USS SLC...Enlisted Navy...Jerry D. Stewart, S1c
Jerry passed away on June 4th, 2008. Information from surviving spouse, Violet
Hand-written Letter received on Jan. 22nd, 2003
I enlisted in the Navy in Seattle, WA. on Sept. 16, 1941 and did my recruit training in San
Diego. From recruit training I as assigned to the USS INDIANNAPOLIS in China. I was
temporally assigned to a sub net tenders base at Point Loma, San Diego to await
transportation. Thatís where I was on Dec. 7th, 1941. On Dec. 8th, I went to destroyer base
and then a train to San Francisco. On Dec. 26th, we left for Hawaii, arriving on Jan. 11th.
On Jan. 12th, at the receiving station at Pearl, they asked for volunteer for the SALT LAKE
CITY and not even knowing what it was, I volunteered. Wee, the rest of 1942 and 43 are
history. In late 1942, I was selected for the Naval Academy prep school in San Diego. I went
to Komandorski instead and eventually to Vallejo. I did go to the prep school, but only had
one week before finals. Failed. But I did get transferred to new construction and amphibs?.
I was on the USS GENERAL SQUIER AP130 when it went into commission in Sept. of 1943 and then
cruised the Pacific, ending in New Guinea. We were then dispatched through the canal for the
Invasion of Normandy, but we broke down and ended up at Norfolk. After repairs, we went to
the Mediterranean for the invasion of southern France. We made it through that and they loaded
us with POW's and sent us to New York.
I was transferred to Newport, RI. to new construction and drew the USS LENOIR AKA-74 that went in to commission on Jan. 1, 1945 in Charleston, SC. We went back through the canal and eventually ended up at Okinawa on D-Day. We messed around the Pacific for a time, ending up at Maui, Hawaii loading the 1st Marines for the invasion of Japan. We were there when the First A-Bomb was dropped and then we were sent to Pearl.
The infamous 44 point system came out and in the excitement I got our of the Navy on Sept. 25, 1945. That's when I met and married my wife. I fooled around until the Korean War stared, then re-enlisted in 1950 and was assigned to APA-THOMAS JEFFERSON.
Soon after I ask for and was granted transfer to aviations and went to Jacksonville, FL. to school. Then to Memphis, TN. to AD school, then to Whidbey?, Island NAS. In 1953 I went to B-school in Memphis, TN., then to Atsuzi?, Japan. My family, now my wife, 2 sons and a daughter all come with me.
By then, military life really changed. I am now ADR-1 and got involved in Military athletics. In 1956 we were transferred to MD. Test Center. In 1957 we were transferred to NAF Lajes Field Azores.? Not much going on there, but still involved in athletics.
In 1959, I transferred to VA-85 in Virginia Beach, VA. I left on the USS FORRESTAL for the Mediterranean in Feb. of 1960. In Jan. of 1961, I transferred to COMAIRGROUP-50 staff in Deywest, FL. Three and one-half years later, transferred to VA-52 Alameda, CA. and went to Westpac in 1965. I canít remember which carrier. I went to the hospital in Yokuska, Japan in Dec. 1965 and was retired on Jan. 21, 1966. I returned home to begin a wonderful retired life.
I worked for the Post Office from April of 1966 until June 1984 and then was a professional caddy with the Ladies Professional Golf Association for 14 years.
My wife and I have our 3 children, 8 grandchildren and one great grandchild. We live on Fidalgo Island and have a wonderful place with a superior view of the mountains. We are 100 miles north of Seattle.
We are so thankful for our career in the Navy and for our wonderful family. We have only made it to one of the SLC reunions and it was fun. We are looking forward to this one in Sept. We probably won't know anyone, but the stories will be familiar.
By the way, at Komandorski Island, my battle station that day was the forward anti-aircraft director.
Yours in Patroitism,
Vernard E. Bivin, S1c
SLC Deck Logs Jan. 1942
2003 SLC Reunion