USS SLC..."Enlisted Navy"...Palmer K. Paulson, S1c
Palmer K. Paulson passed away on Dec. 11th, 2009. Information from dau., Karen Jackson
I was so happy my daughter found your website. I had been looking for
information on the SLC for my dad's 80th birthday. We wanted to put
together a scrapbook. We didn't get to the site in time to use it for
the scrapbook, but plan to copy as much as we can and assemble it for
My dad is Palmer K. Paulson, he served aboard the ship from 1942-45 (I
believe). As soon as I can I will get you some info and photos.
I thank you so much for bringing this site to us. I am still in the
process of looking at all of it and am enjoying it very much.
Karen (Paulson) Jackson
Palmer K. Paulson
#26 in "R" Division, 1944
SLC Deck Logs
2003 SLC Reunion
Articles Contributed by Palmer K. Paulson
Battle of the Komandorski
Navy to Sink Proud Old Cruiser Salt Lake City
Sun, 19 Dec 1999
I just found this interview that my daughter did in 1991 as a history
assignment. If you can use it, go ahead.
Interview by phone, November 14, 1991, Palmer K. Paulson
"Everybody got behind it. Everybody was supportive, even civilians."
This is what my grandfather, Palmer Paulson, had to say about World War
II. However, he had much more to say about "America's finest hour,"
especially since he participated in the effort. After signing up for
the Navy in 1942, shortly after Pearl Harbor, he had just a short month
of training in Chicago before setting off to sea in a heavy cruiser
called the Salt Lake City. On the ship, he was a carpenter who was in
charge of damage control, plugging holes and fighting fires. I guess
you could say he kept the machine "ship shape."
When the ship reached Pearl Harbor, its waters full of sunken ships, he
was assigned to dive and hunt for dead bodies. "Wasn't good, wasn't
good," he mumbled, adding that he had tried to forget about the gruesome
and depressing experience. From there, he was shipped to the Aleutian
Islands to keep the Japanese from entering American waters. Although
the Salt Lake City sent two Japanese ships plunging in the to freezing
water, my Grandpa's ship did not go unscathed. It was hit seven times,
one of the explosions destroying all of his belongings except the
uniform on his back. Once repaired, the ship headed out to the South
Pacific to once again look for Japanese ships in the Marshall Islands,
even though almost none of the crew were allowed to know their
destination until they got there.
Once he was transferred back to Treasure Island in the San Francisco
Bay, he was in charge of the maintenance on the radio building. One
day, as he was getting ready for lunch, there was an announcement over
the loudspeaker declaring the end of the war. He had to do Shore Patrol
in San Francisco that night because of the jubilant residents who broke
windows in the downtown stores. He was allowed to leave within a month
to go back to his family in Long Beach, bringing along with him the
feelings of relief and excitement. By the first time he had seen my
mother, she was already four months old.
I learned many things from this interview, one being that almost
everyone that was old enough was in one branch of the service or
another. Everyone else helped out back home, even my great grandparents
who worked in the aircraft factory. Also, their biggest fear on the
ships was the possibility of having to abandon ship near Alaska, where
they would only survive in the water for eleven minutes. I wonder what
the people who were left in the water from other ships were thinking of
during those eleven long minutes?
Even though I despise war, I am not naive enough to believe that world
peace may ever be achieved. Since human nature won't let us give up
fighting, all we can do is learn from past mistakes, remember the
glories, and have respect for our veterans. I am proud to say that I
have a Grandpa who has practically seen it all - the excitements, the
deaths, the celebrations. From the mouth of a true American, he proudly
stated, "I didn't think of it as a job; I thought of it as a duty."
by Suzanne Jackson
Return to Index
Dec. 20th, 1999
I honor your father and all veterans. Palmer has been a great
Uncle to me (and his wife Marian a wonderful aunt!) and he sent me
letters during the war even though I couldn't read yet! Mom read them
My dad was building P-38's at Lockheed Aircraft in Burbank along
with other relatives and neighbors that weren't in uniform. I honor all
the people of that generation that helped us win the war abroad and here
at home. My dad, Larry Koch, passed away January 9th at 88 years of age.
Thanks for all your loving work.
Gary G. Koch