this site.
My grandfather Sidney P. Mathews CWT served on the Swayback Maru (as he liked to call her). He was aboard during the Battle of
the Komondorski islands. There is a very beautiful letter in you site that mentions “Moose” Mathews. When the ship was
hit, and the boilers went out, he waded into chest deep water (there 31 degrees) to get the boiler going again, so the ship
could maneuver. He then carried 12 shipmates to safety, before he passed out from inhaling steam (this would affect his
health for the rest of his life).
Captain Rodgers credited my grandfather’s actions as “saving the ship”. They had been ordered to prepare to abandon ship.
Had the boilers not been re-lit, they would have had no choice. Captain Rodgers later wrote to my grandmother, and told her
of my grandfather’s acitons. Grandad would never talk about them. He never mentioned the 12 men he saved. Occasionally,
usually after a few drinks, he would mention the one kid” that he did not save (that haunted him until the day he died). He
never considered himself a hero. We would never have known about his actions, had Captain Rodgers not taken the time to
write a lovely letter to his widow.
Captain Rodgers told her that he had put my granddad up for the Medal of Honor for his actions. He was awarded The Legion
of Merit, although none of us ever knew that until Captain Rodgers letter, and my grandmother applied for a copy of his
I know there are many, many such stories of the brave men who served aboard this ship (and ships just like her), so that we
may enjoy the freedoms we do today. In my book, they are all hero’s. And you rank up there as well, by keeping the memory
of these men, and what they did for this country fresh in our minds. God Bless you, and May God Bless the United States of
Signed a letter in regards to the death of Harold E. "Gus" Kronquist, 1942
SLC Deck Logs Jul. 1942