Stanton L. "Stores" Gallaher - SK3c

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Stan Gallaher - SK3c
U. S Navy Storekeeper Stan Gallaher
It was September 1943 when 27 year old Stanton L. Gallaher entered the Navy. He said goodbye to his wife Peggy and headed for the United States Naval Training Station at Sampson, N.Y. He also said goodbye to his job as a salesman at Bond’s Mens Clothing. After boot camp, he was sent for more training as a Storekeeper. Recruit's Beacon Training Pamphlet
Boot Camp Training Pamphlet
Recalled Stan, "I was sent to Storekeeper's school because I could type and the others with me could not. They used the 'hunt and peck' approach to typing. Thus I found myself becoming a Storekeeper." On June 7, 1944, it was Seaman First Class Gallaher that reported aboard the USS BUSH as the ship was undergoing repairs at Mare Island. Three days later, along wtih two of his new shipmates, he was sent to a one day course on the Navy’s new payroll system. Gallaher says, "Soon after coming aboard in June of 1944, Ensign Doyle told me I'd make SK3c when we got to Pearl."
When the BUSH got to Pearl Harbor, he and Bob Aguilar (SK2c) were sent ashore in Honolulu at the request of Doc Johnson, armed with a requisition to purchase a camera for the Doctor. Gallaher remembers it was a Kodak camera but can't quite recall the model. He says that camera probably took quite a few of the pictures that appear on this website.

"I ran the ship's store, and thus the nickname 'Stores' was given me." The store was located on the starboard side quarterdeck, near the #2 stack”, notes Gallaher. “We weren't open every day, and when we were it was only for limited hours. The lines were long right after payday. We sold personal goods in the store, like shaving cream. Items like clothing, caps and shoes were all below deck. Candy sold in the store was known as 'pogey bait'. 'Gee Dunk' was the term for soda, which we rarely had on the BUSH."

Stan Gallaher - SK3c
Stan "Stores" Gallaher - Aboard DD-529
On his other assignments Gallaher says, "When the store was not open, my duties consisted of handling payroll, preparing daily menus and standing watch. I'd stand a watch with 3 others in the #5 gun mount, waiting for someone to bring the 'Joe pot' (coffee)."

Operating the ship's store had its advantages. On movie night, Gallaher didn't have to take a chair to the movie. On those nights he says the crew treated him right, "as though I was everybody's cousin" ... It was "Stores, come sit right here!"

“Once when returning from a movie, the line to the head was very long”, explains Gallaher. “So I took a leak over the side near the K-gun depth charges. Mr. Buchanan caught me and told me to see Lt. Stanley and tell him what happened. Mr. Stanley kind of snickered and said, 'OK, tomorrow you'll be Captain.' So the next day I was Captain of the Head.“

Gallaher's general quarters station was in the #5-inch gun handling room, just below the #5 5-inch gun on the ship's fantail. Stationed below deck, their job was to make sure the gun crew above them received a steady and correct supply of ammunition.

Gallaher remembers a Steward's Mate named Miles Burke, who also worked in the #5 handling room when at general quarters. Miles' assignment was to work in a compartment that was "dogged down", and required that someone open the hatch to let him out in the event of trouble. Miles would lift heavy projectiles up to the crew in the #5 mount. Miles was a big, strong man. Some have remembered him as the "secret weapon" of gun #5 because he was so big and strong, he could keep those shells moving. Stan remembers, "Miles would always sing gospel hymns while he was in there, even during drills."

When the ship was lost at Okinawa, Gallaher survived the kamikaze hits and the ship's sinking. But his time in the water was rough. A thin man, the cold water soon sapped his body heat and strength. Clinging to a floater net with quite a few other shipmates, he wasn't allowed to drift away. Rescue efforts by the crew of the USS PAKANA (ATF 108) helped keep an unconscious Gallaher on the survivor's list.

Miles Burke - StM2c
Survivor Miles Burke - StM2c
Remembered with admiration by many
The crew of the PAKANA worked very hard to save each man recovered. In addition to the best medical care they could provide, PAKANA sailors inventoried the personal possessions the men as they stripped them of their wet, cold clothes. In Gallaher’s case, he had $11.00 in his pocket. That money was counted, put in a safe place and returned to him by the PAKANA crew, as the copy of the letter from the PAKANA’s executive officer shows.
Letter Returning $11.00
Lt.(jg) Paul Scherbel
Lt.(jg) Paul Scherbel
Executive Officer,
Stan Gallaher says that just before, or soon after, catching the USS BUSH in June of 1944, he made a trip to Treasure Island (in the San Francisco Bay area). Stan reports, "I remember a Petty Officer talking to an incoming group of survivors from a ship that sank outside Frisco Bay. He told them they would be treated to a big steak dinner, with all the trimmings, and then given 30 days survivor's leave. I was in awe as I listened. After the BUSH was lost, the same Petty Officer gave us the same speech upon our return."
Stan Gallaher - SK2c
Survivor Stan Gallaher and wife Peggy are reunited - 1945

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