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Charles W. Styer, Jr., oral history interview, February 6, 1994

Date: Identifier: OH0145
Captain Styer, a Navy junior, enlisted in the Naval Reserves in 1936 before entering the U.S. Naval Academy the following year. Upon graduation, he was assigned to the USS ROWAN at Pearl Harbor. Captain Styer concentrates on his experiences on the ROWAN and the USS MATAGORDA, and his nine war patrols as a submarine officer. Commentary reflects patrols of the FLYING FISH, TILEFISH, and MACKERAL; postwar duty as assistant Naval Attache; in Paris; and assignments to the RAZORBACK, CUTLASS, and HOLLAND. Interviewer: Donald R. Lennon. more...



EAST CAROLINA MANUSCRIPT COLLECTION
ORAL HISTORY INTERVIEW
Capt. Charles W. Styer, Jr.
USNA Class of 1941
February 6, l994

Charles W. Styer, Jr.:

I'm a Navy junior. My father was a naval officer and a submariner before me. I was born in Orange, New Jersey, where my mother was living at the time. My mother is a Canadian. My father graduated in the Class of 1918, a year early for World War I, and was attached to a cruiser at the time. I went back and forth to both coasts to schools as he moved back and forth. He was primarily in submarines throughout his naval career, so the places where we lived mainly were San Diego, Washington, and New London, Connecticut, which is the Mecca for submariners. So, I went to grammar school and high school in those places, and Portsmouth, New Hampshire, where there's a submarine building yard. I entered the Naval Academy in June 1937.

Donald R. Lennon:

You knew almost from the beginning that you were destined for a Navy career.

Charles W. Styer, Jr.:

I don't recall wanting to do anything else but to be a naval officer and I think going into submarines progressed sort of naturally.

Donald R. Lennon:

As a kid, did you have the opportunity to visit aboard submarines?

Charles W. Styer, Jr.:

I can recall in the San Diego days. . . we lived in Coronado where most Navy people seemed to live. My dad was a division engineer for a submarine division that Chester



Newman was the division commander for, and the tender there was the first USS HOLLAND. I remember going to sea for a week on the HOLLAND. They took me to the tailor shop, decked me out in some undress whites, and put me on the signal bridge with the gang up there. I spent most of the time learning how to be a sailor, sort of, that week. I did make other trips at sea and in fact, in 1932, I enlisted in the Naval Reserves in San Diego. The primary reason for that was in order to take the competitive examinations for the Naval Academy from the Naval Reserve. I applied for active duty and was assigned to the submarine that my dad commanded, the USS CUTTLEFISH. I was aboard the CUTTLEFISH for the trip out to Hawaii from San Diego and then went back to San Diego.

Donald R. Lennon:

Now, you were quite young at that time, were you not?

Charles W. Styer, Jr.:

I was sixteen. I came back to the States that fall and went to prep school for the Naval Academy in San Diego. I was living with my grandparents in Coronado then, since the family was in Hawaii. I went to Harvard Military School for a year in Los Angeles, looking to pick up experience for taking the Academy exam. At any rate, I went to the Academy. My uncle was an Army officer, a West Point graduate, and he arranged with the congressman from his district in Pennsylvania to give me his appointment. This would have been 1936 or 1937.

Donald R. Lennon:

They don't have any appointments specifically for Navy juniors, do they?

Charles W. Styer, Jr.:

No. They have what they call a Presidential. They had fifteen people out of some three or four hundred that take it, and they're normally guys who are sons of Naval officers that go for the Presidential. Actually, I went for the Presidential. I went for the Naval Reserve, for the at-large and for the State of Pennsylvania. As it turned out, after I had been sworn in, in June of 1937 as a fourth class midshipman, I got a telegram from the



congressman in San Diego who's competitive I had taken. They had gone down the line of about four or five guys who had, for one reason or another, not been able to go and he said, "Do you want my appointment?" I wired him back saying thanks, but I had no need for it. So, I had taken the local competitive one, too, for the congressman in California.

I roomed at the Naval Academy with Bill Miller from North Carolina my plebe year. My youngster year I roomed with Tully Shelly and Joe Taussig.

