Gene R. Maurice, 93, a longtime resident of Alameda, passed away peacefully on April 8, 2020 in Alameda.
Born in 1926 in Cincinnati, Ohio, his parents were Alfred Moses and Matilda Maurice (Stein).
Like many families that endured the Great Depression, the Maurice family migrated across the United States: living in Seattle and Honolulu before settling in Alameda in 1936 where they resided on Encinal Avenue and Fillmore Street. Gene was a graduate of Alameda High School and a member of the ROTC where he was also the company bugler.
Gene enlisted in the U.S. Navy in October 1943. While in the Navy, he served aboard the USS Saginaw Bay CVE 82 where he rose from the rank of Seamen First Class to Petty Officer Third Class. He earned battle ribbons for American Pacific Theater, Asiatic-Pacific Theater with a Silver Star for Palau, Leyte, Lingayen, Iwo Jima and Okinawa campaigns, American Victory, Philippine Liberation with one star, as well as, participating in Operation Magic Carpet. On the July 13, 1944, he crossed the 180th meridian.
Upon his honorable discharge, he began a career in machinery and engineering with Calpac and then later enjoyed a long career at Del Monte.
While at Del Monte, he flew the world as an engineering operations specialist working with cannery operations throughout the U.S. and Canada as well as Venezuela, Philippines, Hawaii and Kenya.
Upon retiring in 1983, Gene began a new career as a consultant for Machinery & Equipment where again traveled the world until finally retiring in 1995.
In 1949, Gene married Audrey Demek of Alameda. They were married for 66 years. She preceded him in death in 2015. He was a caring father of: Jeanette Donnelly (Philip), Patricia Garcia (Chris) and Michael (Laura). Beloved Grandfather of Meghan, Katie and Heather Donnelly, Trisha Ann Manzo (Marco) and Daniel Maurice (Julia).
Gene had a love of Dixieland Jazz. His band, “And That’s Jazz” was a staple in jazz gatherings throughout California and Nevada; participating in many of Alameda’s Fourth of July parades over the years. Many will remember him as the sailor who played Taps at the annual Memorial Day and Elks Veterans Day events each year.
Elton Mutt Ivie served on USS Manila Bay CVE 61 WW11 1945-1946
I am writing for my father, Kenneth Snelling who enlisted in late 1944, served into 1946, transferred to the Army Reserve after finishing trade school and was called back up for Korean Service 1950-53. He retired from Ford Motor Company in 1978. He trained on USS Bairoko before becoming a “plank holder” on USS Puget Sound. Dad talks a lot about his shipmates, good times in Hawaii and, more lately, about experiences on Saipan and in Tokyo immediately after the war, which are obviously far more serious. He was married to my mother Shirley from 1956 until her passing in 2015. At nearly 94, he keeps busy rebuilding Allis-Chalmers tractors, keeping my 1951 Packard on the road and working on the farm. My favorite of his stories is about standing wheel watch during a storm when he saw the flight deck totally swamped three times in one night. He said Captain Coe stood behind him and guided him through the worst of it. I will attach a couple of pictures of Pop then and now. Keep the memory alive and thank you.
Troy W. Snelling
Ambrose Leo Ruchotzke - Ambrose was born on March 15, 1923. He graduated from Preston High School in 1940 and from the American Institute of Commerce in 1956. Ambrose was a Navy veteran of World War II, serving on the USS Petrof Bay in the Pacific Theater from 1943 until 1946
Richard C. 'Dick' Knoth - Dick was known for his sense of humor, love of family and friends, his professionalism, business integrity, kindness, quiet charm, and deep love for the ocean. Dick was born in Los Angeles and graduated from Santa Monica High School. He served in the USN three years during WWII as a turret gunner and radioman on the aircraft carrier, Chenango, in the Pacific. For his service the Navy awarded him with The Distinguished Flying Cross, the Good Conduct Medal and the 3-Gold Star Air Medal. In 1999, he was inducted into the "Enlisted Combat Air Crewman Roll of Honor".
My hero is my Uncle, Leonard G. Martin, who joined the Navy in 1939 and served until he was KIA at the age of 24 at Battle of Leyte Gulf on 10/26/1944. He was assigned to the USS Hornet and was on it when the Doolittle Raiders flew off 4/18/1942. He survived the sinking of the USS Hornet, 10/26/1943 in the Battle of Santa Cruz. He then was assigned to North Island in San Diego training sailors to be cooks and bakers.
He then joined the USS Gambier Bay on April 1, 1944 as Ship’s Cook 1/C.
He was born May 8, 1920 and would be 100 years old this year. He is the reason I am involved with the USS Gambier Bay Association. Marlene Hughes
Rev John Goforth - He joined the U.S. Navy when he was 16 years old during World War II. Five days after his 17th birthday, his ship, the USS Gambier Bay, was sunk. He was afloat for 40 hours before being rescued.
Robert Marsh graduated from Westville High School in 1945 before attending Southern California College where he received a bachelor's degree in social science. Bob was a veteran of the United States Navy where he was a part of the maiden voyage of the USS Saidor. He was the Chaplain for ECSAA for several years.
Lt John Joseph McAteer
John was commissioned as an Ensign on May 20, 1942. He served as a supply and disbursing officer from 1942 until August 17, 1946. He attended the Naval Supply School at Harvard University, Massachusetts from 1942 until 1843. His first overseas assignment was Carrier Aircraft Service Unit 11, Guadalcanal, April 23, 1943 to July 25, 1944 as the unit’s supply officer. (a special note: William H. Little, Mililani, Hawaii has published a history of CASU 11. Little’s father Robert served as an aviation machinist in CASU 11 during the same time period at Lt. McAteer).
From Guadalcanal, John attended supply operational training in Bayonne, New Jersey. Assignments followed at the Naval Ammunition Depot at Hingham, Massachusetts and the Naval Air Station at Shawnee, Oklahoma.
John was assigned on May 29 to the USS Thetis Bay CVE-90 where he was on Thetis Bay’s supply officer. He left Thetis Bay on May 10, 1946, and was discharged in August 1946. The Thetis Bay served was a replenishment carrier I the Western Pacific and when the war ended in the Magic Carpet operation. After the war, John continued in the Naval Reserve.
His decorations included the American Theater Ribbon, the Asiatic Pacific Theater Ribbon with 2 stars, and the World War II Victory Ribbon. John then received a B.S. in Accounting from LaSalle University in Philadelphia and also took law courses at Temple University in Philadelphia. He worked in the food industry rising to Vice President in both the Penn Fruit Corporation (Philadelphia) and the Shop-Rite Corporation (New Jersey).
John married Genevieve Shorb and was the proud father of Lynn McAteer Howell and Craig McAteer. John resided in Philadelphia and Toms River, New Jersey, during his working years. He passed away in January 1996. He was 76 years old.