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USS Pittsburg CA 72


USS Sailor=John Watkin Bower

Service Dates=Feb 1944-Jan 1946

Posted by son::LTC Ronald J. Bower

My father was a Storekeeper 2/C on the Pittsburgh for its entire WW2 service. He entered the Navy from 401 North Broad Street, Philadelphia. Boot Camp was in Bainbridge Maryland and he joined the ship at Quincy, MA. and on the shakedown cruise. Many of the crew were from Philadelphia. He met a neighborhood guy named Bill Burdette and they became life-long friends. While aboard ship his battle station was as the Captain's talker. My father's nickname was Bubblegut and Captain Gingrich once saw a picture of me taken in April 1944 in my sailor suit and he immediately christened me with the nickname Bubblegut Junior. He was aboard during the Iwo bombardment, the Franklin towing and the typhoon. The typhoon was particularly significant in that my father could not swim the distance of this computer screen. Would be interested in contacting anyone who once knew my Dad. My Dad always was proud of his service in the Navy and especially about his ship. Although many ships had a much more "glorious" battle history, the exploits of the ship in the Franklin and typhoon incidents are legendary. I once met a sailor who told me that the actions aboard the Pittsburgh during the typhoon were part of the training offered by the Navy Damage Control School as an example of "what to do". Dad always told me that the Pittsburgh had a nickname, "the Wild Bull of the Pacific." I attended the reunion in Williamsburg with my mother, Margaret. I have a picture of the dance that took place for all the wives and crew (understand it was actually two dances because of the numbers of people involved) and have a picture of Dad having Thanksgiving dinner with Lou Walters, TV lady Barbara Walters' father. For a while recieved the newsletter but have lost contact with the crew. I have the commemorative book that was for sale at that reunion and some personal pictures. I can scan photos and transmit if any one would care to have copies and would appreciate the same in return. Appreciate any e-mails regarding the Pittsburgh.


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