Personal History of Bangust Sailors
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    Click on a name to read about that sailor. Or better yet scroll down and read them all!

    Donald Pond
    Hank Davis

    James McKeon

    Robert McKnight

    Robert Lee

    Edward Capraun

    Bill Fairlee

    Norm Hatt

    Sigmund Schade

    Martin Rader

    Donald R. Pond QM2 was born in Upland, California on November 8, 1925. After graduating from University High School, located in West Los Angeles, California, in June 1943, Donald worked at North American Aircraft helping to build B25 bombers until joining the Naval Reserve for active duty on November 1, 1943. After completing boot camp at San Diego Naval Training Center, Donald was selected for Quartermaster School, also located at the San Diego Naval Training Canter. Upon completion of Quartermaster School Donald, along with many others that had completed their training were assigned as passengers of the USS Franklin CV13. Underway for Pearl Harbor in June of 1944 the Franklin was loaded, including topside, using all available space with fighter aircraft for delivery to the Pacific. All of the space between the aircraft was full of passengers with their sleeping cots and personal gear.

USS Franklin
The Franklin

    After a short time at Aiea, a relocation camp near Pearl Harbor, Donald along with a few others was assigned as a passenger to the USS Patuxant AO44 for transfer to the Pacific Fleet. Arriving at Saipan and Tinian during their siege, then to an Army passenger ship for sailing to Einewetok Atoll.

Fleet Oiler
A Fleet Oiler similar to the Patuxant

    Arriving at Einewetok in July of 1944, Donald was assigned to the USS Bangust DE739. The Bangust History appears on another page.

    Donald remained with the Bangust and assisted with the mothball effort at Green Cove Springs, Florida until being transferred to Long Beach Naval Discharge Center. Receiving his proudly worn Lame Duck patch on April 10 1946. The Two years, six months and ten days are happily remembered.

    Remaining in the US Naval Reserve Donald was called, from his Carpenter trade, to active duty for the Korean Conflict. Ordered to the San Diego Naval Base with quarters aboard the USS Klondike P32 to recommission some of the same vessels that the Bangust had served with during WWII. One year, five months and twenty days later Donald was discharged to return home to Santa Barbara, California. Living now (2005) in Lompoc, California a few miles up the road from Santa Barbara.

Donald in 1944

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    HENRY EUGENE DAVIS FC1 ("Hank" or "Gene") Born 08 March 1926, Hayward, CA. Attended public schools grades 1 thru 5 at various locations in California, including Los Olivos, Santa Maria, San Francisco and Longvale. Grades 6, 7, & 8 were at St. Vincents Boarding School for Boys, in San Rafael, CA where the standard school day was seven hours plus two hours nightly study hall. Courses included Latin, Algebra, Geometry & Trigonometry. Returned to public school for the 9th & 10th grades in Arroyo Grande, CA, only to find I had completed the classes in the previous years at St. Vincents. Began to hang around with older guys from the 11th & 12th grades. The good teachers had enlisted in the military or been recalled, the replacements were immature and my older friends were enlisting. The only interesting classes were the pre-induction courses. When those ended, boredom set in and at the tender age of 17 years, 2 months, on 07 May of 1943, I found myself as a seaman recruit in Company 313-43 at Camp Waldron, U.S.N.T.S. Farragut, Idaho.

    Completed boot training without incident and reported to Fire Control/Range Finder school at Treasure Island, San Francisco from which I graduated 06 November 1943 wearing a new 3rd class crow and carrying a ticket to the Outgoing Unit (OGU) at the infamous Terminal Island Federal Prison, San Pedro, CA, with FFT orders to the USS BANGUST (DE739). Lolled around doing nothing for a week while the OGU tried to find the BANGUST. During the second week was assigned to a work detail, and while on that detail found her myself. Transferred aboard at San Pedro, 20 December 1943.

