- Category: USS Arizona Survivor Stories
- Last Updated: Thursday, 19 November 2015 23:31
- Published: Tuesday, 11 July 2000 00:00
Charles A Von Spreckelsen
Painter Second Class on 7 December 1941
Submitted by Charles A. Von Spreckelsen
Charles Von Spreckelsen enlisted in the Navy in July 1935 at Indianapolis, Indiana. From there he was sent to Chicago, Illinois Naval Training Station for recruit training. He was in Company 1; the first company of recruits upon the reopening of the station since World War One. His training lasted four months and then he had 10 days boot leave. After his company's leave, they returned to Chicago and were in a draft to the USS ARIZONA. At that time, she was in the shipyard at Bremerton, Washington. This was either late December 1935 or early January 1936.
Upon arrival on the ARIZONA, Charles was assigned to the Third Division. His battle station was in Turret 3 as a trayman. His division earned the first CEI for that turret. He remained in the Third Division until 1939 and then was transferred to the R Division Damage Control. His work station was the paint locker.
Somewhere during this time, the ships of his group made a cruise to Pearl Harbor. Before they returned, it was decided they would operate out of Pearl Harbor.
The Navy decided to camouflage the planes on the battleships and cruisers. The people doing this needed help and Charles received orders to report to SOSU (Scouting Observation Service Unit) stationed on Ford Island. After December 7, 1941 he was permanently transferred to SOSU and remained there until early 1943 and then transferred to Fleet Air Wing which was headquartered in San Diego, California. From there he went to Long Range Bomber Squadron VPB 118. He trained in Modesto, California. After the end of the war, he was transferred to the east coast, where he was in a fighter squadron in Carrier Air Group 17. After a couple of short assignments, he retired in May of 1957.
Information researched and compiled by I. B. Nease and N. A. Nease and provided on USSARIZONA.ORG free of charge.
May not be reprinted in any form, other than educational use, without prior written permission of the author.