Vern Wilcox

LCMDR Vern Wilcox

LCMDR Vern Wilcox

BIOGRAPHY OF LIEUTENANT COMMANDER, NSCC VERN WILCOX Enlisted in US Navy, May 1942, (age 17 years). Recruit Training at Newport, RI, duration three weeks. After completion of Boot Camp, was sent to the Naval Armed Guard Gunnery School Training at Little Creek VA. Duration, one week. Upon completion, sent to Naval Armed Guard Center, Brooklyn, NY for further assignment. Within two days, assigned as a Navy Gun Crew on the merchant ship SS Gulfdisc a tanker that can carry oil or gasoline. There was a total of ten men assigned to the gun crew that reported aboard Went to Bayonne, NJ to take on a full load of aviation gasoline, then went out in the harbor in New York to become part of a 40 ship convoy. Convoy formed up into three columns as we left the harbor headed for Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, we picked up four Canadian Corvettes as our Escort. We then made the three week trip to Liverpool, England crossing the North Atlantic, trying to avoid German U-Boats.that were trying to torpedo us. Remember, Radar and Sonar had not been invented yet. All we had for surveillance was a pair of binoculars and salt watered eyes. The Convoy used a ziig-zag maneuver to help thwart the aiming of a torpedo from a submarine. The gasoline that we were carrying was going to be used by the RAF and the US 8th. Air Force. I made 4 or 5 trips similar to this one making deliveries to North Africa, England and Scotland in 1942 and 1943. I was then assigned to a Liberty Ship, the SS William H Wilmer, and made deliveries to the Persian Gulf in Iran. I was assigned to another Tanker, the SS Samoset, getting gas from the refineries in Iran for delivery to Calcutta, India for the 14th Air Force, making many additional stops, too many to mention here. In summary, my duty while being a member of the US Naval Armed Guard gun crews on two tankers and one Liberty Ship terminated in the latter part of 1944 and I was sent back to the Armed Guard Center for further assignment. I was sent by Troop Train from Brooklyn, NY to Shoemaker. CA, then placed on a Troop Transport ship heading for Noumea, New Caledonia in the South Pacific. From there I was transported to Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands. I remained on Guadalcanal until February 1946. The atomic bombs were dropped on Japan while I was on Guadalcanal. I got out of the Navy in 1946, but reenlisted again, this time I was assigned to a brand new destroyer and became part of the 6th. Fleet. Basically I operated out of Naples, Italy. We were considered part of the Occupation Forces at that time, patrolling the Mediterranean and the Adriatic Sea. I remained in that area for about 15 months. The, ?After the war devastation? there was pretty bad. In 1948 my enlistment in the Regular Navy was over. Upon release from full-time active duty, I enrolled in the active US Naval Reserve. In 1950, I was recalled to active full-time active duty again and assigned to a Amphibious Assault Ship, USS Yancy AKA-93 located in San Francisco, CA. We loaded with military cargo and headed for Korea.I was in on the Inchon landing running a Naval Assault Landing Craft. Our home port in that area was Sasebo, Japan part of the United Nations Fleet. I stayed in the active and reserve military for a total of 39 years. I have been with the US Naval Sea Cadet Corps. for 33 years. In 2005 I was 80 years old and have been involved with the military for 63 years. LCDR Vern Wilcox, NSCC

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