Petty Officer 3rd Class Kenneth Durell Dugan
Reflections on this veteran's military service
I grew up in Shuqualak, Mississippi and then I lived in Tupolo, Mississippi going to a government school learning to be a welder when I was 17 years old. After finishing school I was transferred to Mobile to be a welder at the shipyards. I had to register in the army when I was 18, but instead I joined the Navy. I was sent to Jackson, Mississippi and departed to San Diego, CA for boot camp. Then I went to Urbana, Illinois to a Signalman School to learn all the signal flags, Morse code for use on a ship. I was there for 16 weeks and then I was sent to San Francisco where I boarded the U.S.S. Mt. Vernon, AP22. I was on sea duty for 18 months serving on a transport ship taking soldiers to various parts of the world. Some of the places we went were, Sydney and Melbourne, Australia; Bombay India; the Panama Canal; Boston, MA; Liverpool, England; Glasgow, Scotland; Marsaille, France; Naples, Italy; and Africa. I got off the ship in Norfolk, VA and I was then transferred to New Orleans working at a signal tower for 14 months in 1945. Then I was transferred to Orange, Texas working in the communications office. I was honorably discharged early December 5, 1946. I came back to California because my mother and father had moved here. I lived in Huntington Park and went to work at Owens Illinois Glass Company making molds. I met and married Cletis Bitz on July 30, 1947 and were married for 64 years. We had two sons, Jerry and Steven who both live in California. I have six grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren and 14 great-great grandchildren.
I have been a resident of Lakewood since 1967. I moved to Lakewood from South Gate because I had a niece who lived in the city.