    Was aboard the BANGUST from the time we left the States in January 1944 until we put the ship in mothballs at Green Cove Springs, Florida in March of 1946. Stood Radar, Sonar & CIC watches underway and Rangefinder at General Quarters. Duty station included repair and maintenance of Ordnance Control Panel on Flying Bridge, The Rangefinder, some sound powered phones and minor electrical circuits on various guns. Discharged as 2nd class at Shoemaker, CA on 09 March 1946.

    Re-enlisted in Navy reserve in 1947 to "help get a reserve unit going" in Atascadero, CA. Did several weekend cruises on a YMS based in Santa Barbara, CA. This ship often came into Morro Bay training recruits on weekend cruises. Went on one two week cruise up the Columbia River to Portland, OR for the Rose Festival on USS STICKELL (DD888) in 1948 or 1949.

    Recalled to full time active duty on 28 August 1950 as FC1/c. Reported to Hanger #1 at Treasure Island where a Corpsman reassured me that being able to get up the stairs to his office was all the proof the Navy needed of my fitness to serve. A few days at T. I. to get uniforms and pay and allowances and then was assigned to Hunter's Point Naval Shipyard, San Francisco, as lead fire control man with a crew of about 25 (varied), activating FC gear on reserve ships for the Korean War. Worked on over 20 ships ranging from APA's and AKA's to Anti Aircraft Cruisers to the USS IOWA. Never mind that the yard crews then ripped out the WWII stuff we had just activated and replaced it with all new state-of-the-art electronic gear. Discharged 06 November 1951 as acting CPO with a promise of pin stripe if I would stay. No way!!

    Married with five children, eleven grandchildren and two great grandchildren. Retired (1992) from position as Vice President, Pacific Area Manager for a firm that manufactures exploration drilling equipment for geotechnical and environmental investigation. Registered Geologist now serving as Consultant in geotechnical & environmental investigation field. Wife Elizabeth has recently retired (1998) and we look forward to travel, visits with family and friends and research.

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    James F. McKeon GM1

    To whom it may concern;

    My father was on the USS Bangust during world war two. His name was James F. Mckeon, a Gunners Mate 1st class. He passed away July 2, 1980 at the age of 59 from a heart attack. My father married my mother when he was in his early 30's and had 5 children with her plus her 3 from a previous marriage gave him eight kids to bring up and feed in the city of Boston where he lived his entire life except of course when he was with his crew from the Bangust which he was awfully proud of BELIEVE me!!!

    Many an evening after a few beers he would talk about his experience with you guys good and bad. He spoke of the Typhoon, the sinking of a submarine and on a lighter note, the torpedo juice. He would then go into his room and pull out his box of WW2 momentos, pictures of some crew members of the Bangust, a piece of a Japanese Zero plane and Japanese currency.

    This was a special time in my fathers life, just a kid really, half a world away from the streets of Boston and in the middle of a war. I could tell the fondness he felt for this ship and its crew. He could not have been more proud if he had won the war single handily. If my father was alive I know he would love to be here at the reunion.

    If someone could post this or read it out loud it would be appreciated.

    Thank you very much.

    James F. Mckeon Jr.

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    Robert McKnight EMP2c

    This is in response to your request to tell my story in relation to my Navy career.

    I'll start with when I graduated from high school in 1942. As was the case with many of us,we could not enlist in the service do to all enlistments being frozen. We had to go through the draft board..As my number was not due up for awhile, I, along with a couple other buddies went up to Valleo, Ca. And got a job in the Todd shipyards building Liberty ships. I started out as a shipfitter trainee working on the outfitting docks. That was too boring so I asked to be sent to the pipe bending shop. I became a machine operator on an 8" bending machine working the graveyard shift. I then went to the L.A. area and worked as a carpenter building walls for defense workers housing. I was afraid that I wouldn't get into the war so I volunteered to be drafted. I passed the physical an was given the choice of Army or Navy. Navy for me.

    I was sent to Farragut, Idaho for my boot training in Camp Scott. This was in March of 1943 After boots I qualified for electrical school. I thought sure I was going to have to stay at Farragut tech but lucked out and got to go to the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. My temper got me in trouble just before graduation (fighting a civilian) and I didn't get my rate.

