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Robert M. Storey, Ptr2c
USS Salt Lake City CA25

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USS SLC...Enlisted Navy...Robert M. Storey, Ptr2c

Jan. 29th, 2003

I was born in Lott, TX. on Oct. 5th, 1919. I attended Lott school until 1929 then we moved to Mart, TX. and attended school there.

I worked at a service station until Oct. 11th, 1939 and then I joined the Navy. I went through boot camp at San Diego, CA. After a 30 day leave I was assigned to the USS LOUISVILLE and bound for Pearl Harbor.

At Pearl I was transferred to the USS INDIANAPOLIS to wait for the USS SALT LAKE CITY to return off patrol.

I went aboard the SLC in March of 1940 and was assigned to the 4th Division Deck force where I made Seaman 1 class.

I was in the port relay room in Turret four for the first few engagements. I was promoted to 3rd class painter and went into the C. & R. Division. Later I made second class P.O. I spent the rest of my time in that division.

After serving on the "Queen" for 5 years and 3 months, through all the battles, I was transferred to the USS BENLE? for a trip back to the states. What a trip. We left out of Leyte and about 30 days later we arrived at Treasure Island, CA. It seems the ship was an attack transport and it was shot. A shipmate by the name of Dietrick, 1st class Machinist, left with me. he said the guys in the engine room didn't know nothing about the engines. He went down and helped them out and we made it.

I got 30 days leave and while I was home, the Japs gave up. I turned in in Dallas. They asked me where I would like to go and I told them New Orleans, LA., and then later I went to Houston, TX. where I was discharged.

In 1947 I met my wife to be and we have been married for 55 years. I have a great daughter and son in law and 2 great grandkids.

I worked for a gas company for 25 years which belonged to Enron and a manufacturing company for 17 years.

Special Memories:

Places & Events
Crossing the Equator, the sinking of the "Queen", Brisbane, Australia

Shipmates Remembered
ball-red-02 Deceased Woodrow Hollingsworth, BM1c,   ball-red-02 William E. "Slug" Leary, S1c,   Joe L. Husak, Ptr2c,
ball-red-02 Deceased E. C. "Buddy" Porterfield, ARM1c and ball-red-02 Deceased Richard O. "Pappy" Holmes, GM2c.

Medals & Awards
Victory Medal, Good Conduct Medal, American Defense, American Campaign, Asiatic Pacific Campaign, Navy Unit Commendation, Philippine Liberation, Philippine Presidential Unit Citation, Doolittle Raid

Robert M. Storey

Storey & Porterfield Received honor for Doolittle Raid participation
#2 in "R" Division, 1943
SLC Deck Log Nov. 1942

Bob, Irene & Family members have attended the following SLC Reunions:
1989  1991  1993  2002  2003  2004  2006

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WWII Vet names unlikey hero

Veteran's Day - 2006
The year 1939, Robert Storey left the familiar halls of Mart High School to enlist in the US Navy. He was stationed aboard the USS Salt Lake City, fondly nicknamed "Swayback Maru," during the years of 1940 to 1945. The heavy cruiser narrowly escaped the attack on Pearl Harbor as the USS SLC was 200 miles west of Oahu steaming toward the Hawaiians when war came.

"That was the saddest thing," said Storey, "we couldn't believe it."

Storey was assigned to the repair crew during a length of time while on board. He remembers a time when the ship was struck two times just above the water line and the repair crew stuffed mattresses in the holes and shored them up with 4 x 8 pieces of wood until more permanent repairs could be made. "We were always prepared," he said. The ship would never get hit hard enough to be sent home for repairs. "She took us through the whole war" said Storey.
The Salt Lake City would enter approximately 31 operations/engagements, sink Japanese ships, auxiliary vessels, shoot down Japanese planes and bombard a host of Japanese Islands.

According to Storey, the heroic tale really belongs to the USS Salt Lake City. "I know they say a ship is only as good as the crew that's on it, but we had a good ship," said Storey. "She was like a person to us."

And when the USS SLC at last goes to a watery grave in the ocean which she fought so hard to defend, those of us who served aboard her will know that there was indeed a ship who well and faithfully served her country, a ship of whom we can all be truly proud.

The WWII survivor received her watery reward May 25th, 1948, 135 miles off the California coast as bombs and torpedoes sent her to her grave.
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