George Ernest Rasmussen, Chief Machinist Mate, born April 28, 1918,
Fairdale, IL. Enlisted in the USN in August 1940 and did his training
at Great Lakes, IL. From there, he took a troop train to San Diego and
scrapped paint on an old "4 Piper Can" for two weeks. Then "4 Piper
Can" took them to Long Beach, CA where he boarded the USS Idaho to
Pearl Harbor where they went aboard their first assigned ship, USS
She took them in the battle of Midway and the Coral Sea. On June 6, 1942, she was sunk!
As a survivor, he was assigned aboard the USS West Virginia (BB-48)
that had been raised in Pearl Harbor. She was crippled back to
Bremerton, WA, in June of 1942 to be rebuilt. He was MMl/c at the
time. While on the Wee Vee, he was in the Battle of Surigao Strait all
the way to Japan and made chief machinist mate. He was discharged from
the USN in August 1946 in Bremerton, WA. Serving on shore patrol, he
was assigned to the USS Indiana.
Leaving the USN, he installed oil burners in Vancouver, WA; then in
1948, he became a dairyman, renting a farm in Ridgefield, WA; later
renting a 160 acre dairy farm in La Center, WA; and in 1960 purchased
his own 152 acre dairy for 25 years total. As of this writing, he is
raising replacement heifers.
He met Jean Durgan on a blind date and they married on Feb. 5,
1944. They just celebrated 53 wonderful years together. He and Jean and
have two sons, three daughters, three grandsons, three granddaughters,
one step-grandson and two step granddaughters. Many of his shipmates
were more like brothers to him and he still sees some of them at both
the Yorktown and West Virginia reunions.
Reprinted with permission from Turner Publishing