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Fred Garvin Navy

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Fred C. Garvin - 9515 Views
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Assigned: USS Koiner (Destroyer D.E.)
Highest Rank: Chief Petty Officer
Entered Service: 4/17/1943
Exited Service: 12/12/1945
Foreign Service Length: 2 Years, 7 Months and 26 Days
Location of Service: Atlantic Ocean
Gender: male
Basic Training: Great Lakes, Illinois
Military Position: Diesel Motor Machinist Mate
Place of Separation: Great Lakes, Illinois
From City: South Bend
From State: Indiana
Current City: Gahanna
Current State: Ohio
Date of Birth: 04/1925
My War Stories
  
  12/7/1941 Fred was in school when Franklin Delano Roosevelt came on the school PA system to announce to the nation that the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor thereafter FDR concluded with his famous speech about “the day that would live in infamy.” At that point, Fred had already made up his mind that he wanted to join the service. Fred knew the enemy needed to be stopped and he had the confidence that the United States would succeed and win the war, no matter what it took. Fred wanted to be a part of the winning force and serve his country to protect the freedom and security of all American citizens.
  3/1943 The bunk beds for the crew on the USS Koiner were three high and Fred slept on the top bunk. Fred had his own bunk the temperature was quite comfortable. Fred would be on duty for a rotation of four hours on then for eight hours off; he would also have to deal with the time changing multiple times when crossing the Atlantic.
  4/1943 Fred Garvin was just out of high school and living with his parents in South Bend, Indiana when he was finally able to legally enlist and begin his military training. Traveling by bus for three hours from South Bend, Fred arrived in downtown Indianapolis, Indiana. Fred had been to Indianapolis a few times before growing up and most distinctly remembered the Circle Centre. Once he arrived at the Navy Processing Center, he completed his physical and United States military paperwork processing with the rest of the young men who had traveled with him from South Bend. Fred was shortly thereafter shipped off to Great Lakes, Illinois for his Navy basic training.
  4/1943 In Great Lakes, Illinois before basic training began, Fred was interviewed on his family and work background. Fred’s father was the chief engineer at the South Bend Lathe Works. Growing up, Fred’s dad taught him how to work several of the machines including a lathe. Fred’s diversity of engineering skills made it really easy for the Navy to place Fred based on his skill set. Once he arrived, Fred had eight weeks of basic training. While most probably enter basic training with some hesitation, Fred just went along with everything that was asked of him and believed that it would all come in handy when he went to war. Fred was complacent about his feeling on going to war; he was ready to serve his country and was eager to have them place him in whatever position they felt that he could do the best job. He was confident throughout his whole process of basic training as he felt that his superiors continued to make great judgments about his talents and strengths when it came to positions for Fred to serve. The Navy instilled discipline and obedience in him by marching and policing the barracks by keeping them shining. Fred was trained on the M-1 and went through maneuvers but never used it after that.
  4/17/1943 Fred decided to enlist in the United States Navy Reserve at the age of seventeen while Fred was in high school. Fred has always liked the water and swimming, so was excited at the opportunities available through the Navy as the perfect branch for him. Fred went to the recruiter’s office two days before he was eighteen. Fred was determined to join before he turned 18 so that he would be able to select his branch along with the fact that he felt that it was very important to him to enlist rather than be drafted in to the military. Due to the fact that he was still a minor, he had to have his parents’ authorization and signature to be able to enlist. Fred’s parents were very wary and anxious about his decision. Fred knew that he would have to be creative in order to win over his father to get his permission, so he came home and told his dad that he was thinking about joining the Marines. Fred’s father knew about the type of training and mission involved with the Marines and adamantly opposed which made it smooth sailing when he switched his story and asked his dad about the Navy at which point his dad jumped at the chance to sign the papers for the Navy as long as he promised to steer clear of the Marines.
