From the memoirs of Harold M. Compton
"I worked in the linoleum trade
until going into the Navy and World War II. After two
months of boot camp at Faragutt, Idaho my next stop was
Minneapolis, Minnesota. The next six months I was going
to the University of Minnesota Navy Electricians School.
Then I moved on to Norfolk, Virginia where I was
assigned to a crew to man a destroyer escort that was
built in Hingham Bethlehem shipyard just outside of
Boston, Massachusetts, the USS Fogg, DE-57.
We commissioned it and took a
shakedown cruise to Bermuda. After extensive training,
as we were 90% new to the Navy and sea duty, we started
our convoy duties. Our first trip was back to South
America. There we picked up oil tankers in Curacao and
Aruba to escort across the Atlantic and into the
Mediterranean. We then dropped the tankers in ports
along the way. We docked in Algiers a few days then back
out to the Atlantic and down to Johan's Burge, North
Africa to await a convoy to return to the U.S.A.
Our home port was Brooklyn Shipyard of New York City. We
stayed there about 10 days having repairs done and
supplies stocked. Nine trips took us up the Atlantic
coast off New England and then across the North Atlantic
and down the English coast where our convoy was taken
over by the British. We then went into Londonderry,
Ireland for a return convoy to the U.S.."
Harold Merle Compton was an EM2/c and worked in
the engine room of the USS Fogg. In October of 1944 he was
reassigned to LSM 431. Two months later the USS Fogg was
torpedoed by a Nazi submarine, killing fifteen of its crewman
and shearing the stern from the ship. The Fogg was repaired
enough to be towed back to the shipyards, fully repaired and
returned to duty.
"After one year and three months on
the USS Fogg, DE-57, I was transferred back to Virginia
and assigned to a landing craft LSM 431. As with the USS
Fogg, it was in its final days being built at
Wilmington, Delaware. After commissioning and our
shakedown, we headed for Panama. We went through the
canal and into the Pacific Ocean. Our first stop was San
Pedro, which is in the Los Angeles harbor. Then we
headed north to San Francisco for final repair and
supplies, then on to join the fleet. After stopping at
Pearl Harbor and a couple other small islands we took
our place in Okinawa while waiting for a gathering of
ships and troops to make a push invasion on Japan.
We also survived two big typhoons.
The big news came that they had
dropped the atomic bomb and Japan had surrendered. We
received orders to take on a group of first Marines and
vehicles and proceed to Tinsien, China. The Marines went
ashore to take over the government as it had been
occupied by the Japs. They came out with a point system
for discharge. I had more than enough points but had to
wait for a ship going back to the States. After waiting
ten days I got a lift back to Guam. After another ten
day ride I arrived in Seattle, Washington. Another seven
day ride from there I arrived in San Francisco. Once in
San Francisco I took a bus to Showmaker Discharge
center. Once a three day orientation was processed I was
discharged December, 1945."
After the war Harold
returned to Pacific Grove, California where he became fire
captain of the local fire department. I knew him from 1968
until he died from cancer on December 4, 1994.
Harold was an inspiration to all of us, a wonderful
man and great father and we miss him dearly. He is
survived by his wife, who is 90 years of age, as well as his
three sons and two daughters, one of which is my wife.