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Crewman


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Walter E. Rowe


"Walter enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserves at Lowell, Massachussets in December of 1942 at the age of 19.

He went through boot and foundry school at Great Lakes and was assigned to U.S.S. Euryale in September of 1943 at New York City. We went aboard Euryale in December of 1943. She was commissioned and they put out to sea with Walter's rank being Fireman 1/c.

He spent two years aboard her in the South Pacific. When the war ended he traveled aboard her to Sasebo, Japan for occupation in 1945.

He was promoted to Molder 2/c in November, 1945. Walter was honorably discharged from the navy on December 16, 1945.

In June of 1954 Walter enlisted in the Naval Reserves and stayed until his retirement in 1976, after 26 years of service and attaining the rank of MLC.


Aircraft carrier U.S.S. America, 1972

A letter to me (Sheri Lytle) from Walter:

"I was assigned to Euryale when she was commissioned in 1943 in Brooklyn, NY. I also was assigned to the foundry on the ship. I guess because I worked in a foundry in civilian life.

The foundry was a small shop in mid-ship about two decks below the main deck. Our main job was to create new parts in metal from other parts that were either worn out or broken, or even create new parts, like portholes, gun sights, gun parts, engine parts, ballast, personal things like ashtrays, military emblems, etc.

We had one large furnace for the melting of metals, like aluminum, bronze, tin, zinc, brass and lead. An oven for the baking of sand used in molding, also several workbenches. There were about ten of us assigned to the foundry.

There was a first class molder by the name of John Henry Fields. We called him John Henry, for short. As I remember, he was a tall, slim fellow with light hair and in his 20's, I think, with a nice smile. As I recall, he came from Iowa." (Yes, this was my father.--Sheri)


Remembering the Equator Crossing ceremonies

"I spent two years on Euryale from the time of commission in Brooklyn 'til after war's end and the occupation of Japan. A lot of memorial events took place during that time. I remember the first.

We left Brooklyn in the dead of winter, January, 1944, heading south. We went through the Panama Canal heading for the South Pacific. Our next stop was off the west coast of South America at the Galapogos Islands, which are on the Equator. There, in my estimation, was our first important event of our tour.

There, we were initiated in to the "Solemn Mysteries of the Ancient Order of the Deep." Until crossing the Equator a sailor was referred to as a 'polywog' and upon crossing the Equator and being initiated in the Royal Order he was referred to as a 'shellback.' It wa a day to remember, for it is said a sailor wasn't a true sailor or 'salt' until he did. We all received written citations of the event. Mine is still hanging over my fireplace along with my Japanese rifle that I brought back from Japan.

The initiation consisted of may events and the trials we went through were many and difficult, although not dangerous. Running the gauntlet, shave and a haircut, water torture, pool dunking and more.

It's been such a long time that I forgot a lot. Gosh! I didn't think I'd be saying this much but remembering the times on the Euryale brought back so many memories. You know, I was only 18 years old when I went aboard Euryale, never been away from home before. It was a truly great adventure for me. Memories to last a lifetime...."

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