Harry C. Foss Sr., Lt. Commander, USN

Received from the youngest son of Harry C. Foss.

My Dad was in the Navy for 18 years and assigned at Pearl Harbor aboard the USS San Francisco. I believe at the time he was a CPO in the engine room. He was assigned to the ship on June 19, 1941 thru December 31, 1942. My family was at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. My mom, with my three brothers, drove my Dad down to the shipyard while the whole area was under attack. The USS San Francisco was in for maintenance at this time.

My Dad moved to the USS Frazier after serving on the San Francisco, but he served on the USS San Francisco while she earned 6 battle stars and suffered it’s worse hits. I know he was in the engine room, and that is probably one of the reasons he survived, because top side took some pretty bad hits. I was told they referred to those in the engine room as darkies, probably because of the environment in the engine room.

My dad was 16 years old, both his parents had died, and he had pneumonia. It was 1923 when he went into a Navy recruiter office, in Georgia, and tried to join. He was told that he was too young but if he came back when he was 18 they would take him. So, my Dad walked around the block, went back in and stated that he was 18. The rest is history. His first two weeks were spent in a hospital recovering from pneumonia, and then he went to boot camp.

My Dad loved the Navy, it was his life. After 30 years, he retired in 1953 as a retired Lieutenant Commander, and as a Mustanger (old Navy), he was mighty proud of that. Unfortunately, I was 13 when he died and a lot of the information that I was able to obtain was from his Navy Book, that was a leather book that folded into three which contained his Naval history.

After, finding his Naval medals in a drawer, I decided it was time to honor my Dad, so I had a shadow box made of him and the USS San Francisco with his medals, because after all he was a hero, and he never talked about it. The 7 medals he received seem to be campaign medals for service in the South Pacific, occupation medal, victory medal WWII, good conduct, etc.

Doug Foss, Youngest Son of Harry C Foss Sr.