Robert M. Storey, Ptr2c
USS Salt Lake City CA25
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.
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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