    I was sent to Philadelphia navy yard for assignment to sea duty. Then it was off to dear old Norfolk Va. and assigned to the USS Bangust D.E.739. I was assigned to the electrical school there for three weeks before going to SanPedro Ca. to the navy receiving station. This was a Federal Prison on Terminal Island. We were moved to the ship shortly thereafter and the rest is in the History of the ship. I left the ship about three months before the war was over. After a 30 day leave, in Bakersfield, I reported for reassignment at Camp Shoemaker. From there to Treasure Island and then to a merchant troop ship back to the Philipines. We passed over the wreckage of the Indianapolis on the way to Leyte. From there by small craft to Manila. Stayed at the Caviti prison until assigned to the USS Haywood APA6. We moved troops to Okinawa to releave a Hospital unit to be moved to Yokahama. I left the Haywood in SanFrancisco, saw my folks and then Reported to Great Lakes for discharge in March of 1946. Caught a train to St Paul, Mn.and picked up my wife and son and headed to California.

    I don't regret the time spent in the Navy. It was a learning experience and I saw a lot of beautiful places and met a lot of good people. There were boring times, exciting times and a few scary times.

    All of us, in our own way, learned a hell of a lot while growing up in the Navy.


    I also was called back to the service for the Korean conflict. I was stationed at the San Diago navy yard assigned to the repair ship USS Klondike. As a second class EMP we took ships out of mothballs and recommissioned them for duty 'til I was discharged for having too many dependents.

    After navy life, I worked for the Pacific Telephone Company for a little over 36 years. I started as a cablesplicer's helper and was a splicing foreman and retired as an engineer in 1982.

    We had four kids, 11 grandkids and six greatgrandkids.

    Hope you can make some sense out of this Don,


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    Robert R. Lee SSML3/C was born in Arnor, Virginia on 02 August 1925. He enlisted in the United States Navy in Kingsport, Tennessee on 19 June 1943. He completed boot camp at Bainbridge, Maryland. Bob, reported on board the USS Bangust DE739 at San Pedro, California. His on board watch station was the 3"/50caliber gun. His general quarters was the same. Bob was discharged at Green Cove Springs, Florida on 05 March 1946. Bob married the lovely, Charlotte Mullins on 11 September 1968. He retired from United Telephone Company (now known as Sprint) in 1987. He and Charlotte reside in Kingsport, Tennessee. Bob would enjoy hearing from any of his old shipmates.

    Bob in 1946

    Robert Lee Kingsport, TN

    Robert R. "Bob" Lee age 82, of Kingsport went to be with the Lord Monday (June 23, 2008) at Indian Path Medical Center.

    Born in Anor, VA, he had lived in Kingsport most of his life. He had served in the United States Navy during WW II and was a member of DESA as well as the Masonic Lodge # 688. Mr. Lee retired from United Telephone Co. after over 35 years of service. He was a member of Litz Manor Baptist Church.

    Preceding him in death were his parents, Joseph and Cora Messick Lee; sister, Margaret Smith; two brothers, A.V. Lee, and Douglas Lee.

    He is survived by his wife, Charlotte Mullins Lee, of the home; daughter, Melinda; two sons, Michael Lee and wife, Beth, Columbia, SC, Jonathan Lee and wife, Linda, Hawaii; five grandchildren; sister, Evelyn Hunt, Kingsport; brother, Bill Lee, Kingsport; and several nieces and nephews.

    Calling hours will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday (June 26, 2008) at Carter-Trent Funeral Home, 520 Watauga Street, Kingsport, TN 37660.

    Funeral service will follow in the funeral home chapel with Pastor Bill Steele officiating. Music will be provided by Mary Jane Lee.

    Military entombment services will be conducted 10 a.m. at Oak Hill Mausoleum Friday (June 27, 2008) by the American Legion Post 3/265, Joe W. Byrd, Chaplain. Friends and family planning to attend are asked to meet at the funeral home by 9:50 a.m. to go in procession.

    In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to the Litz Manor Baptist Church, 1383 Dewey Avenue, Kingsport.

