Curtis Leroy Shiffer

Presentation of information and pictures about Curtis L Shiffer. Curtis served on the SS Etham A Hitchcock and presently resides in Des Moines, Iowa.

Marvin Kanter (left) and Curtis Shiffer 62 years later


Picture of Marvin Kanter (left) and Curtis Shiffer 62 years later


Picture of Curtis Shiffer during meeting with Marvin Kanter


Picture of the USAT Lurline.


Port Chicago

Port Chicago

Port Chicago

Port Chicago

Curtis requests anyone serving with him or remembering him
to please contact him. His email address is:

Here is the crew list of the SS Ethan A Hitchcock:

Caskadon,Clyde Beaver 656 25 36 Cox. V6 USNR 
Wells,Rudolph Garfield 376 86 58 GM3/C V6 USNR 
Evenson,Kenneth Bruce 757 74 03 S-1/C V6 USNR 
Gorecki,Walter(N) Jr. 306 30 95 S-1/C USN
Jennings,John Leonard 859 39 04 S-1/C V6 (SV) 
Jones,Clifford Henery 866 19 29 S-1/C V6 (SV) 
Kanter,Marvin Jerome 866 19 43 S-1/C V6 (SV)
Lafave,Allendean William 870 19 87 S-1/C V6 (SV) 
Matthews,Leanard Neal 576 97 88 S-1/C V6 USNR 
Midgett,Thomas Layton 872 90 67 S-1/C V6 (SV) 
Moe,Wallace Robert 870 17 09 S-1/C V6 (SV) 
Momberg,Gus John 386 71 58 S-1/C USN 
Newhouse,William Loren 859 37 46 S-1/C V6 (SV)
Ninemire,Wayne Leroy 338 45 13 S-1/C USN 
Shiffer ,Curtis Leroy 859 37 39 S-1/C V6 (SV) 
Shriber,Ll0yd Clifford 882 99 50 S-1/C USN(SV)
Sisk,Martin(N) 338 45 10 S-1/C V6 USNR 
Skothenien,Kenneth Orval 886 66 34 S-1/C V6 (SV) 
Strickland,William Forrest 870 18 34 S-1/C V6(SV)
Thomas,Kay Edward 884 76 18 S-1/C V6 (SV) 
Tilley,Stanley Edward 338 45 07 S-1/C V6 USNR 
Thomas,William Jared 871 90 99 S-1/C V6(SV)
Troyer,Leslie Elmer 866 18 90 S-1/C USN (SV) 
Vinson,Dale Earl 621 89 01 S-1/C V6 USNR 
Smith,Raleigh (N) 274 76 35 SM 3/C USN 

Sept 8, 1943 the following men reported abord for duty: 

Smith,Glen Royal 564 98 74 RM 3/C ,V6 
Webb,Edward Lloyd 555 85 75 RM3/C V6

Here is part of his story:

I went into the Navy June 19, 1943, and went to boot camp at 
Faragut,Idaho,then to gunnery school at Treasure Island, then 
was asigned to the SS Ethan A. Hitchcock, was on this ship for 
a year in the Pacific and the Atlantic. Some known shipmates
were Walter W. Goricky,Marvin J. Kanter,Clifford Jones,Gus J.
Momberg,Lloyd Shriber,John L. Jenning,Bill Newhouse,Dale Vinson,Wayne
Nimierand. Known ports were Auckland,Zealand,Wellington New Zealand,
Alexandre, Egypt,Newmaio, New Caladonia,Figi Islands, Guadalcanal,
Ceylon,India Sidney and Perth,Austrailia. Received 30 days delayed 
orders back to Treasure Island from Brooklyn,New York. I was then sent
to Port Chicago,California Amunition Depot after the explosion as in the
movie  (Mutiny) and was sent from there to Shoemaker, California for 
discharge in December 1945.
Curtis L. Shiffer
4270 N. E. 3rd 
Des Moines, Iowa

Editor's Note: More info on his Port Chicago experiences:

Leroy was at Port Chigago when he was discharged from the navy,after
spending a year on the Ethan A. Hitchcock. They were given 30 days delayed
orders to Treasure Island, then after some time  waiting for another
ship they sent part of them to Port Chigago. They arrived there right
after the > explosion.  They had repaired the base. He recently got 
a packet of mail with an autobiography from shipmate Wayne Ninemier 
who he had gone on liberty with a few times from Port Chigago. Wayne 
was in ships service there and Leroy was in a company that marched 
to the docks every morning. Leroy does not remember being given
any special traning on handling amunition. He does remember unloading 
boxes of shells and on the boxes it said Ankeny Ammunition.Depot, 
which is north of where he lives now, but there is not much left 
but some old brick structures. When they got a ship loaded they 
were given 72 hrs liberty. He got one leave to go home from there 
and married his first wife (bad mistake) but has 3 nice kids from 
that . When he went back to Port Chigago after geting married they 
put him on compartment cleaners as they did for married men.
They were in charge of making sure the barracks was in tip shop 
shape for inspection and if they passed then the foreman got passes 
for them to go home to spend the night with their wives. One time 
several of them were in the movie there on the base when they heard 
an explosion. Every one ran out the doors and some of the guys were 
going over the fence when they announced over the p.a. system that 
they had set off some dynamite out in the harbor over in Verolayo, 
Ca. They were supposed to notify them and they probably heard from 
their base comander. When they arived at Port Chigago there were 
about 10 Blacks to every Caucasian but they were not integrated
and had their own company.

Curtis L Shiffer - 2000.

Curtis L Shiffer.

Front Row, Left to Right: BM 2/c Clyde Caskadon, GM 2/c Rudy Wells, ?, ?, Walter Goricki, Wayne Ninemier, ?, ?, Dale Vinson. Middle Row, Left to Right: ?, Tilley, LaFave, Curtis Shiffer, ?, Casey Jones, Jack Jennings, Gus Momberg, Back Row, Left to Right: Evenston, Kanter, Kay Thomas, Wallace Moe, ?, Shriber, Sisk, ?, Crew of the Ethan Allen Hitchcock for one year.

Standing: Gus Momberg, Casey Jones, Jack Jennings, GM 2/c Rudy Wells, Kneeling: Tilley, Curtis Shiffer, Lloyd Shriber in New Zealand

Left to Right: Gus Momberg, Lloyd Shriber, Dale Vinson in New Zealand

Left to Right: Walter Goricki and Curtis Shiffer, in New Zealand

Cousin LeRoy

SS Ethan Allen Hitchcock

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