USS New Mexico BB-40
Sept. 12, 2018
Eugene G. Baron, S1C, #8867300, Born in San Francisco, California on January 29, 1925. Died in Sparks Nevada on March 29, 2007.
Enlisted in the in the Navy July 6, 1943 and was received on board the U.S.S. New Mexico (BB40) October 5, 1943. Was credited with shooting down a Japanese attack plane in one of the many confrontations in the Philippine Islands. Had minor injuries numerous times during battle and was blown overboard 4 different times during battles. His battle station was a 20mm machine gun on either the port or starboard side (not sure what side he told me) and also was sent on a number of burial parties after these encounters.
On May 12, 1945 off the shore Of Okinawa the New Mexico was engaged in battle by air attack and was hit by a Kamikaze aircraft which devastated the ship with numerous deaths and injuries. He was wounded with shrapnel in his left eye and was put aboard the hospital ship U.S.S. Solace for treatment and transport to the Hawaiian Islands and later back to the mainland ending up at Oak Knoll Naval Hospital in Oakland, CA. After his discharge he went to work for the U.S. Treasury Department at the San Francisco Mint where he worked until his retirement.
He was permanently blinded in his left eye and carried the shrapnel many years because it was a risk at that time to remove it without endangering his good right eye and would leave him totally blind. During those years he suffered terrible headaches caused by the shrapnel still imbedded on his left side. Many years later with the surgical advancement they told him they now have the technology to go in and remove the remaining shrapnel with no danger to his good eye. He entered the hospital, it was removed as well as the eyeball itself and he was fitted with a false eye and the headaches went away.
As a young man in school he played the saxophone and did up until his latter years. He wrote music and score and played with many well know bands and orchestras and had his own trio that played all over and for a long time weekly at Rockaway Beach in Pacifica, CA. He was also a Master Marksman with a hand gun and was a training instructor for the Mint in San Fransisco. His unique style of shooting was amazing because he was left handed so he shot left handed using his right eye.
He was my uncle (my mother was his older sister) and my sister and I with all of our family were very proud of him. He did not talk much about the war until one day at his house in Sparks I had stopped to visit him as I was traveling through. I had just recently lost my wife of 27 years and we were talking about old times and the war came up. I had started a cartridge collection when I was a young teen and my uncle new of my interest and love for the sport of shooting. He helped in many ways to improve me and he did. That day he took me into his garage and took out some mementos from his time aboard the New Mexico and for the first time he opened up and told me his story and what it was like.
That story not only gave me chills it made me aware of not just him but all the men and women that served during WWII and all the wars prior and after. Among the stuff he gave me he took out a spent 20mm machine gun case which was one of the 60 round belt that he fired at that plane when he shot it down. They new he had hit it because the big gun on a lower deck (I think he called it a pom-pom gun) with a 2 man crew had a revolving turret that was stuck and unable to shoot at the plane. As he put it to me I knew I would only get one belt off and there would be no time to reload so I let her go and one or more hit the plane and downed it. One of his buddies grabbed one of the 60 empty casing on the deck, put a new projectile in it and gave it to him as memento of his deed. He gave that round to me for my collection and now at 72 and still collecting and researching you can imagine the specimens I have acquired and that 20mm round is my prize!
I wanted to share his story with all who served and are serving and all remaining sailors from not just BB40 but all ships that were there. Thank You and God Bless all our military men and women!
Frank L. Moglia (Gino's nephew)
(See: Ode To The Queen by Frank L. Moglia)
Eugene G. Baron.
Aug. 9, 2017
My father, Edward M. Kelly, was a Seaman 1st Class 5" Rammerman on the USS New Mexico. Attached are his photo and his honorary certificate of his service aboard the Queen. He passed away in 1976 of heart failure. He was very proud of his service to his country and had a deep and abiding love and gratitude for those members of the USS New Mexico's crew who were killed in action. He was a wonderful man and a wonderful father and I know he would be glad to see the Queen's legacy preserved. Thank you so much for this site. God bless.
Celia Kelly Bredenbeck
Edward M. Kelly seen in uniform.
Edward M. Kelly seen in uniform.
Edward M. Kelly seen with two unidentified men.
Apr. 3, 2014
My Grandfather is Vern Dascher who was a member of "The Queen's" crew during WWII. He is the president of the Association. His email is OleVernBB40@yahoo.com. For Association Membership, or Ship information, contact him. His phone is 636-949-9413.
I am the co-chair of the USS New Mexico BB40 Association Reunion. For Reunion information/registration, please list me as contact. My phone is 636-497-0583.
This year's Reunion is September 23-28, 2014 at The Stone Castle Hotel & Conference Center in Branson, MO.
The room rate of $62.10 plus tax includes a deluxe hot breakfast buffet. Because of the limited number of rooms, make your reservations early by calling 1-800-677-6906. Be sure to mention The USS New Mexico Reunion and the dates. Keep in mind that reservations may be cancelled if your plans change. Please reserve early. We look forward to seeing you all there!
Hugs & Peace,
Dec. 22, 2011
My father, Victor Wayne Davis (1910-1999), was on the USS New Mexico in 1934. I have several scrapbooks of clippings and photos and would be happy to share them with you for your site. Also, are there any postings from others whose family was on the USS New Mexico c. 1934-1936? I would like to learn more about this ship, this era, the Sailors, etc. Feel free to contact me.
Carol (Davis) Albrecht
Jan. 7, 2013
My father was also on the BB 40 from 1933 tom1939. While my own efforts to gain knowledge about the ship, crews etc. have not been too successful (started in the early 1990's)! I have found that by revisiting the web over time more and more descendants like ourselves enter the search so to speak.
The main problem I have found is, this was the era called 'The Navy between the Wars'. And even the service records were minimal in those days...
Photo album cover.
Victor W. Davis' Domain of Neptunus Rex certificate.
I was recently given information about my Great-grandfather when he served in the U.S. Navy. I've been doing some research in the hopes to find something about his short career in the Military. When I came across your message it got my attention. My Great-Grandfather served aboard the USS New Mexico from Jan 1920 to Sep 1920. His name his Emmett Murphy serving as a Fireman Second Class (F2C) or a Fireman Third Class (F3C). I'm putting together a room dedicated to my family that has served in the military. I'm currently serving in the Navy falling my grandfather footsteps as he did with his father before him. It would be of great
Oct. 28, 2008
A good place to start might be with getting your grandfather's personnel and medical records from the National Personnel Records Center. www.archives.gov
Gregory A. Carpenter
I've been posting the photos I have of my Grandfather, Einar B.V. Schon who served on the USS New Mexico beginning in 1919 anywhere I can find a place to post them. I have a quest to get his shipmate's families to find their ancestors in my Grandfather's photographs, as some of them were even LABELED with the person's name! I've included photos of his handwritten comments on the backside to be helpful. I'm glad to see you actually HAVE a few photos of the USS New Mexico from 1919! It's pretty rare to find any site that even ALLOWS you to post stuff without having to label it as 1940, etc. arrgh.
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Page published Apr. 17, 2008