  6/1943 Fred Garvin enters advanced training at Navy Pier in Chicago where they had a Diesel School for eight weeks. The Navy never allowed Fred to choose what he was going to do but he thought they always made good choices for him. Fred’s parents came to visit him one time since they were so close and often sent him letters. With Fred’s background working with his father, the Diesel School training came very natural to him. The school had been acquired from the University as a premier Navy’s training facility. Fred worked primarily on 500 horsepower diesel engines. Joe was Fred’s best teacher and he knew everything about the engines and could teach very well.
  8/1943 Fred Garvin entered his second round of advanced military training for eight weeks at Navy Pier in Chicago, Illinois where they had a Diesel School. Fred graduated as a second class petty officer.
  12/1943 Fred was sent to Norfolk, Virginia while they were getting his ship ready in Texas. Fred took a train from Great Lakes, Illinois to Norfolk, Virginia and was held there because the military did not yet have any accommodations or Navy vessels for his unit ready in Texas. Fred distinctly remembered Norfolk, Virginia being shoulder to shoulder full of Navy men who would become a massive component of the United States military machine. While Fred waited for orders, they put him in a diesel school that he could have taught. They started with the basics and Fred’s recognized his own expertise as he continued throughout the Diesel School as a result of the work he had done growing up with his father. While the military was quick to assign more training, they really kept the men in the dark for security purposes about where they would be headed next or what specific ships they would be on following their training. Fred enjoyed hanging out with a friend who happened to be a preacher’s son and going to church activities rather than to the bars and getting drunk like many of the young men who were in his unit.
  12/1943 When his unit finally got their orders, they took a train from Norfolk, Virginia to Port Arthur, Texas. Fred was initially excited about the long trip as he thought that he would get to see a lot of the American countryside, however, he came to find that it was a very boring ride with very little diversity of scenery due to the route they followed. The train was very slow and took an entire week to get to Texas. The only entertaining part of the trip Fred recollects is when the train would stop and soldiers would get off to eat at a Fred Harvey restaurant.
  12/27/1943 After finally arriving at Port Arthur in Texas, Fred’s ship, the USS Koiner, is commissioned and ready to begin its life as a warship where Fred gained the title of plank owner because he was a part of the first mission and voyage. In the Navy, the Destroyer escorts were named after American heroes of war, which were often military heroes from World War II.
  1/1944 The USS Koiner Destroyer Escort Edsall Class had four 750 horsepower Diesel Engines with two on each side of the ship. Fred operated the two engines on the starboard side near the stern which operated one shaft. There were ten cylinders but twenty pistons connecting to a lower and upper crankshaft in the fifteen foot long engine. The pistons would come together in the middle of the engine which created a huge amount of compression, which was not a normal configuration for today’s engines. Fred had to know every single pipe from bow to stern including where it went and what was in it to get ready for his duty. He quickly memorized the steam, water, and gas lines while making sketches of everything. The Navy taught Fred how to do everything except run the engines. He had no idea what the air controlled levers were for, there were two levers if you wanted to go forward you would push them both forward, but made sure he was positive about the pipes that were around them.
  1/1944 Once Fred’s USS Koiner training was completed, his unit went out on a shakedown cruise through the Sabine River through the Gulf of Mexico then onto Bermuda and back to Norfolk, Virginia to check everything out. While out on his first mission, Judson was the USS Koiner’s Captain.
  2/1944 The Destroyer Escort was the best predator the United States had against the German U-Boats so Fred was prepared to do away with them. Fred was proud of his accomplishments and never lost a ship in his convoy.