Donald R. Lennon:

All those Navy juniors getting in there together.

Charles W. Styer, Jr.:

Yeah. Joe and I went unsat youngster year, so the company officers split up the trio and Joe and I stayed together and pulled ourselves sat youngster year. Tully became the roommate of Harry Vincent(?), I believe, after that. So, Joe and I finished the three and a half years together as roommates.

Donald R. Lennon:

Being the roommate of a wild man like Captain Taussig, did that distract you from your studies?

Charles W. Styer, Jr.:

No, I don't think so. He was a fun guy to live with. We've been very close over the years. We've stayed with them and they've stayed with us frequently over the years. They lived with us at one point after the war.

Donald R. Lennon:

He's wonderful. He's quite a character.

Charles W. Styer, Jr.:

He's talking about going back to work as a dollar-a-year man. He told me a week or so ago.

Donald R. Lennon:

Really? Approaching the Academy as a Navy junior and having a lifetime already of association with the Navy from the inside, did that give you an edge up as far as psychologically performing at the Academy?



Charles W. Styer, Jr.:

I don't think so. I've thought about that quite a bit. I was certainly aware of the kind of life my father was living. I was generally aware of the things that he was doing professionally, but my feeling was, and I think this is common with most Navy juniors, you know that some of the upper classmen are going to expect more from you. I would say as far as my ability to have that as an advantage in all of the subjects we took at the Academy, it didn't really help me much in any of them. It felt as if going to a university would have had just about the same advantage with respect to that background. Obviously, it was a background I liked, or I wouldn't have opted for going to the Academy. From that standpoint, I obviously had a little bit of a better feeling of how I would be treating life after I got out in fleet.

Donald R. Lennon:

Anything in particular at the Academy that has remained with you all these years? Any particular incidents or individuals?

Charles W. Styer, Jr.:

Not really. I didn't stand particularly well academically. I was a two-striper my first class year. Joe was a four-striper. I had the usual dates. My parents lived in Washington. My dad was at the Naval Observatory--he was a commander at that time. So, when I went on leave, I just drove an hour north to Washington and saw all the people that I had seen before I entered the Academy. Actually, the summer I entered the Academy, my parents were still in Hawaii and they moved back to San Diego, so I really didn't see them except for first class year. Pretty much the whole time I was at the Academy, I visited other people, classmates and their friends. On September leave we had some really good wonderful times on youngster cruise, a battleship cruise that took us all to Europe. In fact, Rusty mentioned some of that stuff in his book.



During second-class cruise, we were on destroyers going up and down the East Coast and that was great fun. It was the first time they had ever had anything like that for the summer cruises for the midshipmen, so they had a dozen midshipmen in each ship. That was fun. That is what got me interested in going into destroyers. I put in for destroyers and we drew numbers, as you probably know, for our druthers for going to sea. Ours was the first class that was allowed to go directly to destroyers instead of going to capital ships.

Donald R. Lennon:

They gave you an opportunity on your summer cruises to be on battleships and destroyers? This is something that I've never asked before and has never been addressed: During the four years, did you have an opportunity to see what other types of ships were like? In other words, did you ever go into submarines or cruisers or aircraft carriers?

Charles W. Styer, Jr.:

They do that now, I know. They send midshipmen to New London for two or three weeks. They send them down to the Amphibious Base in Little Creek, but I don't recall--except for going to some place like the Naval Powder Factory, the Naval Gun Factory and the Naval Weapons Station--learning or seeing other parts of the Navy. Second-class summer, and this was standard with every class, they brought a squadron of patrol planes and based them at Annapolis for the summer and the second class would have two or three weeks each with them.

Donald R. Lennon:

In which they have a chance to go up in the planes?

Charles W. Styer, Jr.:

We didn't do any actual flying in the sense that we were soloing, landing or taking off. It was just an orientation.

Donald R. Lennon:

I was thinking, when you mentioned the battleship and then the destroyer that it would only make sense to give the midshipmen a little orientation as to the various types of ships and give them a chance to actually spend a few days on each class of ship.



