Bon Morgan is one of about 12 who were on the USS Salt Lake City the entire war.
Not only that, but he took the ship to Bikini for the atom bomb test. We knew so little about the effects
of the bomb that Con was put aboard the bombed ship the next day to inventory the many things stashed
aboard the ship to see how they would withstand the bomb and its after effects.
Luckily, soon after he was aboard, some scientists came aboard with Geiger counters and when they went
wild, ordered everyone off the ship. Bon worried if he had suffered any damage from the radiation, but
four perfect children he had with his wife, Joan (pronounced by Bon as Joanne), and a long life erased
He met Joan when a friend in his battle station in Turret Two said he had a sister he wanted Bon to meet. He
didn't marry the sister but her best friend, Joan. The two married after World War II. He has seven grand children. One is a boy.
Bon's home outside of Little Rock, AR. is a magnet for friends from the Salt Lake City. Many, on their travels, stop for a few days to talk about their days on the Salt Lake.
This Arkansas boy from the small town of Warren, signed up for a six year enlistment on May 20, 1941
and, after boot in San Diego, went aboard the Salt Lake on August 30, 1941. He was a second class
seaman, but soon became a storekeeper striker. Most of his time was spent in the commissary supply
office. He also did duty in clothing and small stores, ship stores and supply office.
He really enjoyed his liberties in Honolulu. He became friendly with some of the dock workers and they
bunked him in their homes and acted as his guides to see the islands.
Bon was discharged as a SK1c. He stayed in the inactive reserves after World War II. "I didn't think there would be anymore wars," he says wryly. The Navy, thinking he didn't see enough actions during all the
Salt Lake's many engagements, called him up for Korea.
He served a on a destroy, the USS CARMICK. "We swept Soviet mines and shot at trains. It was nothing
like the action we saw on the Salt Lake, " he says.
When Bon finally came home he worked for big companies like Bank of America & General Motors and
then went to a small insurance company adjusting claims.
He tries to make all the reunions because if you were on the ship at some time during the war, he was
there with you.