John E. Stevens

USS West Virginia

John E. Stevens, Electrician's Mate 1/c, born April 15, 1921, Missoula, MT. He entered active service in the USNR March 17, 1942, at San Diego. After two weeks of training he was shipped to Pearl Harbor and assigned to the USS West Virginia as an apprentice seaman at $21.00 per month.

The ship was resting on the bottom of Pearl Harbor and he helped raise and repair it, then took it back to Bremerton, WA. He stayed with the ship through Leyte, Surigao Strait, Mindoro, Luzon, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, Ie Shima and Tokyo Bay.

Memorable experiences were when the 7th Fleet entered Tokyo Bay in 1945, two of the battleships, the USS West Virginia and
USS California, which were sunk at Pearl Harbor, led the way in. He was with the first liberty party to visit Tokyo. The city was devastated, burnt up by incendiary bombs after weeks of bombing by B-29s. Hiroshima and Nagasaki were destroyed by Atomic bombs. The Japanese yen was practically worthless. There were horrible stories going around about the American prisoners-of-war that they had set free. One of them happened to be a very good friend of his from Missoula, MT. He was discharged on Oct. 20, 1945, as a EMl/c.

He is a self-employed Real Estate speculator. He and his wife, Esther, have three children.

Reprinted with permission from Turner Publishing

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