Charles W. Styer, Jr.:

I don't recall any orientation in submarines. For example, during my three-and-a-half years at the Academy, occasionally a submarine would come up and visit Annapolis, as would destroyers and other types of smaller ships, and be available for midshipmen to go and visit aboard. The reason I opted for destroyers, and was lucky enough to draw a number among the fifty of us who did go to destroyers directly, was that you got early command and you got early responsibility as an officer-of-the-deck or as chief engineer, whatever you were assigned to.

I reported to the destroyer ROWAN after graduation, out in Pearl. I had a wonderful skipper, a guy named Beverly Harrison, later Admiral and now deceased, and his way of breaking in a young officer-of-the-deck was putting him up on the bridge and saying, "OK, Styer, get her underway." They only had five officers on a destroyer then, so you had considerable responsibility thrown at you immediately as compared with being on a battleship, say, where you are one of fifteen or twenty new ensigns that came aboard at one time. So, from that standpoint, I was most anxious to go to destroyers and did spend a year on destroyers.

Donald R. Lennon:

You reported there in the spring of 1941. Were you all doing primarily patrol duty training?

Charles W. Styer, Jr.:

We left Pearl almost immediately after I came aboard. I was assigned temporarily while the ROWAN was out on a patrol, to the light cruiser DETROIT for about a month. I was assistant navigator at that time. Then, when I went to the ROWAN, she immediately deployed to the East Coast and became a part of the neutrality patrol. These were mainly convoy trips because, by that time, we were actually convoying and shooting at German submarines. They were very eventful. We went to South Africa with the large British



convoy that had the REPULSE and the PRINCE OF WALES in it, and they were picked up by another group and taken from Cape Town to the Far East where you may recall, both of them were sunk by the Japanese.

Donald R. Lennon:

When one thinks of the Atlantic convoy duty, you think of the North Atlantic convoying.

Charles W. Styer, Jr.:

Up to Murmansk.

Donald R. Lennon:

To Murmansk, right.

Charles W. Styer, Jr.:

Well we did several of those Murmansk runs, but we generally were relieved by British or other American convoy escorts in the vicinity of Iceland and then we would turn around and come back to Argentia. There was a big staging base at Argentia, Newfoundland. When the war broke out on 7 December, we had just come out of dry dock. We had a collision with another destroyer while we were plane-guarding a carrier in the group that we were in.

Donald R. Lennon:

Tell me about that.

Charles W. Styer, Jr.:

Well, when you are plane-guarding a carrier, you come up on the stern of the carrier and you have to keep right there. If they lose any aircraft, you are the guy that is going to pick up the people. Early in the morning, there are two ships, one on either side of the stern of the carrier. One of the officers-of-the-deck gave the wrong rudder order and the two of them smashed together. We had a big gash in the forward part of the bow, starboard side, and fortunately nobody was hurt on either ship. It was enough to put us in dry dock, so they sent us into Roosevelt Roads, which had just been built. I think we were probably one of the, if not the, first ships, in there. I remember they didn't have much in the way of dockside handling gear.



Donald R. Lennon:

Well, it was much nicer down in Puerto Rico than it was in the North Atlantic at that time of year, wasn't it?

Charles W. Styer, Jr.:

Absolutely. We took some liberty in San Juan. We left there, let's say, the first of December. On December 7, we were on our way to Cape Town with this large convoy. These were mostly British troops going to the Far East in huge ships that had been converted from passenger ships to wartime ship transports. So, the first we heard of Pearl Harbor was the standard, "This is no raid. This is no drill. Air raid on Pearl Harbor." So, we really didn't have a good idea what had happened out there for a couple of months after that.

Donald R. Lennon:

You just knew that this was the real thing now.

Charles W. Styer, Jr.:

Actually the ROWAN had been put on a wartime footing as early as the time we left Hawaii several months before. They stripped ship on all the destroyers and we were carrying warheads on our torpedoes and full service ammunition and so forth, so this was not really unexpected. We were in the Neutrality Patrol. We had orders to sink German submarines if we saw them and there wasn't a declared war going on. Other than the surprise of the attack on Pearl, it was not unexpected.

