USS SLC..."Enlisted Navy"...J. Roy "Stoney" Stones, GM2c
J. Roy Stones passed away on June 12th, 2009. Information from son, Roy J. Stones
March 26, 2000
J. Roy Stones enlisted in the peace time Navy
Feb. 11, 1941. My home at that time was Salt Lake City, UT. I went to U.S.
Naval Training Sta. at San Diego, Ca. I joined one week before my 18th
birthday which is 19 Feb 1923. Boot camp was hard and disciplined.
I rode the U.S.S. Enterprise as passenger to Pearl Harbor and went aboard the USS
Salt Lake City about the first part of April 1941. I was assigned to Deck
Div. 4 which manned #4 turret aft. It was a 2-gun 8 inch turret.
I was a deck seaman and later joined the maintenance crew of the turret as a
striker and then was made Gunners Mate 3rd Class. The names that I went by
were "Roy" or "Stoney". My tour of duty on the Old Swayback was from Apr 1941 to
about April 1945. Most of the time, my battle station was the shell deck of
We were proud to be aboard The Old Shitsi Maru as even in
peace time it was a non-regulation ship and it was mostly dungeree Navy even
then. Its gunnery record in peace and war was the best in the navy. As a
seaman I was a member of the boat crew of the 60 ft motor launch giving me
many opportunities to get ashore at many islands.
So many places we went
to--it is hard to remember them all: Hawiian Islands, Australia, New
Zealand, Midway, Wake Island, Numeai, all the So. Pacific Atolls, Guam,
Esperitos Santos, Pago Pago, Alaska, Komindorski Islands, of course
stateside--San Pedro, Long Beach, Mare Island, Treasure Island, San
The ship was damaged in battle several times--the incidents run together as
almost one great experience. Remembering old friends and shipmates, times
of sadness, pleasure, even fun, hating our enemy and the navy, loving the
sea in all of its moods of never being the same.
It was a frustrating
time--wanting to go home, not wanting to admit that you were sometimes
frightened, thinking much of the time that you would never survive the war.
When the ship left port, it was always with some apprehension and wondering
what would happen this time and not wanting to miss anything new.
due to enter Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941, but because of reports of
sightings and changes we did not enter until December 8th. It was a sad
time of despair and wondering how this could happen. Memories of night
watches, enemy planes, sub periscope sightings, watching the carrier Wasp
take three torpedos and picking up her survivors, the smell of rotting
bodies from islands destroyed by our bombardments, not stepping on land for
a full year, fueling and taking on supplies while underway. I am glad I had
my navy time, but I wouldn't want to do it again.
The old Swayback Maru was a great ship. There will never be another like
her. I'm proud of my navy time. Battles, leaves, wild liberties, shipmates
that were good friends are sometimes good to remember.
Roy aka "Stoney" Stones
Son, Roy Stones
"Stoney" is #20 in Group Picture with 4th Div., 1943-45
SLC Deck Log May 1943
Mentioned by SLC Veteran
George N. Barrett, GM3c
Attended the following SLC Reunions: