George E. Rasmussen

USS West Virginia

George Ernest Rasmussen, Chief Machinist Mate, born April 28, 1918, Fairdale, IL. Enlisted in the USN in August 1940 and did his training at Great Lakes, IL. From there, he took a troop train to San Diego and scrapped paint on an old "4 Piper Can" for two weeks. Then "4 Piper Can" took them to Long Beach, CA where he boarded the USS Idaho to Pearl Harbor where they went aboard their first assigned ship, USS Yorktown (CV-5).

She took them in the battle of Midway and the Coral Sea. On June 6, 1942, she was sunk!

As a survivor, he was assigned aboard the USS West Virginia (BB-48) that had been raised in Pearl Harbor. She was crippled back to Bremerton, WA, in June of 1942 to be rebuilt. He was MMl/c at the time.  While on the Wee Vee, he was in the Battle of Surigao Strait all the way to Japan and made chief machinist mate. He was discharged from the USN in August 1946 in Bremerton, WA. Serving on shore patrol, he was assigned to the USS Indiana.

Leaving the USN, he installed oil burners in Vancouver, WA; then in 1948, he became a dairyman, renting a farm in Ridgefield, WA; later renting a 160 acre dairy farm in La Center, WA; and in 1960 purchased his own 152 acre dairy for 25 years total. As of this writing, he is raising replacement heifers.

He met Jean Durgan on a blind date and they married on Feb. 5, 1944. They just celebrated 53 wonderful years together. He and Jean and have two sons, three daughters, three grandsons, three granddaughters, one step-grandson and two step granddaughters. Many of his shipmates were more like brothers to him and he still sees some of them at both the Yorktown and West Virginia reunions.

Reprinted with permission from Turner Publishing

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