Donald R. Lennon:

During your time on the ROWAN, did you actually see any German subs or get involved in any actions?

Charles W. Styer, Jr.:

We made some attacks, but I never saw one, no. We had really pretty rudimentary ASW training. We were using British procedures taught at a school in Provincetown, Massachusetts. They ran ships through sea work and some work ashore, and used attack teachers that had been brought over from England. They had been involved in convoying quite a bit up to that time. We had, I feel, little idea of how to go about dropping depth



charges and how to solve the problem involved in detecting and tracking a submarine until they got us a professional. We had no radar at that time, and we didn't get radar until halfway through my tour on the ROWAN, I would say.

Donald R. Lennon:

They were putting it on the new ships that were just coming out of new construction.

Charles W. Styer, Jr.:

I remember first coming into Pearl. The 1941ers went out on a transport to the HENDERSON, I think it was, and there were thirty or forty of us going out to Pearl together at that one time. Coming into Pearl Harbor we saw two or three ships with radar and everybody wondered, "What is this?" Our knowledge of radar was nil and we had no training in it.

Donald R. Lennon:

There was no training in it at the Academy?

Charles W. Styer, Jr.:

Obviously not. At any rate, I got orders to the MATAGORDA, an AVP. The reason I was transferred to the MATAGORDA was, having had one year experience in destroyers, this small seaplane tender was very similar in characteristics to a destroyer. All the officers that were being ordered in at that time had no sea experience of any kind, with the exception of the skipper, the exec, and the chief engineer. I was the only other one that had even been aboard a ship. So, we commissioned the MATAGORDA in the Boston Navy Yard. She was headed on her way South to take care of a squadron of PBMs when I was detached to go to sub school in Norfolk.

Donald R. Lennon:

So, you were only on the MATAGORDA for a short while.

Charles W. Styer, Jr.:

Yeah, about four or five months. We went through the building and shakedown period, and then I was off the ship and went to New London in June or so of 1942.



Donald R. Lennon:

They wouldn't let you go to subs during the first year out of the Academy, would they?

Charles W. Styer, Jr.:

No. In fact, it was going to be longer than that. It was sort of like that two-year marriage ban that was on the Class of 1941. I think they chopped that off at a year-and-a-half and said, "OK, fellas, you can get married, now." We were the last class, I think, to have any marriage restrictions laid on a class at graduation.

At any rate, I went to sub school in June of 1942 and subschool had been chopped. Originally it was a year long and then it was chopped to six months and then it was chopped to three months. I think we were the first three month class.

I was at sub school for three months and was assigned to the FLYING FISH in October of 1942. I stayed aboard the FLYING FISH for four patrols between October of 1942 and August of 1943. The FISH had quite a reputation when I joined her. We had a fearless skipper named Donohoe and we had considerable successes. We got a successful patrol designation for each patrol we were on. We sank a good number of both merchant ships and Japanese men-o-war. The FLYING FISH was a unit of Submarine Squadron 10, of which my dad was squadron commander. He was based in Midway when I joined the FLYING FISH and then the squadron moved--at least the tender and the administrative staff--to Brisbane, Australia. The FLYING FISH, at the end of our first patrol, wound up in Brisbane, so I had the fun experience of going out socially with my dad.

Donald R. Lennon:

Tell me something of just how the FLYING FISH, at this point, operated. You mentioned that it was part of the squadron that your father commanded, but each sub was assigned to a separate lane of traffic or a separate geographic area?

Charles W. Styer, Jr.:

To an area, and the submarines were not operated by the squadron commander.



Donald R. Lennon:

They were kind of on their own, weren't they?

Charles W. Styer, Jr.:

Yeah, they operated directly from submarine headquarters at Pearl Harbor. Admiral Charles Lockwood was ComSubPac. Shortly after the beginning of the war, Admiral English's predecessor was killed in a plane crash, so Lockwood was designated as ComSubPac. He ran the submarines directly from there and when we had more submarines, they established the Commander Submarines Southwest Pacific. The theatre commander was General MacArthur, who was down in Australia.

Donald R. Lennon:

Now on that first patrol, you came down into the Solomon Islands.

