~ January 16, 2007 ~

* Mail Call, USS Idaho Sports, and photos
* Special Email message from Cheif Cecil "ED" Hewitt and others

* Jan 16, 2007
(Email from Mike Bender)


First let me say that the USS Idaho web site is one of the best I have seen. Easy to navigate and the information second to none. Attached please accept a copy of the USS California vs USS Idaho Football Program for your collection. My father would want you to have it.

The reason I write - My father, Martin W. Bender - MM1, was a Battleship Sailor. He was on the USS California from 1936 -1941 and stayed in the Navy for twenty five years. He never spoke of the war years only of the times on the California playing Football & Baseball for the ships team. Back then the Pacific Fleet Battleships were stationed in San Pedro, CA and all competed against each other for the annual trophy called the "Iron Man".

There is very little written or documented about this great little piece of history. If you were on a Battleship back then you either played for or rooted for your ships team. Football, Baseball, Boxing, Basketball, Wrestling, and other teams sports were the thing.

My father died in 2002 and there were two things that he wanted to make sure were passed on to myself and his family - that was his Iron Man Medal he received for being a member of the 1939 Football & Baseball Teams that help his ship win that coveted award and his Navy Ring.

After he died I started doing research on the Iron Man and was stunned to find out how little information other than that from those who played the sport. I have started to contact other Battleship Sailors and their families to see if they have any stories, pictures, or other memorabilia they could share with me. I am gathering this information to write a book - a book about the Battleship Sailor and the sports they played and watched.

After reviewing the USS Idaho site I was excited to see the pictures from Rusell Moore's collection of all of the Football & Baseball pictures. I have almost the same only they are of the California players. I have never seen such a collection anywhere. It is information like this I seek to tell their story.

If you or any of your members have any information to share I would love to document it so their story is not lost to time. It was a period that everyone I have spoken to so far has relished all their live and should be shared with others. Thank you.

Mike Bender

(Click on image for larger view)



Program from October 28, 1939 Football Game
USS Idaho vs. USS California

Compliments of Mike Bender
Son of
Martin W. Bender - MM1 (USS Califronia)

(See photos of the USS Idaho Football Sports)

* Jan 10, 2007
(Email message from ENS Dan Weeks)

I am looking to see what awards the ship was given while in service. My grandfather served during WW2 on the ship and I am trying to put something together for my dad as a memorial case for the flag and metals. Granddad died last year @ 86 yrs old. I am serving on the USS Decatur DDG-73. I am getting out of the navy in a few days but I am still able to get the ribbons and metals but I just need to know what they where. My granddads name is William W. Weeks. I hope that you can help me out. Please email me at the following Address three_weeks05_at_yahoo.com Thank you very much for you time and efforts.

EN2 Dan Weeks

Jan 13, 2007
(Forwarded message from Dan Week's mother - Dan contacted his mother to let her know about the USS Idaho website and Dan forwarded her response along with a photo:)

Hi Danny
This is awesome. Here's grandpa's picture. I only know that he was on the Idaho during WWII when it was in and around the Phillippines. During the war, grandpa was an ensign. I believe he was a clerk of some kind. As you know his name was Wallace Ray Weeks, born 9 JUN 1919, Wilson, OK.

He served as an enlisted sailor prior to WWII and when Pearl Harbor was bombed, he signed up again and was promoted to ensign as he signed his papers. He was honorably discharged twice, the first time in late 1941 just before he married grandma in Jan 1942. That's all I can think of right now . . . more later -- Love ya LOTS!! MoM

Ens. Wallace Ray Weeks

Footnote: We want to wish the best of luck and success to Ens. Dan Weeks (son of Ens. Wallace Ray Weeks), upon his recent honorable discharge from the US Navy this month.

It's great to see that he followed inthe footsteps of his father, and walks in the steps of his father with the same pride of them that servied on the USS Idaho.

* Jan 11, 2007
(Email from Jason L Wiginton)

One of the biggest hopes in the creation of this website was that it would become a resource to connect the crew members of the USS Idaho who have lost touch over the years or for the family members who may not know much about their ancestors who served on the Idaho. Today I recieved an Email from the grandson of Thomas Dirk Potter who served on the USS Idaho and this made my day.
- Dave


Hello Dave,
Thanks for adding our information to your site last year. As a result, I have been united with my family for the first time. Attached is a picture of Grandfather while he was a member of the Idaho crew in 1938. Here is some info on him:

Thomas Dirk Potter

Fireman 2nd Class
Born 09 January 1920
Served On the U.S.S. Idaho 1938-1939
Died 10 December 2000

* Jan 08, 2007 - (Email message from Cheif Cecil "ED" Hewitt)

Happy 2007 to the Crew and their families of the USS Idaho. So many of you have contributed to this website in 2006 and we appreciate you helping to made the USS Idaho Memorial website a special place for the crew and their families to come to remember their great service to our country. I received an email recently from Chief Cecil "Ed" Hewitt who some of you may know.
Mr. Hewitt writes:

I was a friend of Lew Davidson on the Idaho in WWII and kept in contact by e-mail until he left us. My letter is listed, but I have a new e-mail address. I was on the Idaho from October 1941 until October 1945. I live in Florida and still get around pretty good for an 83 year old. I'll be 84 in March. I haven't heard from any of my Idaho shipmates recently. I know most of them are gone. I started out in the First Division and the transferred to the M-Division and was a First Class Machinist's Mate by the end of the war.

