To return to Sailor's Rest Your Oars, click here.
To return to the main page of the SS 320, click here.

Memories of Robert (Bobby Sox) Faselt (Sailor Rest Your Oars!)

Robert was a young kid when he went to war.

Robert drew up "ID tags" for the officers at the Bergall's commissioning party.   #1 looks like a Colonial Captain and was on the skipper, Johnny Hyde,  #2 is a patriot and was on the Gunnery officer, Lt. Ison,  #3 is a "Big Chief" and was on the "kid" Lt.  Nickerson and #4 is hard to tell but looks like a moose which would be appropriate for the BIG Executive Officer, Thomas Kimmel.

I guess the first picture was to send home... Then there was time to show off!

Having a well deserved drink with a friend.

He made many friends on the boat and off. Here he's taking a break on the beach with Joseph Parenteau on his right and Joe Nowak on his left. While Joe Parenteau designed and sewed the Bergall's War Flag, near the end of the war Robert drew up the "Bergall Girl" which drew much admiration from the crew. More than one sailor went home with a copy of her in his seabag. George Marquis even waltzed home with her ON his seabag!

On the second War Patrol, after the shell penetrated her hull and she was racing back for her home port, Hyde decided to transfer all personnel to the sister boat USS Angler except for a hand selected skeleton crew that would try to bring her home. Unable to dive and having to pass through heavily enemy infested passages, it was thought to be a suicide mission. Robert volunteered and was selected and made the dangerous run with his boat! Many other sailors were gathered on the pier to welcome back the Bergall from a 'miracle' mission. The story of this patrol found it's way into most hometown newspapers at the time and made more than one mother and father grateful for their son's safe return.

For his achievements on the Bergall's 2nd patrol, he was awarded this ribbon.

Here's a xerox of his battleflag for the Bergall. For the full color version of The "Bergall Girl" please click here.

Coming home from the war in July, 1945 she passed through the Panama Canal and Bob captured this picture that he called the Bobby Sox Quartette (hmmm... there six guys?).   From left to right is Ted Drought, Joe Parenteau, "Bud" Ott, Bobby Sox and Bob Belkowski.

Robert Wiley Faselt had some memorabilia, including a couple of flags, that he had stored away from his time on the Bergall and in the war.   After his death, some of these items were handed down to his oldest son, Wiley, and only recently dug out and investigated.   It was thought (by Fran, his wife) that one of the items was a souvenir Japanese flag from one of the Spitkits (junk sailing ship) that they had boarded and sunk during the war.....what a wonder to find it was the Bergall's Battle Flag!   What a find! What a treasure!   Bob's sister, Ellen, remembers his hiding these "war flags" from his mother because she was so elated that he had returned from the war alive and well!   

Bob did many commercials for TV and magazines part time for a few years. Some of them were Chase Manhattan, AT&T, Electric Light & Power, Wonder Bread, Cream of Wheat, One a Day Vitamin, Mobil Oil, Kodak, and All detergent. Here's a photo from the All detergent ad showing Bob with his children Wiley, Gary, Greg and Kerry on top of him getting dirty. (Tim wasn't born yet).

And another from that era with Fran as well.

Bob Faselt's family in 1964. Top row: Bob. Middle row: Wiley, Gary and Fran. Front row: Kerry, Greg and Tim.

Bob Faselt's family in 1965. Top row: Wiley, Greg, Kerry and Gary. Bottom row: Fran, Tim and Bob.

Bob Faselt's family in 1968. Top row: Bob and Fran. Middle row: Wiley, Kerry and Tim. Bottom row: Greg and Gary.

Bob sketched his son, Gary in '68.

Bob attended Syracuse University and was President of the largest (1500) post WWII graduating class (1950) in the history of the university.
He lived in NYC as a bachelor and worked at a radio rep firm .   I was a young (18) working girl and had Bob's resume (with picture attached) come across my desk in 1950.    I made certain my boss saw this "hunk" and in the end we did hire him.   That is where we met.   Much in-between that and our inevitable marriage in 1954.

Married:   September 6, 1954
Children: Wiley July 21, 1955
  Gary March 26, 1957
  Kerry March 25, 1959
  Gregory February 20, 1961 (deceased - 1/30/81)
  Timothy July 21, 1964

We lived in Chicago from 1954 - 1957, then moved back to the suburbs of New York.
He was Sales Manager of WNEW Radio for fifteen years (Also moonlighted- appearing in TV commercials - wonderful ham that he was!).

(Memories of Fran Faselt, Bob Faselt's widow) The first time I recall Bob ever talking about his World War II experiences, was back in 1968 when, after receiving the book SUBMARINE OPERATIONS IN WORLD WAR II by Theodore Roscoe from me, he was telling one of our sons (Greg - age 8 at the time) that this was a true story because he was there. Greg was so impressed he brought the book into school to "brag" about his Dad's experience. Subsequently, Greg made a ceramic model of the USS BERGALL and presented it to my husband at Christmas. Needless to say, sentimental "Bobby Sox" cried! However, the most poignant side of this story is that when my husband died in November 1973, we all left some special item in his coffin. Greg's choice was the ceramic replica of the USS BERGALL. (Unfortunately, our wonderful Greg was killed in a skiing accident on January 30, 1981, three weeks before his 20th birthday.)

I have nine grandchildren, now ranging from 13 down to 22 (as of 2008), one of whom is my husband's namesake - Robert Wiley Faselt, age 5.

Kerry's son, Greg, drew "his" version of the Bergall Girl in January of 2002.   Not too bad for a 10 year old, huh?

Robert Wiley Faselt died November 17, 1973, 13 months after an operation to remove a brain tumor.

And in May of 2008, the first grandchild of "Bobby Sox" and Fran, Lauren, graduated from Fordham University... YEAH!



I can be reached by E-mail at (Frances Faselt)
Our son, Gary, can be reached by E-mail at (Gary Faselt)

To return to Sailor's Rest Your Oars, click here.
To return to the main page of the SS 320, click here.