Charles W. Styer, Jr.:

We went into Guadalcanal and our primary job was sitting in what was called the Slot. We were there to subvert the movement of Japanese troops that they were trying to send in. Some of them were put on destroyers to run them down through the Slot, and we were there to pick them off. We did sink a destroyer and some other ships at that time. We were within sight of Guadalcanal at times, as well as the other islands that surround the Slot. We had a very successful patrol and at the end of that patrol, they sent us to Brisbane.

Donald R. Lennon:

Any particular recollections with regard to any of the encounters during that patrol in the Slot? You said you sank a destroyer.

Charles W. Styer, Jr.:

We always got kicked around after every attack, pretty badly. This is the first run that they ever put radar on the FLYING FISH. We were using a new technique where we would run with about half of the periscope shears--this is the housing for the periscope above the bridge--exposed because that would enable us to expose the SJ radar which is a surface radar. The surface radar had just been installed and so we could, at nighttime and in twilight hours, run with the whole portion of the ship exposed and just keep a check for blips of these ships coming down the Slot. We would stay on the surface if it was very



dark. If there was some light, we would run it at so-called radar depth as opposed to periscope depth, which is about sixty-seven feet to the keel. You just have a foot or two of scope up. Radar depth was about forty-two feet to the keel and as they came in closer, we would go down a little and then fire a spread of torpedoes at them.

That was my first run, and in the following three runs, I qualified in submarines in March of 1943. At that time we were back at Pearl Harbor after a run out of Australia.

Donald R. Lennon:

This was after your second run.

Charles W. Styer, Jr.:

I was promoted to lieutenant shortly before that. This is interesting to me because that was January of 1943, and I was a full lieutenant. It had taken my father fourteen years to become a full lieutenant, and I think he stayed a full lieutenant for another ten years.

Donald R. Lennon:

That period between the end of World War I and the beginning of World War II, wasn't a very good time for promotion.

Charles W. Styer, Jr.:

They had pay cuts. I think he had a pay cut in about 1930 or 1931, and when he made lieutenant commander, they immediately took that pay away from him.

I made two other runs. I think at either the third or fourth run, one of the division commanders of Submarine Squadron 10--each squadron had two division commanders--relieved Donohoe as skipper. Donohoe went back to make a bond run because he had had such success on the FLYING FISH. He went back and gave speeches. Anyway, a guy named Frank Watkins took command of the FLYING FISH for one run and I was detached and sent back to the States for new construction.

Donald R. Lennon:

Now, the third patrol was near Japan and the area around Japan.

Charles W. Styer, Jr.:

Yeah.

Donald R. Lennon:

You were still there for that.



Charles W. Styer, Jr.:

I was engineer officer by that time on the FLYING FISH, and we made several patrols up close and into Tokyo Bay.

Donald R. Lennon:

That would be good hunting?

Charles W. Styer, Jr.:

It was excellent hunting because the Japanese were still running in convoys. Of course, we were made very much aware of their movements by the code breaking that was going on. We were getting the ULTRA messages, which enabled us to be right on the track of these convoys at a good time. It was right for us as far as the lighting was concerned, the sea conditions, and so on. ULTRA counted for a great number of the sinkings that U.S. submarines made during the war. We got some pretty rugged depth charging.

Donald R. Lennon:

Tell me about the depth charges.

Charles W. Styer, Jr.:

Obviously you were trying to get away from whatever ASW ship had found you or might be close to finding you. The way you did that was by putting your stern to them and speeding up when you knew he didn't have contact on you. You could hear their sonar gear and you could hear it bouncing off your own hull, so you had a pretty good idea when he had you. You took steps to remain under layers, salient layers. We had bathythermograph equipment that was put on submarines about the middle of the war, which enabled us to measure down what the temperature gradients were, so we could go down and stay under them. You also had to run silently, which meant you had to cut off all-but-essential machinery on the ship, so it got very hot. All the air-conditioning was cut off, and if you had to run for long periods like that, you were exhausting your battery. You couldn't put on much speed. You saved your speed. We could make only about nine knots submerged for bursts of half an hour and your battery would be depleted. Generally our mode of operation would be to stay on the surface all night charging batteries and air banks. Then we would



dive just before dawn in the morning and conduct a periscope patrol on known shipping lanes. If you saw somebody, then you ran in and it was necessary to get on his track and let loose.

