USS Beloit crew meets World War II veterans in ship’s namesake
BELOIT, Wis. (WMTV) - For crewmembers of the USS Beloit, a welcome to the Stateline Wednesday also means a special meeting with two local veterans.
The crew is set to make an appearance at the ABC Supply Stadium Wednesday night, for a celebration of the Navy combat ship’s launch and christening in May. The public event is scheduled to run from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Ahead of the event, the group of about a dozen visited Beloit Senior Living to speak with George Olson and Stan Van Hoose.
“I was 3rd class motor machinist mate,” Olson told the crew. “They don’t have that rank now.”
Olson served in World War II, at one point surviving the sinking of his destroyer after a Japanese air attack. “Another Japanese kamikaze came over and dropped a torpedo and hit our forward magazines and blew the front part of the ship off,” he said.
Van Hoose is one of the few remaining veterans of the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor.
“I’m happy to see that the USS Beloit is going to be in good hands,” Olson told the crew. “When you join the service you take an oath. Be true to your country. We live in the best country in the world, and I’m glad to see we have good people to protect it in the future.”
The commander of the USS Beloit gave the two veterans “commander’s coins,” in the shape of a badger’s paw.
“Getting that history of how things were to how things are now,” Command Senior Chief Roderick Bolton said. “It bridges the gap to see where we started and where we are now and where we’re going in the future.”
According to the commander, the USS Beloit is scheduled for commission in September 2023. The ship is still going through tests in preparation.
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