USS SLC...Enlisted Navy...Roy Zeagler, S1c
Roy passed away on May 9th, 2009. Information from daughter, Jill Zeagler
Mr. Zeagler was born on November 9, 1924 in Clarks to the union of Phillip and Velma Humphries Zeagler and passed from this world on Saturday, May 9, 2009 at the NELA War Veterans Home in Monroe, LA. Mr. Zeagler began a long military career at the age of 18. He enlisted with the Navy and served on the USS SLC in October 1942 and served on her until 1945 or 1946. Roy served through the Iwo Jima and Okinawa battles. He was discharged in New Orleans and waited exactly 15 months and reenlisted in the Navy. He then served for 20 years before finally being discharged and taking a civilian job
He work for various companies and industries including; the Louisiana Paving and TL James Construction, brief employment at the Florida State Penitentiary, drove a truck for a vending machine company and roofed houses in Florida. He started Roy Zeagler Roofing business in the late 70ís. He was a lifetime American Legion and VFW member. He was preceded in death by his parents and several siblings. Survivors include his two daughters; Jill Zeagler of Dallas, TX and Diane Zeagler of California, MD and son, Tom Hartwell of Mt. Pleasant, SC. The family would like to thank the staff at the War Veterans Home for their care and consideration of Mr. Zeagler during his stay there.
Feb. 26th, 2004...Received information written by his daughter, Jill Zeagler
Roy Zeagler was single and 18 years old, working on a "drag-line" in Clarks, LA.
before he went into the service. He had always loved the Navy and dreamed of being a sailor.
He went to boot camp in San Diego, CA. He said boot camp was pretty good. They got to see
boxing matches every week on wed. night. The boxing matches were called "smokers". He says
his team always won.
He boarded the SLC on October 10th, 1942 [he thinks] while at Mare Island Navy Yard in San
Francisco, CA. He doesn't remember exactly how long he served on her. It was either 1945 or
46. He went to New Orleans, LA. to get discharged. He stayed out of the Navy for 15 months
to the day and then reenlisted.
He was a member of the 3rd Division and his commanding officer was
Lt. Richard Blum. A
typical day on board was waking at 6 a.m. unless in "general quarters". "General Quarters"
were for the people who had watch and they had different times. Then he would eat breakfast
in the mess hall, clean up before and after battles, painted and just waited for orders.
The living conditions on board were pretty good. He slept in the machine shop in a hammock
for the first 5 to 6 nights. Some of the men had stayed on the ship as passengers and it was
a temporary sleeping arrangement until they had been assigned a bunk. It was really hard to
sleep with all that noise.
Shipmates his remembers are:
Billy L. Evans, Cox,
G. M. Wyckoff, GM1c;
Frank Leslie, BM1c;
W. H. Bean, BM2c;
Joseph Ziolkowski, GM3c;
Cecil Knight, SM1c;
Wilbert J. Dugas, S1c
and Unknown Wolff, SM1c.
He remembers having beach parties when the weather permitted. Entertainment wasn't allowed on
the ship, but he went to USO shows sometimes when they were in port. Roy remembers one time,
he and some of his buddies left the ship to go to a show in the Philippines and decided to go
into town instead. They ended up getting left by the bus and slept off the ship that night.
The next morning they made their way back to the ship and snuck on. There was another sailor
causing some trouble, so they didn't get caught.
Roy was on board the SLC during the Iwo Jima and Okinawa battles. He remembers being down in
the magazine and couldn't see what was going on. They could hear the guns and all the noise,
but couldn't see the action. He said that when the guns would go off the sound would make
them just hunker down. He said the sound of the guns was enough to scare them without seeing
the action on the deck.
When the war was over he learned he had to settle down and find a job. He was just like everyone else on the ship. Just a kid trying to grow up. His experience on the SLC definitely helped with that.
He reenlisted in the Navy and retired after 20 years. He worked for many years for the Louisiana Paving and TL James Construction. He also had brief employment at the Florida State Penitentiary, but left for obvious reasons. He drove a truck for a vending machine company and roofed houses for a company in FL. He started his own "Roy Zeagler Roofing" business in the late 70's, where he was employed until his stroke in June of 1985. Some of his employees included his two daughters, Jill and Diane.
After his stroke he was rehabilitated to a small degree. He could walk, learned to talk some and could even drive his tractor and maintained his garden. In 1991 he went to the hospital with severe pain in his right leg and had to have it amputated a few days later due to deterioration of the blood vessels.
He is currently living in the home he built abt. 1980 and takes care of himself to a certain degree. His years on the SLC were some of his fondest memories and he can talk for hours about it.
#41 in Picture with 3rd Division, February 3rd, 1944
#5 in Picture with 3rd Division, Sept. 1945
2006 SLC Reunion