  2/1944 When aboard ship, Fred had complete charge over the machine shop to the point that if Fred had to lock the doors, even the Captain could not make him open them. Fred never did that of course.
  3/1944 The USS Koiner was only 36 foot wide and 300 feet long and it was the roughest thing on the water. At one point, the Destroyer (D.E.) tipped over so far that Fred thought it was going to keep on going and capsize. At one point the ship had seen so many rough waves that the ship was actually tearing apart at the seam but one of their welders said he could fix it and he did.
  4/1944 Storms, tornadoes and hurricanes were very dangerous especially out in the middle of the ocean. One time there was an Atlantic wipe-out that devastated Atlantic City. Fred was moving the controls back and forth so much to keep the ship on track that the air compressor could not keep up rendering the engines useless as the air pressure was the driver. Fred had to radio up to the bridge and let them know about the situation to which they responded “Relax Shorty, we are at the dock.”
  8/8/1944 Fred was very meticulous and diligent with his job taking great pride in his position. It is amazing that the engines never broke down while Fred was operating them. The only time they had a problem was in the 1940 Presidential candidate Wendell Willkie died and his son was in the convoy needing a ride home for the funeral. Willkie was transferred to the USS Koiner by a beeches buoy. The Destroyer (D.E.) went flank speed, which was as fast as it could go, to New York and the engines were never the same again. The captain probably should not have pushed the engines to 100% but hindsight is always 20-20. The captain would be on the bridge and would have to signal down the engine room of what he would like to do so there was no physical connection to the engines. The rudder controls were on the bridge which allowed it to turn.
  11/30/1944 Fred was prestigiously promoted to Chief Motor Machinist’s Mate as Chief Petty Officer Fred Garvin.
  1945 Ralph Kean from Toledo was a friend of Fred’s.
  2/11/1945 Fred got a call about a U-Boat in the area so the USS Koiner left the convoy to go hunting along with the Crowe. The USS Koiner dropped depth charges, and stopped which was very scary to get a water sample for the oil slick on the motor whale boat by Chief Ring with a rag which nothing ever came of it. This was sixty miles east of New Jersey. The Captain called back no contact and got back on priority duty of convoy patrol. Forty-six years later in 1991 the U-boat was found and six years after that it was indentified as U-869 Hitler’s Lost U-Boat. This discovery was contrary to Hitler’s belief that it had sunk in European waters.
  5/1945 Fred was able to visit many ports during World War II. Of all of his tours, he enjoyed Taranto, Italy, Algiers, Morocco, and most of the ports in England the best. Fred also visited Curacao (near Trinidad), Portsmouth, England, and Cardiff, Wales.
  5/22/1945 Unfortunately, Fred had to leave the ship because he received some sort of tropical disease. Fred was soon thereafter transferred to Mare Island, California were he thought he would later join the USS Koiner because the USS Koiner was sent onto Pacific duty going through the Panama Canal received camouflage paint and even stopped at Mare Island; however, due to his illness he was not allowed to join back with his ship. The USS Koiner went onto Pacific duty and when the Japanese were defeated, it went back around the world to come back to the United States. Fred still has fingerprints of this “tropical illness” and its symptoms sixty five years later in 2009.
  6/1945 Fred was stationed at the Mare Island Submarine Base for the duration of the year. Fred did his best to steer clear of getting into a submarine and was in limbo for most of the time. He actually did janitor duty for a while which he did not mind.
  7/1945 Fred completed nine round trips across the Atlantic Ocean doing convoy duty over about two years. After each trip, the Destroyer would go into dry dock and get checked out where Fred would then have a little bit of time off.
  7/1945 Fred completed nine round trips across the Atlantic Ocean doing convoy duty over about two years. After each trip, the Destroyer would go into dry dock and get checked out where Fred would then have a little bit of time off.
  9/21/1968 The USS Koiner was decommissioned and later sold for scrap.

