Joe's Service History


Korean Service Medal Korean Presidental Unit Medal China Service Medal
Korean Service Medal  4 Battle Stars Korean Presidential Unit Service Medal China Service Medal
United Nations Service Medal National Defense Medal Good Conduct Medal
United Nations Service Medal National Defense Service Medal Good Conduct Medal


I enlisted into the Navy at Philadelphia with the rate of ETSR ( Electronic Tech. Seaman Recruit ) on 29 January 1951 and went to boot camp at San Diego Training Center.  I started ET School in June 1951 and completed the course in March 52.  I was # 32 in a class of 64.  I was in a class where most of the students had more schooling than I.  

I aboarded the USS WILLIAM SEIVERLING DE-441 in March of 52, while the ship was in dry dock at the ship yard in San Francisco.  I replaced Chief Stone.  ET striker Ken Potyen was already aboard.  Four months later, I made ET 3c and was responsible for the up keep of all the electronic gear aboard ship, except for Fire Control, and Sonar.  The ship carried 415 pieces of electronic gear, and I think I had repaired just about all of it at one time or another.  My next advancement was to ET 2c about a year later.  Our ship while on it's first cruise to Korea took three hits.   I was not aboard.
The second cruise to Korea got underway on 18 October 1952.  We went to Hawaii (4 Days) then to Midway for fuel, followed by Yokosuka Japan.  We were in Wonson Harbor Korea from 11-19-52 to 12-26-52.  We replaced the USS Small that had bow blown off, and lost 22 Men.  We were fired upon, but suffered no damage.  New Years Eve 52, I drew Shore Patrol in Sasebo Japan.  It was a cold miserable Night.  I was sent to Paradise Alley...  I still remember that night.  We went to Okinawa, went to Manila, hit a small typhoon, damaged a turbine, and was laid up in Yokosuka for about two Months.  Did some more Korean work and headed home 22 May 1953.  
We  were assigned to carry are complement of Reserve Sailors to Hawaii, a kiddy cruise.  One night, a day and a half out of Pearl, a reserve on another ship developed an Acute Appendicitis. The one Doctor and all the Medical  Corpsman went to assist in the removal of the Appendix.  One of the life boats from one of the other ships, had a line part, and it dumped it's crew in the black ocean. (NO MOON).  Jimmy Deal in our CIC took a fix, I got a Walkie Talkie into our re-launched whale boat.  Jimmy directed the rescue using our radar, radio communications via the Walkie Talkies and successfully directed our boat to the crewmen in the water.  Our boat picked the men up, and no one was hurt.  The operation was a success!
January 1954 the ship went to Long Beach Ship Yard for overhaul, and much new Electronic equipment came aboard.  I had a 39 Plymouth, and every morning & night I drove the 125 Miles to be with my family.  Many ship mates rode with me and paid for the gas.  God was with us, many mornings I couldn't see 10 feet.  My daughter Donna was born at the Naval Hospital San Diego 22 March 1954.  We bought a new home six weeks before she was born.  Gary and Connie Pierce were her God Parents.  I still consider them to be good friends today.  
May 20, 1954 we were off again.  Hawaii, Midway, and Yokosuka Japan ( 6-8-54 ). We made a good will tour of Japan.  We visited Kobe, Nagoya, replenishment in Yokosuka, Muroran there had an open house for the people.  We sailed for Niigata and had another open house.   On July 18, there was an accident, James F. Welch fell off the dock while in the company of a Japanese Girl, and drowned.  The ships only causality.  We then proceeded to Sasebo, we had circled the Japanese Island in 24 days.  We left Sasebo with the Officers working on the truce, and took them to Pon Mon Jun. It was something to see, the SMALLEST WAR SHIP in the navy being saluted by the Fleet leaving Sasebo.  We had 4 and 5 Star Generals and Admirals on board.  In port there were big Air Craft Carriers, Battle Ships, and Cruisers all making gun salutes.  I watched it all from the 0 -1 Deck.  I will never forget that day.  
We went to Hong Kong for a few days and 4 little Chinese girls painted the ship from the water line to the mast.  They did I good Job.  I bought some Ivory, a chess set, and an Old Man & Woman.  Saw Tiger Balm Gardens.  We left Japan November 21, 1954 and ran smack into a typhoon.  Today it would be classified as a class 5 storm.  Winds 175 MPH and waves 110 ft. high.  They were crashing over our mast.  The mast snapped in two, equipment all around the ship started to break loose, and none of the ships LORAN fixes agreed.  I was ordered to recalibrate the LORAN.  Captain decided to use our fix and we came out of the storm a few miles off Midway.  State side we went straight to the ship yard to repair the damage.  My wife and baby were there to meet the ship.  I left the ship in January 1955 and was discharged in San Diego.  I left behind a lot of good friends that I served with in CIC, RADIO, and FLAGS.  The Navy gave me a great education, I liked Captain Tower and most all the officers and men.  
To my special friends... Jimmy Dean, Ferggie Ferguson, Norm Ehren, the Taggarts, and all the rest I served with. 

                                                                               THANK YOU

I went to work designing electronics for the Navy until I retired.


Joe receives the Burlington County (NJ) Military Service Metal



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Private William Frank Seiverling, Jr.

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