JOHN DANIEL NICKEL, JR.
John Daniel Nickel, Jr., was born to Daniel and Caro- line Nickel October 15, 1925, in St. Louis, Missouri. He joined the U.S. Navy November 30, 1943, and took his boot camp training at Farragut, Idaho. In February 1944, he was sent to the San Diego Naval Training Center for sig- naiman school. He received a third class signalman rating upon graduation, and was then sent to the Armed Guard Center in Treasure Island, California, for further training in Mersigs communications. After completing the Mersig training in July 1944, he was assigned to the Armed Guard crew as a signalman on the SS F.H. HILLMAN, a Standard Oil Tanker. After sev- eral trips to the South Pacific areas on the HILLMAN, he returned to the States and in February 1945, was assigned to the SS PENNSYLVANIA, another oil tanker. The SS PENNSYLVANIA also shipped to the South Pacific area, serving as a fleet oil refueling tanker. While serving in that capacity, the Navy took over the ship and the signal crew personnel were transferred to the Pacific fleet, to serve on the renamed USS SEAFOAM, IX 210, manned by all Navy personnel. At the conclusion of the War in the Pacific, he was in Japan within two weeks after the peace treaty was signed. The SEAFOAM returned to the United States on Christ- mas Eve 1945, and the ship was decommissioned at Mobile, Alabama. Dan was discharged from the Navy on March 30, 1946, after obtaining the rating of signalman first class. In January 1950, he graduated from Washington Uni- versity, St. Louis, Missouri, with a business degree in accounting. He married Dorothy Dee on October 7, 1950, and has one son, Dennis, a lawyer in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and two grandchildren. Prior to his retirement on June 30, 1987, he was employed as secretary-treasurer of one of the largest Chev- rolet dealerships in Missouri. He also was part owner of an automobile leasing and rental company for about 10 years prior to retirement. He now resides at 14533 Appalachian Trail, Chesterfield, Missouri 63017. GERALD F. NORTON
Jerry Norton was born March 24, 1924, in Boston, Massachusetts, and grew up in suburban Boston. He grad- uated Melrose High School in June 1942, and shortly after was in recruit training at Naval Station in Newport, Rhode Island. Upon completion of recruit training and 16 weeks in basic signalman school in Newport, he was assigned to advanced signal school in Noroton Heights, Connecticut. In December, he was transferred to Armed Guard Center, New Orleans. In January 1943, he boarded the SS WESTERN QUEEN and sailed unescorted from New Orleans to Pan- ama and Cuba with an Armed Guard composed of him- self, a coxswain and three seamen gunners. The armament was a 4-inch 50 aft and two 30 caliber drum-fed Lewis Machine guns on the bridge. The ship returned to New York, taking on additional Armed Guard and guns, then in March 1943, proceeded in convoy to Scotland and returned to sail again to England in July. September 1943 found Jerry on the Liberty Ship SS HARRIET BEECHER STOWE en route to the Persian Gulf via the Mediterranean Sea. It was the first convoy to get through unscathed by air attack. The convoy continued to the Gulf and east to South Africa. The STOWE then sailed independently from Capetown to Brazil and Trini- dad, returning to Baltimore. He then was reassigned to the Liberty Ship SS ISAAC SHARPLESS. Jerry served on the SHARPLESS from May 1944 to March 1945, making three trips to Italy, Southern France and North Africa. He next boarded a T-2 tanker, the SS KITTANNING, in April, 1945, sailing to Scotland, returning to Curacao. From Curacao, the ship made two Pacific runs via the Pan- ama Canal to the Caroline and Marianas Islands. They returned to New Orleans in October and he was dis- charged in December 1945. His Armed Guard service was unique, having served for over three years on all oceans and theaters of war without encountering hostilities. He joined the organized reserve after discharge and was called back to active duty for the Korean War. He remained in the service until his retirement in 1977 as a Master Chief Quartermaster. Jerry now enjoys retirement in Federal Way, Washing- ton, with his wife, Estelle. He has two daughters and two grandsons living in California. His current address is 408 S.W. 327th Place, Federal Way, Washington 98023.
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