Donald R. Lennon:

Did they ever try to keep you down all night, so you couldn't recharge your batteries?

Charles W. Styer, Jr.:

Pretty close to it, yeah. At one point, we practically lost it, but we managed to lose them. Of course, you've got to get up there and get your battery charged as fast as you can. We had four engines, standard for each submarine, and you would put two engines on a charge and two engines on propulsion and move out of there.

Donald R. Lennon:

What happens if the batteries do run down?

Charles W. Styer, Jr.:

You have no propulsion. You have no way of moving your screws.

Donald R. Lennon:

Can you sit on the bottom for a while and then when things are clear, surface without battery power?

Charles W. Styer, Jr.:

You can, but we were rarely in shallow enough waters to be able to sit on the bottom. In fact, I don't recall on any patrols, sitting on the bottom. Some of the submarines did, and on the submarines I had command of after the war we would have bottoming exercises in areas. So we had some idea of how to go about it. You just did the best you could to get away from them and of course, they're raining down depth charges. You've got the cork flying in all directions from the insulation on the inside of the hull.

Donald R. Lennon:

The insulation would break loose from the impact?

Charles W. Styer, Jr.:

Yeah, you had an inch of cork all the way around in the entire hull, which was designed to insulate from the cold of the sea water. Sometimes your lights would jump circuit breakers, and you would lose your lights. We had emergency lights that were



directly off the ship's battery. We had hand control of our bow planes and stern planes and rudder, so we would shift to those during times when we were under attack to avoid making machinery noises.

So, sometimes it got pretty hairy and sometimes you would get down below the depth that you really wanted to be. Every submarine had a test depth.

Donald R. Lennon:

Did you ever get down there and say, "What in the world am I doing here?"

Charles W. Styer, Jr.:

Yeah. It could get kind of hairy. I remember I was a diving officer on the FLYING FISH in the third or fourth run. We had an old grizzled chief, and I was doing my best to keep the boat on even keel and keep it at the depth that the captain wanted. After it was all over and we had been depth-charged, I guess, two or three hundred depth charges, this chief turned to me and said, "Mr. Styer, nice job." It makes you feel pretty good.

When I was detached from FLYING FISH, I went back to the States to get married.

Donald R. Lennon:

When was this?

Charles W. Styer, Jr.:

That was in August of 1943. I was on temporary duty with the Bureau of Ships between August and October of 1943. I was going to be assigned as engineer officer of a new submarine building, so they sent me to Beloit, Wisconsin, where they build submarine engines. Then they sent me to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where the General Electric Company that makes submarine motors and generators was located, and several locales like that.

I reported to Mare Island in October of 1943 to the USS TILEFISH and the first skipper that was assigned to us didn't show up. It turned out he was lost on a submarine run. We lost fifty-two submarines during World War II. We had the highest loss rate of any outfit throughout the war. We sank sixty-seven percent of the Japanese shipping sunk



during the war. It was a very small force, and most of us knew each other. The officers knew each other in the sense that when you came in from patrol, there were three or four ships alongside the tender being refitted. We would stay in for essentially two to three weeks refitting and then go back out again making what repairs needed to be made.

Donald R. Lennon:

Was there any danger from Japanese submarines or was the danger primarily from the surface ships like destroyers?

Charles W. Styer, Jr.:

There was a danger from Japanese submarines. We were shot at in the TILEFISH by a couple of them.

Donald R. Lennon:

You were kind of on an equal footing with them, though, weren't you?

Charles W. Styer, Jr.:

We were lucky. We went to Wolfpack tactics the latter part of the time I was on the TILEFISH, so we would go out in groups of three or four boats at a time and there would be one senior officer aboard and generally a commander. One of the division commanders would be assigned to that and we would be assigned an area in which he could control the three or four submarines in the area to go out and shoot at convoys.

