Harold F. Hiles

USS West Virginia

Harold Franklin Hiles, born July 7, 1915, Washington, C.H., OH. He went to NTS Norfolk, VA, on Sept. 15, 1935, for Machinist Mate School. Having a choice of ships upon graduation, he chose the USS West Virginia which he boarded at Bremerton, WA, after being taken there from Norfolk on the USS Nitro.

Long Beach, CA, was their port for the next three years. He was assigned to the "Black Gang" for three months, then transferred to the Aviation Div. His most memorable experiences include the day-to-day pride he felt at being a part of the crew of the USS West Virginia.

In June 1939 they departed the port of Long Beach on Fleet Problem XIX, then was transferred to the USS New York which took them on the annual midshipmen's cruise, sailing to Quebec. The pending war in Europe changed the usual destination for the cruise.

He was paid off in Norfolk, VA, and upon becoming a civilian married a registered nurse and they reared three sons and a daughter. They have been married almost 58 years. He worked in federal service until retirement in 1970, and is currently living in Imperial Beach, CA.

Reprinted with permission from Turner Publishing

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