The Battleships were the greatest ships in the fleet at the beginning of WWII. Now they are a thing of the past, replaced by the big super aircraft carriers. I served on four aircraft carriers and one destroyer before retiring.

I would like to hear from anyone who served on the Idaho.

Cecil "Ed" Hewitt
Senior Chief Machinist's Mate
U.S. Navy Retired

On a similar note ... if anyone knows how Don and Betty Seger are doing, please let us know ... we would love to be put in touch with them.

If any of your requests or information that you may have sent in to be added to the website has been overlooked, please let me know ... Click Here to Send me a Note and I will be sure to get the posts added to the site.

Here's wishing you all the best of health and happiness in 2007!

2006 Mail Call

* Nov 10,2006 - (Email from Mark M. Russell)

I received the following email and immediately forward this to the rest of my family. I wish my father was alive to read this ... being teacher for over 30 years who taught the importance of being a patriot to our country and the ones who paid the price to preserve it ... this message is sent from an 8th grade teacher who's father served on the USS Idaho.
I am late with this news. My Dad , Hudson M. Russell, passed on May 18, 2006 ... he is missed. In honor of him and all who served on the Idaho, I used your web site for my classroom presentation for our buildings Veterans Day Studies ... the students were so silent!! I was very moved by their attention.

Each veteran viewed WWII from a different "window". Thank You for helping perserve the"IDAHO'S" window.

Mark M. Russell
c/o South Middle School
310 W 22nd ST
Joplin R-8 School District
Joplin, MO 64801

* April 28, 2006 - (Email from Bill Radford)

Dear Dave,

I've enjoyed visiting the USS Idaho website. My father (Charles Radford) served on the USS Idaho from Dec 1942 through Dec 1944. I found his name and picture in the group photograph of Fox Division in Photo Album 3. It made my day. Thanks!

I believe your father's name is listed on the same photograph. What a small world. I would be interested in learning anything else you know about the photo. Who did it belong to? I have a few photos of my Dad during the war and some info on the Idaho that I would be happy to send. I've already scanned them, so I have jpeg files that I could send by email if that works for you. Let me know.

Thanks again for putting together the website.

Bill Radford
Santa Barbara, CA

* (2nd Email from Bill Radford)

Hi Dave,
Thanks for the reply. After spending some more time on your site I realized that the photo albums belonged to your father. It's great that you kept them and took the time to scan and post them. I found that my father's signature on the autograph pages in Album No. 1 (the last page of autographs), so they definitely must have known each other.

It was a thrill to see my Dad's signature from World War II. My father died 25 years ago when I was in college, so I never had an opportunity to discuss his experiences while I was an adult and could appreciate them better. But I think I now really appreciate little bits of info. So thanks again for putting up the website.

My father's rank was FCO 3C. I'm not sure what exactly that stands for. He always said he was a Petty Officer 3rd Class.

I've attached a few photos to this email. I'll send some additional items in separate emails



Charles Radford

Charles Radford

Charles Radford

Charles Radford
Domain of Neptunas Rex

Previous Website Updates:

* Nov 21,2006 - I am receiving on average about 3 emails a week in regard to the men of the US Idaho from family members to add more names to the Crew List. Most recently I received some photos of Lt. Macdonald Thompson, a US Navy pilot who was briefly aboard the Idaho and who was killed in his plane in 1944. The photos were added to the Photo Album. Thanks to all of you who contact us to add information to help make this website one of the best on the Internet as a tribute to the men who served in the US armed forces especially in WWII.

* Nov 01,2006 - Out of the blue I received an Email from a man by the name of Steve Franklin in Michigan. He was at an estate sale and bought a box of photos and among them were some photos from a crew member of the USS Idaho. He sent them to me and the photos are great. Thanks Steve for such a great addition to the USS Idaho photo album. Click Here to see!

* Oct 09,2006 - Do you have photos to be added to the USS Idaho website? An email account has been set up specifically for photos: daveroye@hotmail.com

* Oct 09,2006 - USS Idaho Bulletin Board - Summary of what's new on the USS Idaho website.

* Oct 09,2006 - USS Idaho Photo Album - Photos sent in from family members of the USS Idaho Crew added frequently.

2005 Additions

* Dec 25,2005 - Over 200 photos from the personal Photo Album of Cpt.Russell Moore - USS Idaho (BB42) - Circa 1938-40.

* Dec 30, 2005 - From the website of the Nat'l Musueum of the Pacific war in Fredricksburg, Tx, a slide show of the The War in the Pacific.

* Dec 20,2005 - Post your comments in honor of the USS Idaho shipmates on the New Guestbook. The 2004-2005 Guestbook entries have been archived. Please take the time to read these great entries. Thank you all for your contributions.

* Nov 27,2005 - On Thanksgiving Day, Lew Davidson, who was one of my mentors and inspirations to create the USS Idaho website, passed away. Read a trubute to Lew: Memorial to Lew Davidson from Lew's son, Ray Davidson.


In honor of the Crew of the USS Idaho - 'The Big Spud'

In Loving Memory to
Mack L. Roye, Lew Davidson, & Don Seger

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