Donald R. Lennon:

Was the reason that they did not go to Wolfpack tactics until 1943 or 1944 the lack of the number of subs? Did they want to spread them as far as possible for the numbers they had?

Charles W. Styer, Jr.:

Yeah. And then there was a paucity of targets towards the end of the war. In fact, they started going up into the Sea of Japan, which was heavily mined, so they had to develop special mine detection gear to enable submarines to wend their way in through mine fields. The last several months of the war they were doing that and, of course, there were targets. In that area, a fair number of the Japanese had moved into those shipping lanes closer to the coast between China and Japan to save the ships. I watched a Japanese



submarine that was running on the surface, get hit with the torpedoes from another boat--another boat in our Wolfpack--and watched it go down. That was when we had an ULTRA on her. We knew where she was going to be and when she was going to be there. We had the four submarines stationed along their tracks and the submarine just ahead of us was the one that shot her. She was coming from Germany with a bunch of German submarine experts.

I made five runs in the TILEFISH with two skippers. The first one was a guy named Myers Keithly, who is now deceased, and then the last run I made with a fellow named Wally Schleck, who I later worked for in the Polaris program. The runs on the TILEFISH were generally less exciting, I guess you might say, than the ones that I had had on FLYING FISH. We made two runs in the Okhotsk Sea and there was a lot of cold weather and rough weather. A lot of the targets we saw were Russian ships that we couldn't shoot at, of course. But, we did have some good runs in Japanese areas near the Japanese homeland. Again, I think on one run, we were up near Tokyo. That was probably the first patrol.

Donald R. Lennon:

Yes sir. Right. On the first patrol, you went right south of Yokohama and Osaka.

Charles W. Styer, Jr.:

I think the TILEFISH sank a destroyer.

The TILEFISH was, of course, a more modern submarine than FLYING FISH. By that time, the test depth on our submarine was six hundred feet as compared with two hundred and twenty feet on the earlier ones. We, of course, had considerably improved gear, fire control gear, and radar. We had surface search radar and air search radar. It did not indicate direction but it enabled you to know when an aircraft was coming in at you, so you could dive if you were on the surface. We had shifted to electric torpedoes because of



all the problems we had with the steam torpedoes that we were using in the beginning of the war.

Donald R. Lennon:

They were devastating early in the war as far as their lack of effectiveness.

Charles W. Styer, Jr.:

They finally tagged the main problem to a defective exploder mechanism. They had a magnetic exploder inside, so when the fish went under the keel it would explode, and that would more effectively sink a ship than if it were hitting the side of the ship. But, those explosions weren't working. About the second round on the FLYING FISH, I found we were inactivating those and just using the old impact type exploders only. At any rate, the other big problem with the steam torpedoes was that they left a big "V," a trail, aiming right at you. If you had to fire a spread of four torpedoes, there were four very evident runs and at the end of the V, that's where you were.

Donald R. Lennon:

So you made a great target and you were advertising yourself.

Charles W. Styer, Jr.:

The electric torpedoes were wakeless, but they were much slower. They were about two thirds of the speed of a steam torpedo, so you had to get in closer for better fire control solution. We used all electric torpedoes on the rest of the runs, if I recall.

Donald R. Lennon:

Thinking back to the patrols on both the FLYING FISH and the TILEFISH, is there one entire patrol or one encounter that you had with the enemy that really stands out in your mind in detail?

Charles W. Styer, Jr.:

No. We were fortunate enough to find the targets on the FLYING FISH and, to a lesser degree, on the TILEFISH. They generally had the same pattern. As I recall, on every run I made, we expended our torpedoes relatively early in the patrol, about two thirds of the way through. The torpedoes were what brought you home. We did some surveillance work, periscope photographs of a few places on the TILEFISH, but we were never involved



in any coast watcher work. As was customary towards the end of the war, we did a lot of lifeguard work where we were picking aviators out of the water. On the TILEFISH, we picked up an aviator who was involved in flying off the USS HANCOCK in connection with the Okinawa invasion. We picked him up and had him aboard for about three weeks before we got back to Midway.

Donald R. Lennon:

How many sinkings did you get credit for?

