Navy Vets Hold Mini-Reunion at Inn|
Article in the Record-Courier
Gardnerville, NV. Newspaper
Sat. Jun. 15, 1996
Contributed by Veteran
Bernard "Ben" McMurray
The USS Salt Lake City Association held a mini-reunion at the Carson Valley Inn in Minden this week to get prepared for a larger reunion set for Las Vegas in September of 1997.
The USS Salt Lake City, a heavy cruiser, saw lots of action during WWII, taking part in numerous battles in the north and the south Pacific, including the Battle of Komandorski in the Bering Sea, which is considered to be the longest ship-to-ship naval engagement in U.S. History.
President of the Association is
Pat Monteleone of Minden, who presided over the mini-reunion. Monteleone served as a storekeeper issuing hardware to all departments of the ship 1940-1943. With him at the reunion was his wife, Mable.
Sydney Foster and his wife Ruth also live in Minden. Foster served aboard the ship 1934-1938 and was a gunner, then an electrician's mate.
Ray Brenner of Gardnerville and Al Johnson of Carson City served aboard the Salt Lake City's sister ship, the USS Pensacola, and they both attended the mini-reunion.
Other participants in the reunion came from as far away as Arkansas, Oklahoma and Indiana, as well as California. They were
John & Pat Azevedo,
Myron & Ferne Varland,
Roy & Marion Glidewell,
Bon & Joan Morgan,
Charles & Odena Vasey,
Jack & Mary Bennett,
Francis & Julie VonRuden &
The USS Salt Lake City earned 11 battle stars for WWII service and was awarded the Navy Unit Commendation for action during the Aleutian Campaign.
Like many warships at the close of the war, Salt Lake City was almost immediately slated for deactivation. The ship was ordered to report to Commander, Third Fleet, upon arrival on the West Coast in October.
However, the ship was diverted to duty to return veterans of the Pacific theater to the United States. The warship was then used as test vessel for atomic bomb experiments and evaluation test at Bikini Atoll in 1946.
The ship was sunk as a target hull in May 1948 off the coast of southern California, and soon after, the USS Salt Lake City submarine was commissioned.
Carson Valley Inn, Minden, NV.
Contributed by Veteran Bernard McMurray
For the second time, members of the USS Salt Lake City Association will hold their reunion, Sept. 20-24 at the Carson Valley Inn in Minden.
Association attendees will come from California, Pennsylvania, Utah, Idaho, Oklahoma, Iowa & Florida. Area residents who are members of the Association are
Pat Monteleone, president pro-tem;
Syd Foster, Century 21 Clark Properties; &
John Lund, Carson City.
Monteleone extends a cordial invitation to all other US Navy veterans living in this area to come to the USS SLC hospitality room at Carson Valley Inn for some nautical reminiscing and swapping of "sea stories."
The Heavy Cruiser Salt Lake City was on active duty continuously during the period 1920 through 1946. The ship and its crew participated in 11 major engagements in the Pacific Theater of operations during WWII.
According to Sea Classics magazine, while Japanese planes were bombing Pearl Harbor, Salt Lake City was returning from a run to Wake Island as part of the escort for the carrier Enterprise. Learning of the attack, the group launched search planes in a fruitless attempt to intercept the enemy force. The ships entered the shattered harbor on the evening of the 8th, and almost immediately set sail to search for submarines north of Hawaii.
On Dec. 11, Salt Lake City fired on a Japanese submarine but could not confirm a kill. A few days later, she sailed as part of the effort to relive Wake Island. When Wake fell, she covered the force that reinforced Midway and Samoa. Since the battleships of the Pacific Fleet had been put out of action, cruisers such as the Salt Lake City were pressed into what would normally have been the battlewagon's role.
The Salt Lake City served many functions during the war and her men fought bravely.
After the war, again according to Sea Classics magazine, Salt Lake City became part of Operations Crossroads, the testing of the effects of atomic weapons on naval ships. She was stripped of her guns and equipment and with a skeleton crew, sailed for Bikini Atoll in March, 1946. On July 1, she withstood an aerial blast of an atomic bomb dropped from a B-29. Still afloat, she was subjected on July 25 to a subsurface explosion.
On Aug. 29th, her scorched hulk was decommissioned and laid up for disposal. On May 25, 1948, she was sunk as a target hulk 130 miles off the coast of Southern California.