USS SLC...Enlisted Navy...Francis J. Trapp, SM1c
July 21, 2003
I am Francis Trapp and I was a signalman aboard the SLC from 1944 to 1946. I worked with
Herman Lane, John Rysdyk and A. J. Zaupa, SM3c. The heck of is that I can not recall the other men's names.
I am retired and have been for the past 22 years, from the Madison Police department. I served there for 31 years.
An old Shipmate,
SLC Deck Log Jun. 1944
#5 in picture from the collection of
Walter "Wally" L. Walsh, SM3c
Received the Letter of Commendation
I wrote to Francis and ask him about the Commendation. Here is his story.
I did receive the letter of Commendation, but what had transpired is
I recall a tiny Island with a natural harbor. The Island
was occupied by the Japs. A destroyer was making a sweep around the harbor
when she ran aground. In order to free the ship, the front magazine was
opened as was the aft magazine. The sailors then carried the munitions from
the aft to the forward hole, attempting to lighten the fan tail so the
ship could clear the reef. In the mean time, the Japs moved a field piece in
place and shot off a round which landed aside of the ship. The second round
went into the rear hole and touched off a huge exposition. I saw sailors
flying in the air and landing in the sea. Volunteers were requested to man a
life boat to rescue survivors. I was the signal person who went on the
rescue mission. While searching for survivors, we came up on a sailor in the water
barely staying afloat. We pulled aside and noticed he was badly injured.
Very carefully we brought him aboard. The impact of the explosion ripped the
sailor from his chest to his lower abdomen. His intestines were hanging out
side of his body. The corpsman administered first aid using morphine. We then
transported him, but I can not remember where. We later got word that the
sailor we picked up had not survived.
I thought the name of the destroyer was the SHAW. In checking I found out the SHAW was blown in half by the Japs in PEARL HARBOR Dec. 7th.
Sandy that is the end of the story.