Robert F. Goertler

USS West Virginia

Robert F. Goertler, Aviation Chief Metalsmith, born March 13, 1917, and enlisted in the USN Sept. 1, 1937, at Baltimore, MD. Recruit training was at Norfolk, VA; 20 weeks Group M(b) Metalworker's School; 24 weeks Aviation Metalsmith School; assigned to USS West Virginia Avn. Unit, March 31, 1939.

On Dec. 7, 1941, he removed shoes and swam off ship to motor launch. Helped pick up and take shore side a couple boat loads of personnel. That night he slept in a hanger at Ford Island with very little material belongings. Later, with salvaged planes and aircraft squadron, VS-3-D14, was formed on Ford Island (later VS53). He was discharged April 27, 1946.

He and his wife, Betty, have a son Chris and a daughter Caryl and two grandchildren. He stayed with metal working throughout his entire working career and retired from American Cyanamid Co.

Reprinted with permission from Turner Publishing

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