USS SLC...Officer...John W. Thrunk, Chief Boatswain
John's deceased date unknown
June 14, 2003
The above picture and the following information was found in the USS SLC CA25 Memorabilia on a
page from the June 1st, 1933 Our Navy Magazine.
John W. Thrunk can take a few bluejackets who are on their first enlistment, train them, and
bring in victory after victory with them in competition with the whole US Navy, is a
revelation which is not so easily understood by the average layman in his study of such
One of a fairly old Naval school whose members are fast disappearing from the service on
account of age, Mr. Thrunk entered the Navy as a very young man nearly twenty-eight years ago,
and for the period between 1910 and 1916, he was a member of the Navy regulation racing
cutter's crew of the battleship NEW HAMPSHIRE. Obtaining this prized step from a process of
elimination, he has not relaxed in this regard from that time until the present. To him, a
boat is like "the steed of Hudibras" of fond memory.
In 1914 he occupied the position of stroke-oarsman in the old regulation cutter (with sunken oarlocks) --now obsolete, and relics of them may be seen at wharves used by sea-scouts where they are majestically moored in rows until used by them for training purposes in summer. As such, he functioned and participated in three races in one day, and his boat won two of them, thus bringing honors to his ship and to the first division of battleships of the then Atlantic Fleet.
From early 1925 until the middle of 1927, Mr. Thrunk coached whale-boat crews for both the DELAWARE and the DETROIT and gained victories in a few minor races.
Chief Boatswain Thrunk carries his forty-five years as gracefully as though only twenty of them predominated. Under his able direction last year in competition with boats of other units of the Scouting Force, for Saturday life-boat drills, the whale-boat of the SALT LAKE CITY was always first in a series of about twelve such drills for that period of time. In substance, at the signal from the flagship, men with life-jackets manned their boat and were lowered away. They pulled around the ship next to theirs at anchor, and returned and hooked on to the falls and were hoisted away to the davit-heads.
Upon his last attendance at Saturday morning inspection, the crew was paraded aft and Mr. Thrunk received a fitting homage as a gesture of appreciation and fond farewell.
While on the SALT LAKE CITY he reached the pinnacle of his fame in that natural Naval sport, race boating---which is indeed the most cherished among bluejackets--but, he is long to be reckoned with hereafter.
#11 in picture of Whale Boat Crew from William Patrick
#11 in picture with the 1931 Whale Boat Race Team from Cecil L. Wood, Cpl., USMC
#11 in picture with 1933 Whale Boat Crew
#13 in picture with 1933 SLC Officers
#08 in picture with Marine Raceboat Crew, 1933