Donald Oscar Clingenpeel, Chief Boatswain's Mate, born Dec. 21,
1919, Sioux City, IA, joined the USN Sept. 9,1940. He spent nine weeks
at the Great Lakes, IL, NTC, then went aboard the USS West Virginia
(BB-48) sometime in October or November 1940 at Bremerton, WA. The ship
went through an overhaul at the Bremerton Naval Shipyard.
They arrived in Pearl Harbor in April or May 1940. He was in the 2nd
Div. and subsequently assigned to the L Div. and later to the 3rd Div.
On Dec. 7, 1941, around 0755 he was sitting on #5 mooring line on the
starboard side. He heard some airplanes and saw the red balls on their
wings. The Wee Vee was being shook by torpedoes and bombs. The ship was
sinking and they were told to abandoning ship. He stepped into a motor
launch and taken to Ford Island to a four-story building that had
sleeping quarters, a PX, small stores, etc. A bomb landed and he was
hospitalized for 10 days or so due to burns.
He was then assigned to the USS Salt Lake City (CA-25). Discharged Nov.
8, 1960, he received the Purple Heart. He and his wife, Marjorie, live
in Albuquerque, NM. They have three children and three grandchildren.
He retired from the US Post Office and built doll houses until his eye
sight became impaired. He is still able to work in the garden.
Reprinted with permission from Turner Publishing