IVAN LEROY MOFFETT, Flc, OF CO. 4 ONE OF 18 SURVIVORS OF TORPEDOED TANKER, VISITS TRAINING STATION.
Francis Patrick Sullivan, Who Was Also a Member of Co. 4, Was One of 28 Men to Go Down With the Ship
One of eighteen survivors of a ship sunk by a Jap submarine, Ivan LeRoy Moffett, Flc, paid a short visit to the Station Wednesday afternoon while on leave en route to his home in Ohio.
Moffett, a member of the former fourth company, was sent to Bremerton, Washington in October, 1942 along with Francis Patrick Sullivan. These two men were assigned to a tanker.
For months, everything went smoothly when suddenly one evening the routine was shattered by the intrusion and resultant explosion of a torpedo. Not a man had seen the submarine nor the slight wake of the speeding missile. The torpedo struck amidships and in just fifteen minutes after the explosion, the seas was again as calm and peaceful as it had been before hell broke loose. Of a crew of 46 only 18 men are today alive to relate the details of horrible aftermath to that dastardly attack. Sullivan was one of those men who made the supreme sacrifice in this second “war for democracy.”
Moffett and 17 other men, clad in life jackets, managed to get over the side of the ship before it settled in its watery grave. Forming a circle arm-in-arm, the men floated in that freezing water for 7 hours before being picked up by a destroyer, which deposited the battered survivors ashore. Moffett’s only injuries were a wrenched arm and great nervousness resulting from the ordeal.
In the sinking, Moffett lost all personal belongings. When the ship docked, he found it necessary to borrow a pair of trousers and a dress jumper and hat from a buddy in the Navy. With this borrowed outfit on his back and ten dollars in his pocket, which his captain had loaned him when he was granted a leave, he set out for home in Magnetic Springs, Ohio. Because that ten dollars was his only money, he was forced to hitchhike, and he did exactly that – using the ten dollars for good. In fifteen days his leave will end and he will return to await assignment to another ship. He’s going back – back to take an active part in the battle for freedom.
BLOG NOTE: You may recognize the name of the author of the next article from the last addition of The Prairie Schooner. Also, hold the news of the strikers in contrast with the letter William’s sister N. sent him about the striker in Barberton.
By En, Adna M. LeCount
July 4, 1776 Jefferson boldly brought before a group of foreseeing men the Declaration of Independence for the signatures. The second paragraph of this document says: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that all men are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” With this creed before them, our forebears fought and won the American Revolution.
Today we are in the midst of world battle to uphold these same truths, which to our forebears seemed “self-evident.” Before we were fighting on nation wide fronts; today we are fighting on worldwide fronts. Before, we were faced with very little economic backing; today, we are backed by the greatest economic structure in the world. Before, democracy had not been tried by these people; today we have had one hundred and sixty-seven years of democratic living to show that government by the people does bring about the greatest good to the greatest number. We have advanced so much economically, socially, and politically that surly we must win.
And yet, some of our strongest and most vital industries are being weakened by striking workers – the steel and coal industries. In several areas we are cursed with race riots, which are a strict reversal of our belief that all men are created equal. Some workers in defense industries are slacking on the job, taking unnecessary days off. Food shortages are appearing everywhere. Internal rumblings of discontent are slowing us down, crippling us. On the fighting fronts, however, our men continue to fight bravely with the equipment and supplies they have at hand.
We should each examine ourselves and ask: “Am I doing my part”? “Is there anything I can do to make the part of the fighting men easier”? “Am I wholeheartedly helping this fight for our ‘self-evident’ truths”? If the answer is “yes,” then there is true cause for celebration. If the answer is “no,” think back to our forebears, to our nation’s tradition, to our whole history! You’ll find that you do not want to answer to be “no.” Will you do something about it?
NEWS AND VIEWS FROM AROUND THE BARRACKS
By Harold Nichols
Well, it looks like Sections M and N are pretty quiet now. Could it be that 14-12 defeat handed them by Section O and P in softball?
It seems we have a few “60-minute” men in our section. One being our great baseball catcher, “California” Moise while another is our pet, “Joker” Valencheck. Val has played so many tricks on the boys that they think he stay awake nights thinking them up.
By J. E. DeVito
Fyda and Stanish must really have something on the ball. Last weekend they went to Fergus Falls and returned Sunday with not only a couple of nice looking “Playmates” but driving a ’41 Packard. Not bad, boys.
“I don’t mind when a sailor loses his hat to get a girl but when he loses both his hat and the girl I have no respect for him.” These were the words of Co. Adjutant A. R. Johnson after escorting Benson, Wierson, and Hovel back to the base, when they lost their hats while talking to some girls on liberty last week.
When the fire whistle blows, drop everything and get to your fire post. A good example of this is G. Stole of Section 5 who was resting comfortably in his bunk when the alarm wounded during a recent Fire Drill. Within a matter of seconds he was at his post with a blanket around his waist and ready for action.
Brown evidently goes for the intellegencia. Hear tell he’s now squiring a little school marm from Great Bend and also hear tell she thinks he’s the berries.
Looks like Mr. Whitehouse started something when he got that convict hair cut. Brown, Gall, Selid, Younger, Kwansy, Tilly and Parrett have followed suit. Tilly’s evidently wasn’t too well received for ‘tis rumored there’ll be no more “butches” in Sick Bay. It was rumored that a certain Lt. (jg) would have his head shaved if a certain Yeoman 1st class would get a butch. Guess they’ll both keep their hair.