I enlisted in the service on July 7th, 1937 & went to boot camp in San Diego, CA. and
boarded the SLC in Nov. of 1937 in Long Beach, CA. and left her just after the Battle of Cape
Esperance on Oct. 1, 1942 right after I made Warrant Radio Elect.
While serving on the SLC I was a S2c to S1c in the 2nd Division [Deck]. Then S1c to RM3c,
RM2c, RM1c, Warrant RE under Captain Ellis M. Zacharias & Captain Ernest G. Small.
I was a part of the Feb. 1, 1942 Marshall Island Battles, Feb. 24th Wake Island bombardment.
I was with the SLC when she escorted carriers on the Doolittle raid on Tokyo. On Aug. 7-9,
1942, we covered landings on Guadalcanal and Tulagi. On Sept. 15th, 1942 we rescued over 800
survivors from the USS WASP when she was torpedoed and sunk.
I was there on Oct. 11-12, 1942 during the Battle of Cape Esperance in the slot near
Guadalcanal near midnight. We took on three major caliber hits, lost 5 crewmen and 21 were
Just after the battle, our Radio Electrician came into the Radio Shack while I was supervising
the watch and threw his hat across the room and said "here Metzler...you just made Warrant
Officer". Boy... was I ever surprised.
Lawrence C. Metzler, a Firecontrolman [FC1c], had reported
aboard the SLC on Dec. 22, 1940 at Pearl Harbor. During the Cape Esperance Battle he was in
the foretop assisting in controlling the 8" guns on target when an 8" Jap cruiser shell hit us
and killed our Chief Firecontrolman,
Harold E. "Gus" Kronquist, standing next to him. he took over
fire control and sunk the Jap cruiser and auxiliary ships. He was awarded the Bronze Star
after he was transferred to Washington.
After making Warrant Officer I was transferred to the US merchant marine Academy in Long
Island to teach midshipmen electronics communication. I was there for about a year. My
wife, Venita and I lived in Bayside. The next assignment was at the US Naval Research Lab. in
Washington, DC. I had just made Ensign and the duties there were to learn Electronics [can
you believe that?]. I spent a bout a year there and it was tough.
My next assignment was on Jan. 23, 1945. Radio, Radar, Officer "C" Division aboard the light
cruiser SANTA FE CL60. I reported aboard in Ulithi Atoll. I met my brother Larry there on
MogMog. He was then Asst. Gunnery officer on the battleship USS SOUTH DAKOTA.
I was promoted to Lt. [jg] on Oct. 1, 1944 and saw action on Oct. 24-15, 1944 during the Battle
of Leyte Gulf. We escorted for 6 air strikes in the Philippines up to Dec. 14-16, 1944. Then
6 more air strikes on Formosa, Luzon, Indo China etc. up until Jan. 21st, 1945. Then the Iwo
Jima bombardment from Jan. 19th to 25th, 1945. Tokyo Air strike Feb. 25-16, 1945, then the
Off Kyushu, Shikokv, we went alongside the USS FRANKLIN and took off about 800+ officers and
sailors. It took us about 3 hours. Then we escorted her back to Pearl Harbor. We spent from
April 10th to July 26th, 1945 in San Pedro getting repaired from the damage we received
alongside the carrier. Then back to Japan for Occupation duties.
Sasebo, Nagasaki, Wakayama, Tokyo, Ominato, Otaru, Hokodate, Aomori, and again to Ominato. This took us from Sept. 21st to Nov. 14th, 1945. I left the SANTA FE on Dec. 2, 1945 at San Francisco, CA. I was crossing the Bay Bridge when I observed her going out to sea again.
On Feb. 1st, 1946 I reported to the Calif. Division of Highways District VI in Fresno, CA. I worked as a clerk to start with, went up through the ranks again. Delineator, Senior Delineator, Chief Draftsman & Office Engineer. I retired at the age of 55 in July of 1975. My lovely wife Venita & I have 2 children, Connie, a retired teacher & a son, Michael, Electronics Engineer. Both have Masters Degrees.
Our lovely home is halfway between South Lake Tahoe & Sacramento, CA.
Marvin E Metzler
Signed a letter in regards to the death of Harold E. "Gus" Kronquist, 1942
SLC Deck Log Dec. 1942