MELVILLE CLEMENT SMITH, CSM, born Nov. 3. 1919, joined the USN December 1940 and attended Signal School in Chicago. He served one year aboard the USS Arkansas and then was assigned to USS Washington November 1941. Served as chief signalman in CS Div. for four years.
He participated in 15 battles and received 15 Battle Stars and was honorably discharged in October 1945.
Employed as line supervisor at Timken Co. for 44 years and retired in 1981. He married Charlotte Dlugolecki July 7. 1945 and they have a son Michael, a captain in the Navy Reserves and an outstanding member of the USS Washington Associate Unit.
CAREY W. SNELLINGS, SH1, born on Feb. 23, 1922 in Falmouth. VA, joined the USN on Feb. 26. 1940 and served on the USS Bancraft and the USS Texas before being assigned to the USS Washington in 1941.
On April 6, 1944, while the Washington was in port for repairs he married Marion E. Limerick.
He served on BB-56 throughout the war and was discharged on March 24. 1946.
After military service he worked as a civil servant at Fort Belvoir and retired in 1972 as a supply officer. On July 15. 1994 he passed away and is survived by his wife Marion, two children and two grandchildren.
ARTHUR H. SNYDER, GM, born Feb. 8, 1922 in Northumberland, PA, joined the USN Jan. 14, 1940 and was assigned to the USS Washington in 1941. Served on the Washington until 1946, as gunners mate and baker.
His memorable experiences include drydocking beside a ship with a childhood friend on board.
While at sea he participated in every action of the ship and was awarded the Marksman Medal.
Snyder was discharged Jan. 24, 1947. He was married for 38 years and the father of three children. He is now deceased.
RAYMOND A. SPIRES, CWO2, born 1907 in Cape, SC, son of Joseph A. and Ida Scott Spires, joined the USN Nov. 17, 1925. He attended basic training NAVSTA Norva, VA.
While awaiting completion of the USS Washington, he was ordered to Brooklyn Shipyard Jan. 16, 1941; Philadelphia, NY; March 31, 1941 USS Washington (BB-56).
Spires talked very little about WWII. He never forgot the high seas in the North Atlantic; the loss of Adm. Wilcox, the night battle of Guadalcanal and the ships collision.
His battle station was in damage control. Reluctantly, he left BB-56, March 13, 1944, the proudest ship he ever served on. He was a qualified diver. Transferred to Retired Reserve June 18, 1946 with unblemished record.
His project, Bass fishing. He volunteered for the Korean Conflict. Spires married Irma Rowe May 19, 1948 and they had a son Raymond Jr., and two granddaughters. He answered a call to a higher command March 30, 1981.
ROBERT E. STANZEL, PHM2/C, born Oct. 22, 1915 in Cleveland, OH, joined the USN, Feb. 24, 1942 and was assigned to and boarded the USS Washington in drydock Brooklyn Navy Yard, NY. Stationed in sick bay as Phm-striker.
He was aboard for one major surface engagement, third and final Battle of Savo Island.
His most memorable experience was the sinking of the Kirishima and Ayanami in that night action. Then came duty in Mobile Hospital #5 in New Caledonia and back to the main land and another assignment to the USS Samaritan, hospital ship. This ship was active in Peleliu, Saipan, Tinian, Guam and Iwo Jima campaigns while he was aboard.
He was discharged May 10, 1946 as PhM2/c and received the American Theater, Good Conduct and Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medals w/5 Stars.
Stanzel retired in 1980 from Lewis Research Center, NASA, Cleveland, OH as a mechanic with 30 years service. He has an avid interest in horses and walking.
He is a life member of the DAV. Member of the VFW and 50 year member of the Masonic Lodge. He was married to Patricia Boyd on April 5, 1957. After 21 happy years was divorced in 1978. They had one son, Robert, whom his parents are very proud of. He excelled in knowledge at every level, topped off by MIT. He is his father's greatest accomplishment.
GRANVILLE EDWARD STUART, born April 25, 1925 in Richlands, VA, enlisted at the age of 15. He lied to get into the Navy. His family put his birthdate in the family Bible stating he was 17. The recruiter looked at that page in the Bible and signed him up.
His first assignment after boot camp in Norfolk, VA was the USS Washington, May 1941. He was a plank owner of the ship. He was in the L Div. lookout and messenger watch then transferred to the N Div. as a quartermaster striker.
He loved the USN, it was his family. He had three square meals, new clothes on his back, a pay check in his pocket and his shipmates who were his family.
He worked hard and made second class. In September 1944, he transferred to receiving station in San Francisco for reassignment. In November 1944, he transferred to the YMS 413, the only QM and acted as assistant navigator. After the war was over he was discharged and joined the USNR.
The Korean War started and he was recalled to active service and assigned to the Naval Beach Group One in San Diego and was shipped to Japan.
Their job was to land with the first wave of any landing party and set up control of the beach. Thank God he didn't have to make any of these landings.
He was stationed on an old Japan army base in Yoka Suka. He served his time again and was discharged. He held different jobs, electrician, steam engineer, and county commissioner. He retired in 1989 and lives in Bend, OR with his wife Jill. They have 10 children, 20 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. His hobbies are fishing, camping and armchair football.