My War Awards
  • American Defense Medal - WW II
  • European - African - Middle Eastern Campaign Medal
  • World War II Victory Medal
My War Pictures
Click on the pictures to enlarge.
        
  USS Koiner Destroyer Escort in Lakehurst, New Jersey on October 26, 1944. Painted in Dazzle Camouflage. USS Koiner Destroyer Escort in Lakehurst, New Jersey on October 26, 1944. Painted in Dazzle Camouflage. Fred Garvin did 9 trips on the USS Koiner Destroyer across the Atlantic. TRIP 6: Maine to English Channel. TRIP 7: Brooklyn to Portsmouth, England. TRIP 8: Brooklyn to Le Havre, France. TRIP 9: Boston to New Jersey. . Each trip consisted of numerous stops Fred Garvin did 9 trips on the USS Koiner Destroyer across the Atlantic. TRIP 6: Maine to English Channel. TRIP 7: Brooklyn to Portsmouth, England. TRIP 8: Brooklyn to Le Havre, France. TRIP 9: Boston to New Jersey. . Each trip consisted of numerous stops Fred Garvin did 9 trips on the USS Koiner Destroyer across the Atlantic. TRIP 1: Texas to Guantanamo Bay. TRIP 2: Guantanamo Bay to Casablanc. TRIP 3: Guantanamo Bay to Naples. TRIP 4: Norfolk to Taranto. TRIP 5: New Jersey to England. Each trip consisted of numerous stops. Fred Garvin did 9 trips on the USS Koiner Destroyer across the Atlantic. TRIP 1: Texas to Guantanamo Bay. TRIP 2: Guantanamo Bay to Casablanc. TRIP 3: Guantanamo Bay to Naples. TRIP 4: Norfolk to Taranto. TRIP 5: New Jersey to England. Each trip consisted of numerous stops.
  The USS Koiner was named after Lieutenant James Duval Koiner who was killed in the Battle of Solomon Islands on November 13, 1942. The USS Koiner was named after Lieutenant James Duval Koiner who was killed in the Battle of Solomon Islands on November 13, 1942. 1st Class Petty Officer in the Navy patch worn by Fred Garvin. The MO stands for Diesel machinist. 1st Class Petty Officer in the Navy patch worn by Fred Garvin. The MO stands for Diesel machinist. Fred on the left on the Honor Flight. The mission of the Honor Flight is to fly all WWII veterans to the World War II memorial for free. Fred on the left on the Honor Flight. The mission of the Honor Flight is to fly all WWII veterans to the World War II memorial for free.
  USS Koiner Destroyer Escort. USS Koiner Destroyer Escort. Picture of USS Koiner taken in Okinawa, Japan. Picture of USS Koiner taken in Okinawa, Japan. USS Koiner DE-331 on July 26, 1944. USS Koiner DE-331 on July 26, 1944.
  Sinking of a U-Boat by depth charges. Sinking of a U-Boat by depth charges. Fred on 9/8/2007 in Washington, DC on his Honor Flight. Fred on 9/8/2007 in Washington, DC on his Honor Flight. Left Earl Morse founder of Honor Flight with Fred Garvin. Left Earl Morse founder of Honor Flight with Fred Garvin.
  Lamp made of ammunition. Lamp made of ammunition. Garvin Naval training station. Garvin Naval training station. Fred during Navy training in Great Lakes. Fred during Navy training in Great Lakes.
  Fred's Navy Friend. Fred's Navy Friend. Letter home by Fred. April 30, 1943. Letter home by Fred. April 30, 1943. Garvin scores perfect in training. Garvin scores perfect in training.
  1945 Great Lakes, Illinois. 1945 Great Lakes, Illinois. Fred C Garvin after basic training. Fred C Garvin after basic training. Officers and crew of the USS Koiner Destroyer. Officers and crew of the USS Koiner Destroyer.
  Commissioning of the USS Koiner in Orange Texas City Docks on December 27, 1943. Garvin was present. Commissioning of the USS Koiner in Orange Texas City Docks on December 27, 1943. Garvin was present. Americas Security, US Naval Training Station Great Lakes, Illinois. Garvin did 8 weeks of basic here and 8 weeks of advanced training. Americas Security, US Naval Training Station Great Lakes, Illinois. Garvin did 8 weeks of basic here and 8 weeks of advanced training. Destroyer Escort Sailors Association. Destroyer Escort Sailors Association.
  USS Koiner Destroy DE331. USS Koiner Destroy DE331. September 15, 1945 Navy. September 15, 1945 Navy. Fred C Garvin. Fred C Garvin.
  Welsh, Hodges, and Fred Garvin in Naples, Italy July 27, 1944. Welsh, Hodges, and Fred Garvin in Naples, Italy July 27, 1944.

My War Videos
Click play button near the bottom left of image to watch the video.
Fred Garvin discussing his role in sinking German U-boat 869. Hitler's missing U-boat partially sank by USS Koiner Destroyer Escort German U-869.



USS Koiner Destroyer Escort examined by Fred Garvin World War II.



Destroyer Escort very large engines Chief Petty Officer Garvin. Fred explains how the extremely large engines operated on the USS Koiner during World War 2.