Jan. 20th, 2000|
This is the story of Samuel F. Wells and his time he spent on the cruiser,
USS SALT LAKE CITY, CA25
On the 20th day in April, 1933, I left my home in St. Joseph, MO. and went
to Kansas City, MO. and joined the US NAVY. That same day I was put on a
train and taken to the training station for my boat training. I was at
the training station for 4 months.
I received orders and went by a Navy ship to Long Beach, CA. where I was
taken to the USS SALT LAKE CITY-CA25 heavy cruiser. I was assigned to the
1st Division as a deck hand. I was then taken to the part of the ship
where the division was billeted and given a key to a locker and shown the
two overhead hooks where I would hang my hammock when it came bed time.
One of the Petty Officers took me up to the ?baw section where the men in
the 1st Division were busy "holy stoning" the wooden decks. I was shown
how to do this job and for several hours I found out what the word "tired"
About 4 months later the Chief Petty Officer who had charge of Turret One
asked me if I would care to work under him in the Turret. By then I was
smart enough to say I would enjoy being a striker in his turret.
I could see that if a man was serious and would prepare himself he could
move up the ladder of rates and really could make a career for himself and
get to be something worth while.
The first thing I had to learn was the make up of the turret. How
important each part of it was and how to keep it ready for use.
The next thing was how the big 8 inch guns were made and how to dismantle
them, how to measure each part to see if any of them were so worn that
they needed to be replaced, how to clean the parts and then what oil or
grease to put on them and to reassemble them.
The next thing I had to learn was the gun powder which propelled the
projectile out of the gun. How it was made and the care that it took to
have it ready to be used at any time.
I studied every thing I could about the Navy and with the help of many of
the Officers I expanded my education up from the 6th grade to where I was
given credit for 2 years of college.
In 10 years I had gone from recruit to Warrant Officer. I was transferred
from the good ole SLC after making Warrant officer.
If it had not been for what I had learned on the "Dear old Ship", I would
have never been able to do each and every duty I was assigned to do for
the next 20 years.
I retired from the Navy after 30 years and was very proud of myself for
the way I was able to complete ever assignment given to me.
Samuel F. Wells
Signed a letter in regards to the death of
Harold E. "Gus" Kronquist, 1942
Mentioned in story from
Richard "Pappy" Holmes
The Rope Yarn, Small Arms Firing Score, 1st Div., 1934
Information on the Last Day of the SLC
SLC Deck Log Officer's List
SLC Deck Logs Nov. 1942
Awards Check Off List, 1947