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    Edward Capraun SF3c

    I was inducted into the Navy April 1944 after 5 weeks at the naval training center in Sampson N.Y. I was given a week to go home and say so long. Upon my return I was lined up in a very large gym had a SHORT Physical. They passed out slips if you were lucky enough to get one it was anchors aweigh, see ya. They loaded the cattle in the so-called passenger trains and off we went to the west coast. We arrived in Shoemaker CA. in the middle of the night it was cold. They gave us a bunk and I would guess around three AM some idiot with a bosan pipe informed us the rev. was at five. I learned in boots do not hold back when they asked for volunteers so before the question was asked at the morning muster I had already raised my hand and being the chow hound that I was, I was made Master at arms of a beautiful mess line. Boy did I make friends easily. We were there for two weeks when they took us to Treasure Island. When I say us I mean 375 unassigned Sampson US Sailors. I am sure you all know that the island was a DE base. Oh how I kept telling myself, don't worry you won't be a DE jockey. Well the next morning we were bused to Oakland Ca. and there in the harbor stood this ship USS Yarmouth. All ashore who are going. I think I almost wanted to go. This was July 28th l944. I had never been on a ship at sea and my bunk was 3 decks below. I never had to make my bunk because I never slept in it the truth is I was scared and I don't think I was alone. We had two GQs on our way to Pearl. We arrived in Oahu on Aug 2 had a couple of liberties left Oahu for Pearl we left PH on Aug. 8th arrived Eniwetok on 16th transferred to DD tender same day sent to the DD tender Piedmont. Assigned to the DD Mc Dermott. Never got on board. On Aug. 21 picked up by the Mighty B and the rest is history.

    I was on board for the crossing of the Equator on Aug 29 & 30th. and remained until we left Tokyo for the States. After my leave in Philly the Exec, now Skipper asked me to go to decom. I felt I made it this far so I turned him down. I was sorry later but home looked real good.

    I was married to the most wonderful girl in the world for almost 56 years. We had a great life together. We adopted two little girls. First one was one month old. The second was two weeks old.

    I was a self-trained carpenter built about twenty 4 room with ex attics they were the big thing then. I also built one and only one in the ground swimming pool in Mountainside N.J. I was not getting rich so I threw in the towel. I went to work in a building center lasted 27 yrs. form which I retired at 65. I have no regrets, I had a great life and loved every day of it. I lost Fran June 30th 1996 and that's the end of my story. Feb. 6th. 1919 was my birthday.

    I will always cherish my time on the Big (B) met a lot of nice guys.

    Edward Capraun
    23 Primrose Ct.
    Toms River N.J. 08755-4016

    The Toms River Times

    Edward "Cappy" Capraun, 87, of Toms River, died September 28, 2006 at Community Medical Center, Toms River, New Jersey. Formerly of North Arlington and Mountainside, Capraun made his living first as a home builder, then as a manager of Jaeger Lumber Co., Union and Stirling, for 27 years, retiring 25 years ago. Known by many as "Eddie the Sailor," he participated in many parades in Seaside Heights and was a decorated World War II Navy veteran and awarded the Bronze Star. Capraun was a member of the Destroyers Escort Sailors Association (DESA), past president of the Passaic Lions CLub and the Chamber of Commerce, a founding parishioner of Our Lady of Lourdes Roman Catholic Church, Mountainside, a member of the V.F.W. Post 6063, and a volunteer fireman in North Arlington for seven years.

    Capraun was predeceased by his wife, Frances in 1996. Surviving are two daughters, MaryAnne Arlotta of Linden and Sharon Beamonte of Hudson Falls, N.Y.; five grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

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    William Morgan Fairlee, born July 7,1923 in Schenectady NY. Mother, Ethel Morgan Fairlee, father William Fairlee Jr. Two sisters, Helen 1/16/25, and Mary Jane 6/3/29. Married Eleanor Kaczmarek 4/25/42, daughter Patricia born 11/13/42.

