16, 2007 ~
* Mail Call,
USS Idaho Sports, and photos
* Special Email message from Cheif Cecil "ED" Hewitt
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
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.
on image for larger view)
Jan 10, 2007
(Email message from ENS Dan Weeks)
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
Thank you very much for you time and efforts.
EN2 Dan Weeks
(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:)
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
Wallace Ray Weeks
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
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:
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"
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.
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
I would like to hear from anyone who served on the
Cecil "Ed" Hewitt
Senior Chief Machinist's Mate
U.S. Navy Retired
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.
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.
wishing you all the best of health and happiness
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.
veteran viewed WWII from a different "window".
Thank You for helping perserve the"IDAHO'S"
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)
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!
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.
Santa Barbara, CA
Email from Bill Radford)
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.
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
I've attached a few photos to this email. I'll send
some additional items in separate emails
Domain of Neptunas Rex
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
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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dec 30, 2005 -
From the website of the Nat'l Musueum of the Pacific
war in Fredricksburg, Tx, a slide show of the
War in the Pacific.
Dec 20,2005 - Post your comments in honor of
the USS Idaho shipmates on the New Guestbook.
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.
honor of the Crew of the USS Idaho -
'The Big Spud'
Loving Memory to
Mack L. Roye, Lew Davidson, & Don Seger
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