Hails from: Aberdeen, South Dakota
Rate/Rank: Lieutenant Commander
Date of Birth: 04/29/1922
Years in Service: 23
When my grandfather graduated high school in June 1940, he joined the US Navy intending to become a pilot. He completed basic training at Naval Station Great Lakes in Illinois.
During this time, the rules changed, only to allow college graduates to become pilots. Once he finished boot camp in 1941, he joined the USS Pennsylvania at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. He was a rangefinder operator and practiced shooting land or towed vessel targets.
After six months, he had the opportunity to be tested for acceptance into Naval Prep School, a first step toward attending the Naval Academy, where he could complete his dream of becoming a pilot!
He qualified and attended Naval Prep School in Norfolk, Virginia, missing
the attack on Pearl Harbor by three months. From there, my grandfather attended the Naval Academy for three years (accelerated during the War). His first assignment upon graduating in 1945 was to the USS Iowa. He was assigned to be a Turret One officer for a year.
When he joined the USS Iowa in Hawaii, their first assignment was to accompany the USS Missouri for Japan's surrender. The Iowa and Missouri steamed into Sagami Bay for the Japanese Naval surrender, and then on to Tokyo Bay, to receive the Japanese Emperor's surrender. He watched the surrender proceedings from the deck of the Iowa as it transpired aboard the Missouri.
He was among the very early waves of service members to step foot in Japan. Their first job was to help ship out US POWs.
Once he completed one year's deployment aboard the USS Iowa, he went to Pensacola, FL to attend Flight Training.There he became a Naval Aviator, his lifelong dream!
Over the course of his career, he flew the following aircraft: SNJ (flight training), R4D, R5D, F2H, F3D, AD4, AD5, AD6, Grumman HU-16, P2V. He flew planes from 1949 when he earned his wings till he retired in 1963.
To the time of his death on May 26, 2021 at the age of 99, my grandfather would talk about how incredible his time was aboard the USS Iowa. In his last few months he reminded us to count our blessings and told us that he's a "great believer in luck" and that he's been "very
He is survived by his loving family who celebrates his life with gin martinis, chocolate, and good beer.