    Tried to enlist in April 1943, CPO told me no enlistment, everything through Draft Board. I told him that my employer was president of said board and I would wait. He made an exception. I got my draft notice and alongside my name where they asked preference, Navy was typed in. Sworn in 4/16/43 and sent to Sampson Training (boot camp). Completed training and was asked for preference in schools. Since I had worked around cars I asked for Airplane mechanic, diesel Mechanic, or PT Boat (gas engines). Returned from boot leave and found my name on a draft and wound up at Portsmouth Naval Hospital for training as a Corpsman. Took me five weeks to talk me out of that one. Transferred to South Annex, NOB Norfolk VA. Assigned to USS Brough DE 148 and sent to school on Fairbanks Morse engines. Miss communication due to an emergency transfer to Orange TX and missed the ship. Reassigned to Bangust. On board from Commissioning until Nov.23 1945. Got a 3 day leave and hauled all my stuff home. Reported to Long Beach/separation Center and discharged 11/30/45

    Returned to old job driving milk truck until early 1947 and was then appointed to the Schenectady NY Police Dept. (Note: I was one of the third generation of cops, the fourth retired last June). Son Jeffrey born 7/11/47, daughter Loralee born 7/13/50. Finally in 1951 I had all the snow and cold weather I wanted for a lifetime and moved back to Calif. (Van Nuys). Later the same year I was appointed to the Beverly Hills PD.

    Strange as it may seem, we missed the seasons, plus too much traffic, smog, and people. Early 1960 we bought a restaurant and motel in Gold Beach OR (KING SIZED MISTAKE) The people there wanted you to come up, go salmon fishing, spend money, but don't move here. Sold the motel and moved 25 miles north to Port Orford OR where I had a retail and wholesale milk distributing business. It went well except I was running my tail off and began to wonder if I would be able to do in 10 years hence.

    In January 1964 my wife died so I had to find something to be home with two kids, my oldest girl was married by then and lived in Calif. In March of that year I was appointed to the Oregon Liquor Control Commission as an enforcement Officer in Portland OR. In Aug. of 1966 I married my present wife who also worked for the OLCC in data processing. We were transferred to Eugene OR the same year. She had a 3 year old from a previous marriage so now I have 4 kids. As an enforcement division it left a lot to be desired so in 1971 we bought a small MOM & POP country store. My wife continued in data processing and I ran to store and was appointed Post Master. In early 1978 our daughter was keeping stats for various athletic teams in middle school. She told us about a kid that had been "dumped" there and his folks were always going to send for him when they got settled. Where he was living was rotten (bunch of pot heads) and where he was going to move was worse so he came to our house for dinner on Valentines Day 1978 and never left. Now we have 5 kids. In 1978 we sold toe store how- ever I kept the Post office and we built our present home on 2.5 acres that we had purchased earlier. In 1991 we both retired and are loving minute of it We have been doing a lot of traveling and spending time with family. At last count we have grown to 5 kids, 12 grandkids, and four great grandkids. They are scattered from Seattle to Rancho Bernardo and they are all good kids.

    There Don, for what its worth. Don't hesitate to delete anything that might not be important or if I left anything out, let me know.

    Bill Fairlee (October 23, 2000)

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    Don, am sending a brief history for the Bangust page if you would like to include with the Crew Histories.

    Norman J. Hatt, EM1c, Born in Franklin Square, L.I.,N.Y. on February 27, 1925. Enlisted in New York City in March of 1943 and had boot training at the Great Lakes Naval Station. Attended Electrician's School at Purdue University and boarded the U.S.S Bangust, DE 739 in San Pedro, 1943. Watches were in the engine and motor rooms and GQ station was Repair II mid-ships. Other than schooling, spent entire Naval career on the Bangust from 1943-1946 when she was mothballed at Green Cove Springs, Florida. Discharged at Lido Beach, N.Y. in March 1946. Married Jean Morrow in September, 1949 and have three children and eight grandchildren. Presently reside in E.Sandwich, Ma. and Leesburg, Fl.
    (April 2001)

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    Hi! I wanted to add my Dad, who will be 80 in January, to your contact list. He served on the Bangust for 18 months from about 4/43 to 10/44. He was a signal man, and his nick name was "Deacon". When he got out he joined the Naval reserves, and then rejoined as a Naval Chaplain in about 1964. He remembers his Naval days very fondly.



