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Turner, Stanley King

Stanley King Turner U.S. Navy WWII
Stanley King Turner

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Date of Birth: April 12, 1918
Died On: February 1, 1944
Branch of Service: U.S. Navy - U. S. S. Washington

Veteran Code: KIA-103

Stanley King Turner

Stanley King Turner was born on April 12, 1918, in Pennsylvania to Margaret Geraty Davis, age 20, and Stanley King Turner, age 25.He lived in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1931.

Stanley Klng Turner Jr's family lived in Rye from 1931 to 1936. He was a graduate of the Taft School attended Williams College, class of 1940. He was one of the oldest members of the junior membership of the Larchmont Yacht Club and was commodore of the junior division.

Stanley sailed the star-class sloop Miggs to victory in the Atlantic Coast championship of 1939. He was sports editor of the New Rochelle Standard-Star from 1936 until he left in 1941 to attend the midshipmen's school at Northwestern Univeraity.

Stanley King Turner was commissioned and assigned to active duty on June 15, 1942, when he was 24 years old. Lt Turner served as a radio officer on the U.S.S. Washington (BB-56)

The USS Washington was recalled from Europe to the US in July 1942 to be refitted and transferred to the Pacific. Immediately sent to the south Pacific to reinforce Allied units fighting the Guadalcanal campaign, the ship became the flagship of Rear Admiral Willis Lee. She saw action at the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal on the night of 14–15 November in company with the battleship USS South Dakota and four destroyers. After South Dakota inadvertently drew heavy Japanese fire by sailing too closely to Admiral Nobutake Kondō's squadron, Washington took advantage of the Japanese preoccupation with South Dakota to inflict fatal damage on the Japanese battleship Kirishima and the destroyer Ayanami, while avoiding damage herself. Washington's attack disrupted Kondō's planned bombardment of U.S. Marine positions on Guadalcanal and forced the remaining Japanese ships to withdraw.

From 1943 onward, the Washington was primarily occupied with screening the fast carrier task forces, though she also occasionally shelled Japanese positions in support of the various amphibious assaults. During this period, Washington participated in the Gilbert and Marshall Islands campaign in late 1943 and early 1944

USS Washington and USS Indiana Collide, 1 February 1944

In the pre-dawn darkness of 1 February 1944 the battleship Indiana was under orders to refuel four destroyers, to be done at night to ensure a full anti-submarine screen during the following day's combat operations. Indiana announced by radio at 0420 that she was turning towards the left and slowing to fifteen knots. However, her Commanding Officer, based on a "seaman's eye" evaluation of the situation, apparently thought better of that course and a short time later changed direction toward the formation's right. This was not reported to the rest of the ships and, about seven minutes after she began her turn, Indiana was seen close ahead of the battleship Washington's port bow.

Washington ordered her engines to "back, emergency full" and put her rudder hard left. Indiana also maneuvered in an effort to avoid a collision. However, in about a minute the two big ships ran together, with Washington's bow scraping down the after portion of Indiana's starboard side. Both ships were damaged enough to require shipyard repairs, taking both out of combat at an inopportune time. Indiana's starboard hull side was dished in and ripped open.

Some sixty feet of Washington's forward hull was ground away, causing its deck to flap down into the water. Ten lives were lost in this accident, six killed or missing on Washington and four on Indiana. The Indiana's Commanding Officer, whose actions were severely criticized by the ensuing court of inquiry, was relieved of command and not again employed at sea.

Navy Lt Stanley Klng Turner Jr was killed on Feb. 1 1944 when the battleshlp lndiana sheared off tte bow of his ship the battleship Washington while the two vessels were retiring from a night bombardment off Kwajalein in the Marhall Islands. He was 25.

Stanley was temporarily buried on the atoll of Majuro. His remains were later removed and placed at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific also known as Punchbowl Cemetery in Hawaii.

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