JOHN A. BROWN, born Nov. 24, 1924, Catlettsburg, KY. joined the USN Dec. 17, 1941-0ct. 13, 1945. He served aboard the USS Washington BB56 from Jan. 13. 1942-Sept. 30. 1945, as shipfitter second class, shipfitter shop, damage control, plumbing gang, fresh water king. Saw all major action by ship.
Awarded the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, two Philippine awards, Good Conduct Medal, 38 months overseas, 15 Battle Stars. Participated in sinking of Kirishima and Ayanami, Third Battle of Savo Island Nov. 14-15, 1942. 57 air attacks, 10 island bombardments, 12 planes shot down. Discharged Oct. 13, 1945.
Married the former Gladys Bowling April 25, 1946. They have two sons, Richard M. and Donald Keith; two granddaughters. Deborah and Lori Nicole; two grandsons, Jeremy and Shane; and two great granddaughters. Megan Nichole and Holly Layne.
Organized USS Washington BB-56 Reunion Group 1948, Associate Unit 1989, Out of State Kentucky Veterans, instrumental in obtaining 242 million in veterans bonus for 424,000 men, women and children. Served as president.
In service with Reunion Group Executive Director for 50 years, Shaklee, Watkins, Athletic Boosters, Police Academy, Kentucky Colonel, portal chief OSU stadium, life member VFW, Kiwanis, Buckeye Sideliners, retired plumber Local 189, served May 10, 1946-0ctober 1986. Assisted in books, Battleship at War, Memories & Memorials, Lost Ships at Guadalcanal and USS Washington history book.
JAMES N. LOEWE SR., S1/C, born Dec. 14, 1926 in St. Louis, joined the USN December 1942 and was assigned to the USS Washington April 1943, marlin spike and deck seamanship.
Upon being assigned to the "Mighty W" he was told that the 5th Div. would be his home until the war was over. Later he was assigned to mount 3, 5" twin turret, and spent many hours at this battle station.
They were all taught the principle of four different types of 5" shells and when each was to be used.
The majority of his memories of WWII go back to mount 3, and the time spent at his battle station. Comradeship was established there, among ten individuals who were hand picked by their NCO, being so close, they were forced to act in an adult manner, being ready for any situation.
Deck and Marlinspike Seamanship was their other duty, keeping the ship both trim and proper, ready for any eventuality. It seemed there was always a destroyer to be refueled to starboard which they all participated in, as they always had enough fuel oil to go around.
He was always proud to serve on the USS Washington.