Great Story of a Navy family

Tales of an Asia Sailor

Great Story of a Navy family

The Patten brothers from rural Iowa began joining the US Navy in 1934. By January 1941, seven brothers – Gilbert, Marvin, Bick, Allen, Ted, Ray, and Bruce – were serving in the engine room of the USS Nevada (BB-36). In September of 1941, their father, Floyd, joined the Navy and the Pattens became the Navy’s largest serving family. On the weekend of December 7th, 1941, the USS Nevada was coming into port, but was directed to wait until the aircraft carrier, Lexington, cleared the entrance to Pearl Harbor as she left port. When Nevada reached its docking place on Battleship Row, Arizona was moored where Nevada normally docked. For that weekend and eternity, they traded places.

Allen’s recollection of that morning was later published in their hometown newspaper, the Lake City Graphic. “I got up and showered about 7 a.m. and at about 7:45…

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