Joel W. Sledge

USS West Virginia

Joel W. Sledge, Master Sergeant, born Oct. 10, 1924, Rebecca, GA, enlisted in the USN on Navy Day 1941, at the age of 17. He received basic training at Norfolk, VA, and lacked one week completing when Pearl Harbor was attacked.  He was assigned to the USS Yorktown (CV-5) on Dec. 13, 1941, and took part in all battles, until the ship sank at the Battle of Midway. He was rescued from the oily water by the USS Russell and taken to Pearl harbor "Cane Patch." He was assigned to the USS West Virginia and assisted in putt|ng her back in commission. He spent two and one-half years on the Wee Vee. He was then assigned to the USS Weise (APD-l35) for the remainder of the war.

He was discharged Oct. 14, 1945, and spent two years as a civilian. Enlisted in the USAF in October 1947 and retired as a master sergeant in 1971. He had a total of 28 years of service.

He has two daughters, Kathryn and Claudia; five grandchildren; five greatgrandchildren; and two step great-grandchildren.
He enjoys traveling and fishing. He is currently president of the USS Yorktown (CV-5) Club and a member of the West Virginia Reunion Assoc.

Reprinted with permission from Turner Publishing

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