    Sigmund C. Schade
    1558 Holly Tree Rd.
    Yuba City, CA 95993-5238
    530 6713454

    If you have any memorabilia I could buy for his birthday, that would be great. I am copying pictures and stories from the website to put into a book for him for his birthday.

    Marilyn Musielski
    16 Academy Rd
    Madison, NJ 07940


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U.S.S. BANGUST 1943 - 1946

    To all my former shipmates aboard the U.S.S. Bangust, I want to say I am looking forward to seeing all of you again. It was such a privilege and pleasure to serve with all of you. Most of us here today are ancient antiques (speaking for myself). Being born in the year 1918, I am old enough to have rust under my armpits (that’s okay). I just squirt a little WD40 on my joints and keep moving. We should all thank our Good Lord and Creator for bringing us through many terrible experiences and for the longevity of our lives (yes, Lord we do thank you.)

    If you recall, back in 1942 the U.S. Congress passed the draft law. Subject to age, size of family, etc. In 1943 my draft status was 1-A so I volunteered for the U.S. Navy. I did not want the Army. At that time, I was married with one child. I was sent to San Diego Naval Base for boot training (seven weeks). After boot camp, I went aboard a baby flat top to Hawaii for further orders, Saginaw Bay. Staying there for six weeks. I was put aboard a Dutch troop ship and we landed at Eniwetok Atoll where I boarded the U.S.S. Bangust in the month of May 1944 and was put into the first division under Chief Herman Meacham. I will never forget Old Chief Meacham. He lined up the new crew members and said “How many of you characters have been in the brig?” I had to hold up my hand because I was in the brig for being AWOL. The Navy was going to ship me overseas without a leave home so I took 19 days which I now know I should not have done. I received 30 days in the brig and a $50 fine and immediately shipped out. Anyway the Chief Meacham said “I want any man who has been in the brig to be in my division because they make the best sailors. SO that is where I landed. And I must say I think the first division (of brig rats) were among the best in the Navy. I know you object to that statement, but that is my feeling. Anyway, that is the first and only time I have been behind bars in my life.

    My duty aboard the Bangust, while in port, was bow-hook on the whale boat. The boat had three men - cockswain, motor mack, bow-hook. The cockswain was Harold Arnett, motor mack James Coster, and I was the bow-hook. Coster was a Jewish boy who could not swim and was totally afraid of the water. Yet, he was on the whale boat crew. If you recall, our commanding officer was a total 100 percent alcoholic. We had to, at times, carry him to the boat and it took for or five crew members to get him on board. I recall one incident at Ulithi Atoll he (McNish) went ashore and when we picked him up, he was totally out. When we arrived at our ship, he would not let anyone help him so he started up the ladder and fell backwards into the water and sank four or five feet. I dove into the water and pulled him up and he said “I fell in didn’t I sailor” and I said “Yes, sir”.

    When we were at sea, my duties were Starboard Lookout and Steering watch. Lookout had to report any objects floating or under the water or in the air. We had to be especially alert for floating mines. I recall one time we were re-fueling at sea and I spotted a mine dead ahead. We cut the fuel line. The oil tanker and the D.E. split in each direction. Officers sank the mine with rifles.

    I was on steering watch during the terrible typhoon we went through in 1944. The rudders on our ship would turn only 10 degrees right or left and with those 70 and 80 feet waves, it was a terrific battle to keep the ship on course. I don’t know how the old Bangust held together. She was a tough old girl. Remember, the Destroyers Spence, Monaghan and Hull all broke in two and sank.

