USS Euryale Official Website

Taken from The Gorgon, November, 1998

Twenty Years Later, She Was Still There

The newest name on our roster is Ivan Ritchie, who read about our reunion in a military magazine and got in touch with us in time to participate in the 1998 reunion in his home city of San Diego.

Transferring in 1943 from USS Pastores (AF16) Ivan joined the commissioning crew of USS Euryale as a Seaman 1/C. He became a gunner's mate striker in the First Division where he worked on 3-inch 50-caliber guns and later transferred to the Third Division, working with 20 millimeters.

"I left Euryale December 30, 1945 in Sasebo and was discharged in Shelton, Va. on January 29, 1946, Ivan writes. "I went to my home in Albemarle, N. C., a cotton mill town near Charlotte. After eight months there was not much of a future there and I re-enlisted in the Navy and made a career of 23 more years."

He retired August 11, 1969 as a Senior Chief Boatswain's Mate at the Naval Training Center in Orlando, FL, where he was the senior instructor at the Company Commanders School.

But we are getting ahead of our story here. In November 1965, Ivan was assigned to an ammunition ship, USS Chara, in Portland OR. But his orders said that he must first report to Bremerton, WA.

Upon his arrival at the base there, he was directed to the ship across the pier from the battleship USS Missouri.

"Imagine my surprise -- the Reserve Fleet Flagship I reported to was the USS Euryale! I had a great time touring the ship from the fo'c'stle (The Gorgon had to look up the spellin' o' that one) to the fantail. I spent some time in the tub with my old 3-inch gun and wandered along the upper decks and down through the sleeping quarters. It was a little eerie with nobody there. The lights were on, and I saw that they had replaced those old steel-rack bunks with aluminum frames with lacing and canvass hammock material."

So retired Senior Chief Boatswain's Mate Ivan Ritchie has the last word: "I lay claim that I was the last man of the Euryale crew to set foot on the old girl."

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