Shipmates: S-Z

CWT Charles Gordon Shepherd Jr.

 

Return to "Lest We Forget" page.

Return to top.

S1c John Hubert Single

Return to "Lest We Forget" page.

Return to top.

Wallace Franklin Sneed

Return to "Lest We Forget" page.

Return to top.

William "Earl" Somers

William “Earl” Somers enlisted in the Navy on July 31, 1942 at the age of 17 and was discharged on December 12, 1945.

He was born in Oriole, MD, to Hazel Powell and Purnell Somers. After the war, on February 14, 1948, he married. He had two sons, three grandchildren, and two great grandchildren.

During the summer months while still in high school, Mr. Somers worked for J.I. Wells Company. After the war, he returned to the same firm and 46 years later he retired from J.I. Wells (now known as Koppers Co.) at the age of 62 as a treating engineer.

During his 46 years of marriage, he started Somers Travel Trailer Rentals and Somers Metal Detectors. The family still operates the former company.

After his retirement, Mr. Somers spent most of his time fishing, camping and traveling with the Winnebago Club.

Return to "Those Who Followed" page.

Return to the top

 

James Edward Staton

The following was written by Jim's son Michael:

“James Edward Staton was born in Middletown, OH, on August 26, 1926. He dropped out of school to help support his family at the age of 14. On January 25, 1944, he joined the navy and was sent to boot in Farragut, ID. He was assigned to the USS Evans on September 14, 1944, and spent his time aboard with the deck gang in the second division.

“Ten days after receiving a promotion to seaman first class, the 18-year-old sailor was helping man the 40-millimeter mount, starboard side amidship, when the furious swarm of Japanese suicide planes attacked.“After traveling in tow back to San Diego with the Evans, Jim was transferred to the USS Cambria. He reenlisted and planned to make a career of the navy but, upon the death of his father, he received a hardship discharge to help care for his mother.“Jim married Eileen (Lehman) on July 1, 1950. They resided in Middletown until they followed work north to New Bremen, OH, in 1963. Jim and Eileen had six children: Kathleen (Bergman), James, Deborah (Koverman), Robert, Karen and Michael. Additions came to the family in the form of 20 grandchildren.“After working for nearly 30 years as a welder, Jim retired from The Minster Machine Corporationn in 1990. His retirement was short though, as he lost a long fight with cancer on January 11, 1992.“He never made a reunion because he never knew of it. After attending the 1997 reunion, I know he definitely would have enjoyed it. He also would be proud to know that many of the family was with his shipmates in Pittsburgh in 1999.”

Return to "Those Who Followed" page.

Return to the top.

George Tarapchak

Return to "Lest We Forget" page.

Return to top.

Charles Thompson

Charles M. Thompson is my Dad and, as webmaster, I am claiming bragging rights. Hope you will all excuse me if I am a bit effusive. (All contributors may add to their submissions at any time. This site will always be a work in progress.) A journalist at the time, I wrote of Dad on his 50th birthday:

"On September 21, 1925, legend has it that a brilliant star rose east of the Hudson River over Brooklyn, NY, burned with a yellow flame and disappeared. Shortly thereafter, a first son was born to Nellie and Murell Thompson. Though much study was done on the subject, no one has determined whether or not there was a connection with the mysterious stellar phenomena, nor has anyone answered the question whether this birth caused the fall of the market four years later.

“Nonetheless, the baby, dubbed Charles Murell Thompson, survived the traumatic experience of birth (though he made a habit never to talk of it) and began his journey through life.

“Thompson drifted through the Roaring ‘20s, the Titillating ‘30s, and made his mark in the Flaming ‘40s by graduating from Allentown High School in June of 1941 two months shy of his 17th birthday.”

In January, 1942, he enlisted in the Navy. As you all know by now, he served aboard the USS Evans, but was transferred stateside two weeks before the tragic battle of May 11, 1945.