    My battle station was Hot-Shellman. On our 3" - 50 mm cannons, I helped with the firing of the Hedgehogs. Remember, that is what sank the submarine. Hot-Shellman had to wear thick asbestos gloves to handle the brass of the shells. The gloves were extra thick but the heat would penetrate through them. We put cotton in our ears, but the concussion would knock our helmets off and push the cotton out of our ears. So, we, the gun crew (five men) said “To Hell with it, we’ll fire without them”. Which we did, many many times.

    I recall we had a head (toilet) right below the 3-inch cannon on the bow. Every time we would fire this on particular gun, we had to repaint the ceiling of the head because it would literally peel the paint from the steel. Why? I don’t know. The concussion, I suppose.

    Speaking of concussions, I got my Navy discharge January, 1947. In 1948, I had to buy myself hearing aids. At that time, they were just coming on the market and were not too reliable. Today, they are awesome. I went to the Veteran’s Hospital in Muskogee, Oklahoma and they just fiddled around doing nothing. I wanted to find out if my hearing problem was caused by my naval service, because my ears would drain and get sore and I went to sickbay a number of times on the ship. I finally got my naval record by writing my Congressman, Bill Thomas, and my records had nothing about my visits to the sickbay. I hope today’s soldiers and all service people get better consideration. Anyway, at the age of 86, I am still walking, exercising well, and enjoying each and everyday to the fullest degree.

    I was one of the lucky GI’s to get a Dear John letter while overseas. I had a suspicious feeling something at home was not right. She (my wife) would write letters and not mail them for a week at a time and not write for a month. When I arrived home in January of 1946, my suspicions were correct, she was living with another man. You know this shakes a man up more that anything in the world. It took me quite some time to recover, but I found a woman with two children, Delvia. We married and raised her two children, my daughter by my first wife, and three boys of our own. I tell her I wouldn’t trade her for Jimmy Carter’s peanut farm in the State of Georgia. She tells me she wouldn’t trade me for an army mule. We have been together 57 years, and would like 57 more.

    You know, we all have tough situations to face at times. It pays one to sit down and consider the situation and realize that patience and time will solve any problems.

    When I was a young boy at home I would go to work with my father, who was a plumber. It was then that I decided to follow my father’s occupation. When I returned home from the service in 1946, I went to work as an apprentice plumber, learned the trade and retired after 44 years. My wife and I enjoy every second of each day. All my four boys became plumbers. The trade has been wonderful for my family.

    One of my sons, David, was a professional baseball player for 14 years. He blessed me with two grandchildren and two great grandchildren. My son Bob, also blessed me with two grandchildren and so far, one great grandchild. My son Gary, had two boys (who are both serving in Iraq, one in the Army and the other in the Air Force), and one of those boys has blessed me with a great granddaughter. My stepdaughter Jean (who is bringing us to this reunion with her husband, Dave) had two children. They have blessed me with four great grandchildren. My daughter, Alma Kay (who recently passed away from cancer) had two sons and they had one child each. My stepson, Benny, passed away in 1981 and he had two children. Those two children have blessed me with three great grandchildren. So, we have been busy. Since my retirement as a plumber, I have been into woodcarving as a hobby.

    Gentlemen, I think this old sailor has written enough. I hope these few notes bring back happy memories for you. Those memories have meant a lot to me. We’re all at the age to get ready for the Great Beyond. I’ll see you there and remember “Old Sailors Never Die, They Just Smell That Way.”

    God Bless One and All

    Porter Martin Rader
    S1/C USS Bangust DE 739


    Edgar Mosteller (Cook on the Bangust)

    Edgar passed away early this morning. (August 15, 2008) Ed lost his wife to Alzheimers about two years ago, and his health declined slowly over the last two years. He really loved that old ship and his shipmates and wore a Bangust DE hat for years and years

    Gus Paveledes (Cook on the Bangust)

    Just a note that one of your shipmates, Gus Paveledes (Cook) has passed away. He was an active member of our DESA chapter and attended the meetings until his health was failing. He will be missed by all. (Received July 23 2009)

    Dan Fuchs (Seaman on the Bangust)

    Died October 27 2010. Dan was 86 (Received February 6 2011 from a friend of Dan's)

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