Note from Tom Bowerman. Keith Ward was in my gun crew on the SS Lewis Luckenbach and it is my pleasure to add this Honor Page on the Armed Guard web site. Keith was a good sailor, a good gunner, a good man. I remember we double dated in Cardiff, South Wales (Now South Glam). Keith A.Ward U.S.Naval Armed Guard World WarII Veteran I was born in Roscoe,PA.November 18,1924;later moved to Canton,OH. December 1,1942 and graduated from MCKinley High School June 1,1943. Soon after,I entered the U.S.Navy July 9,1943. Naval Service:U.S.N.Armed Guard Center Brooklyn,NY.,Shell Beach,LA., Biloxi,MS.,S.S.Lewis Luckenbach,S.S.James Harlan,Treasure Island,CA., Shoemaker,CA.,U.S.S.San Saba,(Troop Ship),Boat Pool 15-1,Manila, Philippine Islands. Service Medals: Victory Medal WWII,American Area,E.T.O.,Asiatic- Pacific and Philippine Liberation Ribbon. Oceans:Sailed across the Atlantic Ocean eight times,once across the Pacific Ocean and one-half across the Indian Ocean. Seas: Sailed across the Mediterranean Sea three times,Irish Sea twice, North Sea twice,Red Sea three times,Arabian Sea three times and the Philippine Sea twice. Ports and Countries: Cardiff(Wales);London(England);Oran(Algeria); Port Said and Suez(Egypt);Abadan and Khorramshahr(Iran);Mombasa(Kenya); Tanga(Tanganyika Territory);Cape Town(South Africa);Bombay(India); Karachi(Pakistan);Bahia(Brazil);Port-of-Spain(Trinidad);Kwajalein (Marshall Islands);Manila(Philippine Islands). Cherished Memories: The awesome beauty of a raging winter North Atlantic storm. The majestic beauty of castles sighted through coastal Scotland fog. A protective anti-aircraft barrage balloon attached to our fantail at northern Scotland. The rumble of ack-ack pyrotechnics and night piercing search lights during a London air raid.The magic of a Corvette staying afloat. Tower of London,Big Ben and bomb obliterated Coventry. The Rock of Gibraltar. The Suez Canal.The magnificent spread of ships in convoy. "Bum"boats used by Arab kids to trade with anchored ships. Pearl diving children,near Bahrein Island in the Persian Gulf, staying under water for an incredible two minute Period. In Bombay, India,our ship guarded by renown Sikh soldiers. The white sandy beaches of Tanga. Sunken warships in Leyte Gulf.Corregidor a tiny island in Manila Bay. The U.S.Naval Armed'Guard served aboard U.S.merchant vessels. The total Navy complement peaked at twenty-eight. Our duty was to protect ship personnel and valuable cargo bound for war zones. In 1943,our armament consisted of eight 20-millimeter Oerlikons,an aft 5-inch 38 gun and a bow 3-inch 50 gun. Our gunners were trained and knew how to use each gun. After my honorable discharge from the Navy March 7,1946,I had a diversified non-teaching career that included selling vacuum cleaners door-to-door,packing and marketing frozen spaghetti sauce and pizzas, and a variety of goods and materials. Eventually,I owned a home improvement business and became part-owner of J&J Products. I returned to college to become a teacher. My degree of Bachelor of Science in Education was earned at Kent State University. I was hired as a sixth-grade teacher in Plain Local School District. Seven years later,I received a degree of Master of Science in Education from the University of Akron. I was awarded my first principal contract in Canal Fulton located in Northwest Local School District. My next and last principal position was in the Alliance City School District. As a sixth-grade teacher,I was the proud recipient of the Martha Holden Jennings Scholar Award. During my tenure as an Elementary School Principal,I was selected and appointed to numerous school activities such as: Sectional Chairman of Right to Read Program,District Curriculum Studies,United and School Fund Raising,Original Member of Latch-Key Committee,Introduced Assertive Discipline Plan and worked with Support Group of School District Bond and Levy Issues. For twenty-five years,I enjoyed and loved my profession of choice. I retired July 1,1985,with many fond memories of children,parents,. teachers and a host of community friends. In June,1999,my wife and I celebrated our fifty-second wedding anniversary. Without her help,guidance and love all things would not have been possible. Two verses from Worth,a poem by Richard Wolfe,reflects my personal philosophy. If by my work through life I can Another soul unfold, Then I have done what can not be Made good,by praise or gold. One tiny thought in tiny word May give a great one birth, And,if that thought was caused by me, I lived a life of worth.
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