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.
Robert’s grand daughter send these photographs of Mr. Rahn, who served in the Navy during WWII (stationed at “Navy 120” naval station in Recife, Brazil) and then on the USS Calvert from July 1951 through January or February of 1952.
Two new officers identified in the photos further below:
Dr. Dwight A. Callagan (1917-1992) … “who was probable a LTJG at the time. He said he was a beachhead doctor on several landings and got the Bronze Star for action on Saipan (He is also mentioned in the History of the Calvert on your website on page 12 of Citations when he received the Bronze Star) and other landings (additional information on page 12, Citations). I saw a film clip on your site a few years ago with him named as Dr. Callahan shot by a think a Chaplin on the ship.
He retired as a Capt. from the medical corp in 1971 after a remarkable career as a surgeon, researcher and hospital administrator’ He is still in Who is Who in medicine all these years later for his research and invention of the ultrasonic dopler. He retired in 1971 but a google search for him still brings up medical research articles written by him in AMA Journals in the 1960s.” – Wayne Callagan
Dr. John R. Palmer Jr. “…He served for 19 months as a medical officer aboard the Calvert. He was a 1942 graduate of the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta, where he returned after discharge from the Navy in 1946. He was in private practice in Augusta from 1947 until he returned to active duty in the Navy in 1952. He remained on active duty until 1967, serving at Navy hospitals in Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Michigan, California and Alaska. He passed away April 17, 1985, at age 69 at his home in Waynesboro, Georgia.” – Ben Palmer
Dr. Richard Hickok, the Calvert’s dentist in 1962, provided a copy of his personal film footage of the crew’s time at sea and at liberty in Hawaii, Japan and Hong Kong during the 1962 WestPac cruise. Note: There is no sound or narration to this video.
I found this “daily events” souvenir program from the first Calvert Associates reunion (1979) among my copies of several early editions of the Calversion newsletters kindly provided by Al Bradbury (RDM, ’53-’56).
Thanks again to Al for providing a great set of Calvert-related photographs and memorabilia.