USS SLC...Enlisted Navy...Bon M. Morgan, SK1c
Bon M. Morgan passed away at 6:00 P. M. on Dec. 18th, 2000.
July 28th, 2000
Letter to Sandy Eskew [SLC Historian]
from Bon M. Morgan
A recruiter once told me the Navy would give me room and board, free health care, a trip around the world
and $21.00 cash money per month. Just sign here and step on the scales. Well, I did and they did. I still
have a $2.00 bill from my first payday. I sent four dollars home, repaid four dollars to the paymaster, caught
a bus to San Diego and blew the other eleven.
I went to Boot Camp in Co. 41-62 and boarded the Salt Lake City in August 1941. My GCT in Boot Camp
revealed that I'd be a great Aviation Radioman....and sure enough, I was immediately assigned to the
2nd Division and introduced to the "Holy Stone" and "Paint Scraper". I became a pointer in 8" Turret II
and enjoyed some of the war though my scope sight.
In late '42, I transferred to the "S" Division and became associated with
some men called "Storekeepers". They were known by names like
G. E. Farlow, CSK,
W. E. "Andy" Anderson, SK2,
Oscar W. Silleman, SK2,
Pat Monteleone, SK2,
George M. Oyster, SK2,
C. L. "Chuck" Boland, Jr., CSKD,
Russ P. Iverson, CSK,
Sandy Oppenheimer, SK3,
E. J. "Dutch" Vanderleest, SK2,
and a Chief Pay Clerk,
George Lott, CPC. They all went on to
I operated Clothing and Small Stores for some time and also, the Ship's
Store which was near the gedunk stand. My last job after making SK1c was
the Commissary Office, across the passageway from the Supply & Disbursing
I was among the skeleton crew to ride the "Maru" to Bikini for the Atomic
Bomb test in March, 1946, where I later saw her take two bombs and remain
afloat. Some of us were sent back aboard for damage inspection, but had
to leave soon because of intense radiation. She was a total wreck....
but afloat. The Well deck was depressed about four feet; stood full of
water like a backyard swimming pool.
I was aboard the old Swayback almost 5 years and was one of a dozen men
aboard Dec. 7, 1941, and still there when the war ended.
My six year enlistment ended in May 1947. I worked for Bank of America
for some time before returning home to Arkansas. Then I did accounting
for Armour & Co., and a General Motors Agency, then got into Auto Claims
Adjusting and my Insurance Agency until I retired.
H. L. "Hank" Graves, CTC,
gave me a name
to call on when I passed through Little Rock before I left the ship.
Her name was Joan and she's been my wife 50 years last September. We have
raised four children and have seven grandchildren. This could not have
happened but for the Salt Lake City.
We all must be proud to have served our country aboard the Salt Lake City,
and with each other.
Bon M. Morgan
#19 in Storekeepers, 1944-45
"Bon" Voyage by
Operation Crossroads Veterans
Ship's Storekeepers at 1989, Denver, CO. Reunion
Reunion Tidbits, June, 1996, from Gardnerville, NV. Newspaper
Picture with Sandy Oppenheimer