Virgil Nelson, 90, Shreve, Ohio, served aboard the USS Calvert as a Boats’n Mate during Operation Magic Carpet in 1946. Prior to joining the Calvert, Virgil served aboard an LST (landing ship tank) and “Island Hopped” along with the Calvert in the Pacific. He was one of the last men aboard the Calvert after she returned to Norfolk following the War.
As a long-time model ship builder, Virgil kept meticulous notes during his time aboard the Calvert. Beginning in the mid-1950s he began work to build a model of the Calvert so that he could better explain what type of ship the Calvert was to his family and friends. His work on the Calvert model took over five years and on-thousand hours, with most of the work taking place during the wintertime.
Virgil spent his post-year wars working in newspaper production in Wooster, Ohio, building countless ship and boat models, and spending summers with his family on the water and vacationing at his cabin in Canada.
Virgil, with the help of his grandson, was generous in sending a selection of the many photographs that he took while he spent his time building the Calvert model. Also included are a few articles and notes written by Virgil.
The model is nearly 47 inches in length, and is displayed under a glass case in Virgil’s home, among the many other ship and boat models that he has hand-crafted over the years.