Remembering the USS ST. LOUIS (CL-49) & My Father on Veteran’s Day 🚢

~Happy Veteran’s Day Tribute to my Dear Dad~

Dad in the Navy above pic, Army below.

Sargent in the Army. He was an Auto Mechanic and worked on the vehicles, according to my Aunt Ruthie.

My father’s brother on the left, cousin in the middle, and my father on the right.

~My father in his younger School Days~

A pic in his later years of us together.


I hope I’m not violating any copyright rules talking about an article from The Washington Post, via the Internet. I wanted to honor my late father.

As I have shared in times past, my father never would talk about the war with us kids. What little we know came from my Aunt Ruthie, his sister, and my mother back when she was still with us.

My father had fibbed about his age, (as did many at that time) and at the tender age of 17, (almost 18) joined the Navy. He wanted to do his part in defending his beloved country. He transferred into the Army after Pearl Harbor. I don’t know how any of this came about. I have little to no details.

I won’t include a pic of the ship, because there again, I do not know much about the copyrights concerning this. It can be googled. You will find images of this magnificent ship there.

The ship my father was stationed on was called the USS St. Louis, but later nicknamed the “Lucky Lou,” as you will see as to why, if you look up the article and read the very interesting details.

The part I want to stress about this amazing story is how prayer can change any event! My father had gotten away from the Lord, and had joined the Navy. My Grandma who was a wonderful Christian woman, had been praying, as well as the church she attended in their community, unified in praying for my father. They were in deep intercession for his safety, the ship and all those aboard the ship.

I stumbled upon this article, when researching the details and events surrounding my Dad’s part in being at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. What I found and read left me astounded and made me cry! And let me know that my Grandma’s and the church’s prayers had been truly answered for her oldest son away at war that devastating day!

There were many surprising details surrounding this event, letting me know that God was in control of this ship! The fact that the ship’s automatic guns were inoperative during the attack was a major detail! They had no way of fighting their opponent back! The St. Louis was the “only” ship that was able to reach the open sea DURING the attack, while bombs were being dropped from the air!

Because they were trying to get away to the open seas, they were singled out for attack! The first torpedo exploded on the nearby coral reef, (lacking depth) instead of hitting the ship, which was the main target.

When the second torpedo was spotted coming their way, the ship was turned aggressively so that the torpedo was running parallel to the ship, instead of hitting it!Thousands of American lives were lost that day on other ships, but none on the “Lucky Lou!”

There were too many events in this story to call it mere coincidence! Luck had little to do with it–in my opinion–but prayer covered my dad and almost a thousand other lives on that ship! It was a complete miracle that happened that day! I’m so glad it did, or I and my siblings wouldn’t have later had the opportunity to be born!

Another extraordinary event that took place, against all odds—the ship was to be scrapped at the end of its life. But before this could happen, the ship sank on its own accord. I SAY those prayers that the ship would not be destroyed by outside forces, was still covering that amazing ship. It went down in dignity and with honor!

In finding this detailed recollection of what happened on the ship my Dad was on at Pearl Harbor, it somehow gave me peace as to why my father never could talk to his children about this event. I have since learned he did discuss the war in his departing years with a few people. I’m glad he was finally able to do this, even if it wasn’t with us kids. I think maybe he was protecting us from the horrific details.

I’m sure he had opportunity to reunite with the survivors from the ship years later. And even a family member offered to pay his way to reunite one year with the veterans who had survived WWII, but he refused the offer. He wasn’t much for being put in the spotlight. And he didn’t like speaking publicly.

If you would like to read more about this extraordinary event and the specific details, you can google the article, The ‘Lucky’ Ship in Pearl Harbor written in The Washington Post in 1981.



  1. My dad was in the army during WWII just out of H.S. He always told us he played golf in Japan for the Army. As an adult I thought this was a bit odd My mom just found out this was not true. Other men told their family the same thing rather than talk about what they had witnessed and lived through. Just recently mom found out dad was in the last battle of the Pacific Theater. He was in extreme danger which contributed to PTSD. Dad was a hard person to live with. It would have been helpful to know why he struggled but as your dad no one talked about it. I thought about doing a post on my dad. Thank you for letting me share what we know about his experience here.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh goodness, Lena! I’m sorry your dad suffered from PTSD from being in that traumatic event! I know it would have helped you guys to understand better if you had known some of the details. Have you tried to google to find out what happened with him? It really opened my eyes to what my dad went through.
      I hope you do the post! I would love to read it! Honoring your dad and others today, even if I was a tad bit late!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What an incredible story, Renee! God has such a way of orchestrating things. So appreciative of your dad’s service as well as all who have served and are serving.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Awe, thank you so much, Alicia for sharing with your hubby! That’s so sweet of you! It’s hard to believe my Dad is gone on, but I am grateful to at least bring him a little honor after his passing. I’m so happy we have his pictures to remember him by and share with others!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes so sweet!! And you have the memories too..I lost my dad when I was 17, I’m 37 now and ugh it just doesn’t get any easier…when you had a good dad then boy it just makes it tough…thank God for good memories and meaningful pictures!

        Liked by 1 person

    • I also love old photographs. Thank you so much, John! You are welcome.

      I recently went to an event where someone had a container of old black and white photographs for sale. It saddened my heart to see someone’s heirlooms discarded like that. Maybe the person who owned the photos passed away and had no one to pass them down to. I’m glad to have mine of my parents. They mean so much to me.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Richard, for that….I so wanted to bring some kind of honor to his name! I totally agree! I am still shocked to read how the story came about for Lucky Lou!


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