Veterans Interview with Stan Solmonson at Patriot’s Landing in DuPont, Washington. Stan joined the U.S. Navy in Sept. 1943 and served two years, then later was a tech sergeant in the U.S. Air Force.
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*The following is the output of transcribing from an audio recording. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors.
And now back to answers for elders as we honor our military veterans. Carriage is the proud sponsor of our veteran segment hosted by former cle Seahawk Dennis Boyd. Hi. This is Dennis Boyd again down here at Patriots landing in Dupont Washington. We’re here today with Stan Solomonson, and Stan spent two years in the Navy, from nineteen forty three to nineteen forty five, and then later as a tech sergeant in the US Air Force. Stand thank you very much for joining us today. Thank you. I appreciate it. Stan, you joined the navy in September of nineteen forty three. We’re about halfway through World War II. Tell me what the mentality was for there and the reason for joining, and I know there was a lot of patriotism at the time, that you know that we needed to protect our country. Tell me what your thoughts and and your actions that what they led you to the navy. Well, our little town on Minnesota, I mean are really a patriotic and everybody was joining in the military. Our town probably had more navy man in it and everybody was going hold that age, you know, and it’s just one of them things you want to go in. I mean some, I’m EG one, to lie their age so they can get in. You know, it’s but so where was your first station? Where we when I went to fair good idol for BOOT camp? Okay. Well, and that’s in the Ath Athel Athel Idaho, just north of court lane. Okay. And how that camp was established? Owner Roosevelt was flying over it. She’s that’s where we’re going to be, that’s where it’s going to build. So that’s where it was built. We had six, six camps are and I was in Camp Scott and went through thousands, thousands of people on this and had to everything is outside, Scrub your clothes, you had, you know, and he had the time and a square or not it was going to channel. Then he had a Hammock to you know. That’s why you had a Hammock and your mattress and matches covering and he had the sea bag and he had to last all that together and everything he owned is right there and your your shoulder. Yeah, so like travel light, then travel lights. Right. So well, which, for was your first ship that you were I was only on one ship, Pennsylvania. All Right, I was a passenger on the Saratoga CBTHREE. Okay, that was the old, oldest carrier in the in helete. And what they are were doing? They were transporting planes from Hunter’s Point Sandwichisco to pearl and to wake island. So tell me about the Pennsylvania. What kind of ship was she? Well, it was one of the old battleships. It was a BB thirty eight and US, as there’s no one to be be thirty nine was our sister ship. We both came off the same drawing board and peacetime complement was one thow hundred more time. We had twenty three hundred and plus. We had a division of Marines, Seventy Five. There were the eleventh division. So, as a excusement of said a battleship or use it or bad ship, and so what was your duty as part of a task force and within the Navy? Then when I went, when I went to board Pencie, they put me in the seventh division and I come out of boot camp as a fireman third class. So I went aboard the Seventh Division. I went to the IT division, Austar and never forgetting me use the Lieutenant Bates from Oklahoma and I said, I’m a fireman third class. What am I doing this deck division? Well, hit guns, you know, it’s just guns. Yeah, he’s well, if you want to transfer down there. So going down. There’s engine room and tell me what you want to do. I went. Now I’ve got about halfway down. I’ll burn my hand. I just turned around and come back up as then I told myself, Hey, we get torpedoed, I’m gone. Yeah, but if I’m on top side least I can jump. Get a chance. I got a chance. Yeah, so I came back and told me it’s all right. Okay. So I stayed in at seven division, in my first battle station, just like Johnny Carson getting a mortuary job, you know. Well, I handle hot brass coming out of the five minutes thirty eight tourts, and boy, they’d spit those suckers out and about that long and about that big around. They’re hot, you know. Yeah, and we wore as best as gloves and cotton. That’s all I had during during that thing. That was hearing protection right out here in protection. You’d lose it about fifteen minutes after, you know, and your ears would ring for about three, three weeks. You know, from just and well, oh wagon. I mean that’s all we had was guns, you know, we had. We had over a hundred guns, and board that thing come twenty millimeters, forty millimeters, five minutes, thirty eighth and fourteen