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Memories of William Bort

Bill's son, Ronald Bort, attended the 2004 USS Bergall reunion in New York, chatted with Chuck Kennedy and a few guys and offered to loan us these pictures for our archives and the web site.  We are certainly thankful and hope that we offer them here in proper account.

Here's Bill, March, 1942.   Note the leggings, scabbard and other attire of the day.   Bill joined the Navy in Jan 22, 1942.

In his "boot issued" blues, Here's Bill just proud as heck to carry that first stripe on his sleeve making him a Seaman 3rd Class, note the "Flat Top" hat of the day!   Picture taken March 15, 1942 and process by 'Electric Studio', Newport, R.I.

Home on leave?   This is probably Syracuse before he went to sub school, circa March 1942!

The classic "send home to mom" shot!

Now an S1c and proudly wearing the insignia of Quartermaster, 3rd class... but still a puppy!

(On the back, it says, "Return to Mrs. William Bort, Baldeinsville, N.Y.)

Trinidad, 1942, here's Bill (on the right) with a buddy and one fair size bull!  

Same sequence but Bill is now on the right and you can see he proudly wears the submarine insignia on his lower right sleeve indicating that he's a qualified submariner!

Billy (Pint) Bort, QM 2nd Class.

Out on the town with friends!
(Bill is in the middle)

no note on location or date!

Fresh from the sea, sporting a beard and eyes that show that the "boy" that went to sea came back a man !  November 1943.

A nice colored version!

Bill, on the left, with buddies at sea, probably on the fan tail of his boat!

He was accepted aboard the USS Bergall as a commissioning crew member ("Plank Owner") on June 12, 1944 but was with her earlier as she was prepared to be accepted by the Navy from the Groton EB factory.   His rate on coming aboard was second class Quartermaster (QM2c).   He rode the ole girl over to Pearl Harbor and on through the first war patrol.

He changed rate to QM1 on 11/1/1944, rode the Bergall through her infamous second patrol, listing next of kin as "wife: Jean Ruth Bort, 1103 Willis Avenue, Syracuse, N.Y."   With the Bergall having come so close to not returning from that mission, the skipper made a point to record this information on all of the crew!

Now here's a proud Quartermaster 1st class!

With Bill on the left, he and a couple others are out for some fun... Australia, early 1945!   On 12/31/1944, Bill was transferred off the Bergall and was assigned to the USS Baya.   The Bergall's Chief Quartermaster was quite a rowdy guy and Commander Ben Jarvis (the PCO riding the Bergall's second patrol) was heading for a new command of the Baya and probably asked Bill to come along!

Bill is in the back row, second from the left, with other crew members of the USS Baya, probably on the liberty boat heading to some fun, April 13, 1945!

If this isn't a great home coming shot... there just ain't one!

Bill and Buddy Bort on Tappan St.,  B'ville

Discharged Oct. 21, 1945!

It looks like a civilian now, just taking things a bit easier!

Bill and Chuck meet up again!

Bill's son, Ronald, got in touch with one of Bill's old shipmates, Chuck Kennedy.   Here's the letter that accompanied Chuck's very nice gift to Ron:

 Dear Ronald,

   I was sorry to hear of your dad's death.   As you probably know, we were shipmates and went through a few attacks against the Japanese.  He went out on the Baya and we did not meet again until 1945 in Greenwich Village after the war ended.   I knew I had a picture of he and your mother somewhere.   My wife found it and I thought you would like to have it.   I believe you are his son and not a grandson so forgive me if I am wrong.   We met again in Orlando when the Sub Vets National Convention was held there.   That was when he told me about his love, Jeanie, I can't remember if she was still alive then or seriously ill.   My memories grow dim as time goes by but I will never forget Bill and Jean.

Charles A. Kennedy

Jean and Bill Bort with Chuck and Chuck and Dot Kennedy,
The Nut Club, 1945

Here's the souvenir cover from that event!

And the back!

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