Years of Service: 12/9/1944-7/11/1945
Highest Rank: EMC3/C; electrician’s mate
Irving was born the eldest of six, in 1926, in South Philadelphia, PA. At the age of 16, he would go to work in a glove factory. At 17, he would work in a machine shop, in order to help his family with monthly expenses. At 18, he would enlisted with the U.S. Navy.
After training, Irving would be assigned to a LSD, or a landing ship dock. The LSD, the U.S.S. Colonial (LSD 18), would transport small landing craft to troops over seas. It was also equipped with 5 millimeter guns. Irving would be in charge of these guns. Later, and due to his background experience in the machine shop, Irving would be assigned to assisting the ship’s electrician.
The ship was still being built when Irving was assigned to it, so the vessel had not been tested or inspected. It would take months of testing and retesting in order for the LSD to be cleared, and ultimately, deployed. Finally, after 6-8 months of being docked in Norfolk, VA, the ship was sent to Germany.
While on route, the Germans surrendered. The ship was then reassigned to travel to Japan. They traveled through the Panama Canal. While the ship was passing the Philippines Island, the war was over. The LSD was asked to return to Norfolk. Although Irving was relieved there was no longer a war, he still owed the Navy 18 months. He was assigned to inactive duty in order to complete his time with the U.S Navy.