inch, forty five, the big ones, you know. Yeah, and as the reason they call it a battleship, then right, yeah, yea’s right. And that’s what the comma cage. You know, that’s I got an article where it says the Comma Cazi. That’s what they were after the battleships. You know, they can knock the battleships op why? And turned close to if you don’t get in, they going to get you. Yeah. So tell me about your tour do with duty on the pencie. Then, well, after I just stayed in the seventh division and then I went from Hann on hot battle station. Then I went to striking for gunners, mate, and you know, like what Ojt today. You know, it’s the job training there, right, and I’d done that for the whole time. I was on until still February, one thousand nine hundred and forty six. Yeah, and but I was on twenties and s a. We used to have contests on twenty millimeters. You know, it’s there was fixed ammunition to twenties and s and then be on the twenties. A magazine about like that, that they handled sixty rounds and you’d have races. I mean that’s you know, he just to and center in the treasures. He so you had a man and see, I mean doing sixty seconds. Then when you got those sixty in there and he had to put sixty pounds a tension on it. So they’ll, you know, once they get up on the gun and it feeds it right, and that’s what used to have. That’s contest like that. You know stuff. You know, who needs a gym? You can just sit there and man and work to operate the gun and get your work out and yeah, that’s right. Yeah. And now, of course, what you take on Ammo. Bonus. You carry everything and had no winches, don’t you know? Everything goes by pulley lowering down in the hatch and five minutes thirty project the weight. Fifty two pounds. I mean you get thousand guys. Yeah, all of every indectivation. I mean you taking on stores and ammunition. You know, one thing good about being in the viewer snipe down blow engine. You know, they got in height, they wouldn’t have to do nothing. So tell me about towards the end of the war. You had mentioned that. Well, we came back states march thirteen, one thousand nine hundred and forty five week come into the old golden bridge, golden bridge, you know, and and that was march thirteen, and ferry come alongside, took half the ship on leave. I mean that’s all still under way. And the ferry come alongside and took half of the ship on leave. Whoever wanted to go first, right, and then when that game came back, then the other half went. But I really I took the second lead party. But then when we came and then we are hundreds point, which is a big repo debt, or when you know where they and they did. We got all our guns replaced from the Oklahoma, all our main battery, the fourteen and forty five, and I got some picture that. If you know. You did just see those slings on there and taking those tree be will barrels off. I mean, and you know, it’s amazing, but I so I we stayed there and we departed July twelve one thousand nine hundred and forty five and we went from there to Pearl and then we took on stores and ammunition and it was getting pretty hot. Ten and where. And we left Saipan through Okinawa and it took us about six seven days to go from Saipana Okinawa. And on August sixth when they dropped the bomb on Hiroshima, and then on Monday and then on Thursday they dropped a bomb on Agasaki, and then Sunday we get hit by Jab Jil torpedo bomber. You snuck in. This Day, nobody knows how you got in here because we were anchored and they had about, oh my head, over a thousand ships in there and it was getting ready. But if it’s here, he too didn’t see how I give up. We were going to we were all ready to go, you know, and of course, unfortunately or unfortunately. Well, fortunately, they will wars or but unfortunately we got it yet and kill twenty seven in their quarter match division. You know, do they for the wars or it’s a shame. Yeah, you mentioned you had somebody in the Pat Johnny Carson. Was He on board with you there? Yeah, well, we didn’t. I mean I got to we he’s in the history book, you know, okay, and of course everybody’s pictures in the history book. Yeah, but I mean you look at it now, you know. And and of course you look at him as Johnny Carson, you know. Yeah, yeah, big, tall, Lanky Guy, and you know, we really didn’t you know, I mean we didn’t know he’s going to be a celebrity. Yeah, we’ll stand. I want to thank you for your time and again, thank you for your service. It has been a pleasure meeting you, as it has been the other veterans here at Patriots landing, and you remind us of the price that was paid by the greatest generation to give us the life that we have today. And again, thank you very much for that. I appreciate that very much. Thank you. Thank you. This has been a special honoring veterans. 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Originally published March 24, 2018