USS HOUSTON CA 30
“The galloping Ghost of the Java Coast”
Donald G. Stower was born in Norwalk, Ohio,
July 26 1919. He grew up in the small town of Milan. He had a younger sister, Lois and a
younger brother Howard. After High School he worked on the railroad, but that
was not the job for him. He wanted to join the Navy, not the Army, to learn a
skill he could use after his enlistment.
After graduating from Great Lakes in December of 1940, he
was sent to the ship Saratoga
in the west coast. He enjoyed his time on the ‘Sara’ and was in awe of the
scenery on a trip to the shipyards in Bremerton,
Oregon. But painting and scraping
was not the skill he wanted.
He was then on the Henderson
for five weeks before arriving on the Houston
in May of 1941. After a few months he was a mess cook. Donald enjoyed the Navy
life. He wrote to his friends and family often and would tell his mother not to
worry about him. He lost his life on March 1 1942.