Thursday, March 28, 2013

Served on the Carriers Lake Champlain and Wolverine-- Part 1

Thursday, I volunteered to help the Goldsboro Salvation Army in their annual barbecue fundraiser and was assigned to go on deliveries.  The man I was to help was 90 years old and a member of the Golden Kiwanis.

While delivering, he mentioned that he was a World War II veteran, having joined the Navy in the last part of it.  He was a graduate of Goldsboro High School in 1939, the same year as my uncle with  whom he was a good friend.

Earlier in the war, he had worked at a war industry in North Carolina.  Training had been at Great Lakes in North Chicago, Illinois, about thirty miles from my house.  His training had been extended because he had been assigned to join the new aircraft carrier USS Lake Champlain.

I had never heard of this ship and thought it might be one of the US light carriers, but it turned out to be (when I looked it up) one of the 24 huge Essex carriers.  It was being built at the same time and in the same place as the USS Shangri-La.  When we lived in Jacksonville, Florida during part of my 4th grade, the neighbors' father was on the USS Shangri-La.  That would be around 1960.

More to Come.  --GreGen

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