Our story continues: After the war, “Thompson married Ruth Pauline Collins (October 18, 1945) and began his career as husband, father and provider (there is no truth to the rumor that 23 women converted to Catholicism and became nuns during the week following the wedding).

“Legend has it that Thompson spent his three years in the Navy contemplating the trials and tribulations which he would ultimately face and for this reason he didn’t waste any time marrying Ruth after the hostilities ended. Regardless of the veracity of this legend, the fact remains that the pair made a dynamic duo which enabled them to survive the multi-faceted crises inherent in raising six bouncing babies.”

He worked for New Jersey Bell for 46 years in a variety of supervisory positions before retiring and going to work as a grandfather and great grandfather.

I will always be in awe of his accomplishments, his sense of humor and his love for humanity.

Return to "Those Who Followed" page.

Return to the top.

F1c John Clifton Tucker

Return to "Lest We Forget" page.

Return to top.

S1C William R. Urton

Return to "Lest We Forget" page.

Return to top.

Morris L. Vincent

Born March 12, 1926, in Watertown, NY, Morris Leon Vincent enlisted March 3, 1944 in Watertown. He writes: "I tried to enlist a year earlier, but my mother or father wouldn't sign for me, so I had to wait a year until just before my 18th birthday.

"I was sworn in in Buffalo, NY, the same day. I compled boot training April 7, 1944 at USNTS Sampson, NY.

"After boot leave, I was transferred to San Diego on April 24, 1944, to board a transport for Pearl Harbor where I boarded the USS Evans on May 23, 1944. Most time was spent inthe second division deck force. I worked as chief's mess cook from December 1, 1944 until February 28, 1945, and then it was back to second division.

"I made seaman first class on May 1, 1945. Although I was not a first class seaman by a long shot, I had a little more pay that I had no place to spend. Starting pay was $50 a month in 1944. We got extra pay for overseas, but not much.

"I was in the handling room on the #3 five-inch mount. After May 11, 1945, I was transferred to the USS Otus (ARG20) at Astoria, Oregon, for duty. I was just waiting to get points to get out. On May 16, 1947, I was transferred to Lido Beach, NY, for discharge. I was discharged on May 27, 1946.

"Enlisted men traveled by train in those days, so from Lido Beach, the train stopped two hours in Syracuse, NY, where I was joined by Mary Goss. We went to Watertown, NY, where we were married on June 11, 1946. I worked in a foundry for a while, but Mary didn't like the dirt. We moved to Syracuse where her family lived and I went to work at Carrier Air Conditioning Corp., a pioneer in the field.

"I spent my next 37 years there, mostly building parts for units and raising our little ones. Our first boy, born in 1947, was premature, only 3 pounds. We were lucky he survived in those days. It was rare. We had three others, all 6 years apart, a girl, boy and a girl. It was just what we ordered. Although it might have been luck, who cares. We retired to Florida in 1986 where we still live.

"The photograph is from our 50th wedding anniversary. Mary passed away in 1998, just weeks before our 52nd anniversary."

Return to the top.

Return to "Lest We Forget" page.

F1c Charles Otto Wachter

Return to "Lest We Forget" page.

Return to top.

Arthur L. "Art" Watson

Art Watson, a torpedoman on the Evans, manned an anti-aircraft gun when the kamikazes attacked.

Back in the States, Art married Juanita in 1950. The couple has three children, Bobby, a radio personality in Charlotte, NC, Billy, a motel owner at White Lake, NC, and Phillip, a narcotics officer in North Carolina.

Art owned and operated a motel in a summer resort where the season was only three months long. During the winter, he lived in Kure Beach, NC, and was a maintenance superintendent at CPC (Container Products Corp.) for 20 years.

Art retired in 1989 and said he has enjoyed every minute of it. He said he is looking forward to seeing all his shipmates and friends once again at the next reunion.

Return to "Those Who Followed" page.

Return to the top.