John Haverty, Chief Aviation Machinist’s Mate, USN
John Haverty, Chief Aviation Machinist’s Mate
John Haverty was born in Smithfield Virginia in 1917. He enlisted in the United States Navy in 1935. His first ship assignment was the cruiser USS San Francisco (CA-38). He was then transferred to another cruiser the USS Louisville (CA-28) in 1940. While serving on board the USS San Francisco in 1939 John injured his left arm in an accident. The injury never did heal property, and John checked in a the United States Naval Hospital at Pearl Harbor in October of 1941. In a few days, his arm was operated on with success.
When Pearl Harbor was attacked on December 7, 1941, John was still a patient recovering from his surgery at the Naval Hospital. He and the rest of the patients and staff witnessed the ensuing attack. Soon, casualties began to pour into the hospital, which was located nearby at Hospital Point. Some patients grabbed their clothes and went to their duty stations. Since his operation required a bone graft of his right leg to his left arm, John was confined to a wheelchair and unable to walk. There was nothing he could do but watch the events unfold before his eyes. He even witnessed the beaching of the USS Nevada (BB-38) near the hospital.
A few weeks following the attack John was evacuated to the San Diego Naval Hospital for the remainder of his rehabilitation. He was finally discharged from the hospital at the end of March 1942.
John was a Aviation Machinist’s Mate. He was soon attached to a Composite sighter Squadron stationed at naval bases in Washington State and Alaska. For the remainder of the war, John would see no further combat action. It was fine for him, he had seen enough on that first day of the war.
John continued in the Navy after the war. In late 1948 through the middle of 1949, he participated in ground crew operations for the Berlin Airlift Campaign. In addition to the United States Air Force, two American naval squadrons, including John’s was sent to Rhein-Main Air Base in Germany.
In 1957, John retired after serving nearly twenty-two years in the Navy. John started volunteering for the National Park Service at the USS Arizona Memorial in 1983. A widower, John remarried in 2002, and brought his lovely bride, Sarah Louise Bowers Haverty to the USS Arizona Memorial for a visit. Louise joined the USS Arizona Memorial volunteer family shortly thereafter. The National Park Service is pleased to have John and Louise Haverty volunteer here.