Escort Carrier Sailors and Airmen Association
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Louie Kehl, father of Janet, David and Ernie Kehl. He was a Boatswain onboard Escort Carrier, USS SANGAMON in charge of the forward 40 caliber guns. He served 3 years and was one of the final 4 Sailors who remained onboard at Norfolk until the Sangamon was decommissioned. He was a lifetime member of ECSAA. He was a baseball coach for many years in Yuma, AZ. He was an excellent bowler and bowled in the Arizona State Tournament for 50 years. He was a Farmer with his wife, Helen for 69 years. He was a true sportsman hunting, fishing and golfer. He was one of five (5) Eagle Scouts along with his son-in-law, grandson and two (2) grandsons. He counted being an Escort Carriers Association one of the highlights of his life.
Keith R. King – USS Puget Sound, CVE 113
Keith King was born on February 24, 1927 in the house on the farm that he was later to live in with his wife, Doris, and their three children. He graduated from Bennet High School, Bennet NE in June of 1944. In February of 1945 Keith joined the US Navy and was sent to the Great Lakes Naval Training Station and upon graduation was sent to San Diego, CA on a troop train. The train trip from the Great Lakes to San Diego took seven days. He was then assigned to the USS Puget Sound, CVE 113, and sailed to the pacific theater of operations for the final months of WWII. Keith served on the Puget Sound as a boilerman second class until returning to Bremerton, WA for the ship decommissioning. Keith was discharged from active duty in the Navy in July of 1946 and continued his service in the Naval reserve.
In the summer of 1949, he met his future wife, Doris, while working in the hay fields of central Nebraska. They were married in June of 1950. In June of 1951 Keith was recalled to active duty by the Navy for the Korean conflict and was initially sent to Treasure Island Navy Base in San Francisco. This time the train trip took only three days. Two weeks after arriving at Treasure Island he was reassigned to Bremerton, WA where he remained until October of 1952 when he was discharged from the Navy.
Keith then moved his growing family to Texas to work for the Standard Oil Company, was transferred to Kansas, them ultimately moved back to Nebraska and his boyhood home in Bennet where he was born. He worked several jobs, retiring from the BNSF Railway after some 20 years at the Havelock Car Shops, but the “job” he loved the most was farming and raising shorthorn cattle.
He was very active in the Bennet American Legion, serving several terms as the post Commander. Keith and Doris joined ECSAA in 1991 after seeing a notice in the Legion magazine about having a convention of CVE members to be held in Las Vegas. Keith and Doris have attended every convention since the first one in Las Vegas that the Association has held, always enjoying the trips and getting together to meet up with shipmates and other friends made over the years. Keith passed away in June of 2017 at the age of 90. Doris has continued to attend the conventions with her daughter and son in law to represent the members of the Puget Sound in Keith’s absence and was looking forward to this year’s meeting in Seattle. Doris is looking forward to attending next years meeting and visiting with all the old friends made over the years.
John Mullarkey Jr proudly served in the United States Navy during World War II protecting the Pacific Coast on the Goodyear Blimp from Japanese submarines and later serving on the USS Sitkoh Bay in the South Pacific.
Born 1925 in Grantsburg, Wisconsin. Graduated from high school in May 1943, and joined the navy the following month. After “boots”, was trained as a radar man and assigned to the White Plains. On the White Plains he worked in CIC. “During the battle I kept an eye on the nearest land as I was sure we were going to have to swim for it.” After transferring from the White Plains, he spent several months on DDs. After his discharge from the navy he was employed by an electric utility working as a line superintendent and safety director. He met and married Pat in 1949. They have five children and twelve grandchildren.
Ens. James T Wren, VC-97, USS Makassar Strait, CVE 91, USS Shipley Bay, CVE 85
My Dad Lonnis L Wilson USS Kitkun Bay 1944-1946
My Dad so loved his service. My children's favorite memories of him are the stories he shared while he was on the ship. He was so proud to have served. Most of my family have served in the Navy. My 91 year old uncle in WWII, my brother in Vietnam and so many uncles. One of my uncles was in the ocean for three days after his ship sank. So many stories. I also had an uncle who was at Pearl Harbor when it was bombed. All Navy. After the surrender his ship went to Japan and transported POW’s back to California.
Born in Omaha, Nebraska. Parents moved to Council Bluffs, Iowa,, when he was four years old. Attended grade school and Thomas Jefferson High Schoo therel. On his graduation night he left for boot camp at Farragut, Idaho. Later, he was assigned to the USS White Plains as a gunners mate 2nd class. On board the White Plains he was director operator on the port 40 mm guns. During the Battle of Leyte Gulf he was on watch duty and had a close view of the St. Lo blowing up and the suicide plane coming in on the White Plains. The following day he picked the Japanese pilot’s teeth out of the forward starboard 40 mm gun. After the war, he worked for Omaha Public Power District and retired from there 39 years later.
He has been married to Elaine for 52 years and they have one son and one daughter and five granddaughters.
Denis J. Warta - I served on the USS Sicily CVE-118 for 8 months in the Atlantic out of Guantanamo Bay on anti-submarine work. My specialty was sono-buoys, a late development that was a very effective weapon against U-boats which were still suspected to exist in the Atlantic in 1947--as escape vehicles. As an Aviation Electronics Technician 3/C my job was to
assemble and test them prior to loading them on the TBM torpedo bombers for scouting.