November 12, 2009

Veteran recalls Navy service

By Alyssa Schafer

His name is Gerald Nordquist, but most people know him as "Stork." This childhood nickname stuck with Nordquist from the time he was a boy growing up in Washburn, throughout his military career. Nordquist’s service in the Navy brought him to the South Pacific and eventually Okinawa. The destroyer Nordquist was stationed on was just 150 miles offshore when the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. Nordquist was a Gunner’s Mate, 2nd Class. Stationed as a mount captain, he gave orders and made sure everything on the gunner’s mount was running smoothly. Straight out of high school, 18-years-old Nordquist chose the Navy over the Coast Guard and then attended boot camp in Idaho in 1944. "I volunteered in January and left right after school let out," he said.

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