Charles W. Styer, Jr.:

At least three per run, I would say, just off the top of my head. Of those, the smallest would be a nine hundred ton destroyer and the largest would be a cruiser we sank on the FLYING FISH. I could get those figures for you.

Donald R. Lennon:

I can get them. I've got a book on submarines.

Charles W. Styer, Jr.:

You've probably got Roscoe.

Donald R. Lennon:

I do.

Charles W. Styer, Jr.:

Silent Service is a very well-written one that tells you what they did. I would say, except for the patrols on the FLYING FISH, my experience didn't match in terms of ships sunk and all that. . . .

Donald R. Lennon:

Most submariners that I've talked to have had dry runs, where they went out on a patrol and found nothing.

Charles W. Styer, Jr.:

In that sense, we had plenty of things to do. The two TILEFISH runs up in the Okhotsk Sea were productive in the sense that we sank ships. All nine patrols I made were judged as successful patrols. I was awarded a couple of silver stars and bronze stars. That is just my part in those. I would say the TILEFISH was less exciting than the FLYING FISH.



Donald R. Lennon:

What kind of feeling did you have when looking through the periscope and seeing a cruiser or something sink.

Charles W. Styer, Jr.:

It was quite a feeling. I can't say we felt sorry for the people that were jumping over the side. We had instructions to take prisoners from about the middle of the war on. We were instructed to go find a prisoner and bring him back.

Donald R. Lennon:

That would be awfully dangerous if it was a convoy, wouldn't it?

Charles W. Styer, Jr.:

Well, you would wait until after the convoy left and then you would go find somebody in the water and standard procedure would be to put the prisoner down somewhere. On submarines, there are not many places you can put them, but we wound up putting one in the refrigeration space. We cut off the icebox and put him down there as a place to keep him.

Donald R. Lennon:

No kind of brig or any lock up area?

Charles W. Styer, Jr.:

No. The reason for that was obviously to have them come back and let them be interrogated by professional intelligence analysts. Towards the end of the war, I was ordered back to New London and took command of the MACKEREL in 1945 for about four or five months before the war ended. She was engaged in submarine school support work, taking out students and teaching both officers and enlisted students how to go to sea in a submarine. Except for the fact that we were still on a wartime footing in the Atlantic, there was no action of any kind.

I took the MACKEREL up to Boston, and about a month or two after the war I decommissioned her. They sold her to the Gillette razor blade people. I think they sold her for something like five thousand dollars; a five million dollar submarine.

Donald R. Lennon:

It was a new sub at that, wasn't it?



Charles W. Styer, Jr.:

No. The MACKEREL was one of two submarines that had been built back in early 1941.

Donald R. Lennon:

You went to New London to take command. I thought maybe it was new construction.

Charles W. Styer, Jr.:

No. They were school boats. They were limited in battery power and they were limited in having only two engines each. If you charge the battery in the MACKEREL, you had to put one of your screws out of action to use that power for charging the battery.

Donald R. Lennon:

That isn't quite as bad as to cut up a new construction.

Charles W. Styer, Jr.:

I applied for post-graduate school--the Naval Intelligence Post-Graduate School--in 1945 and went to an eighteen-month course. It was given at the Naval Station Anacostia and was the first of the naval intelligence pg schools that they ever had. It was very, very interesting. I went to ONI for about six months and then was assigned to the assistant Naval Attaché in Paris. The course trained you how to go after intelligence information and a lot of things having to do with intelligence activities that the Navy had never had any professional means of training people to do before. Each of us took a language. I took French at the Intelligence School and was delightfully surprised, when I got to Paris, to be able to carry on a good conversation with a Frenchman.

Donald R. Lennon:

That should have been interesting duty there. What was that around 1947, 1948 that you were there?

Charles W. Styer, Jr.:

1948 and 1949. We had a very delightful two-and-a-half years there.

Donald R. Lennon:

Exactly what were you doing as assistant Naval Attaché?

Charles W. Styer, Jr.:

Well, intelligence activity against the French and against, primarily, the Russians was our main duty. We did a lot of overt work and dull work, such as translating French



Navy journals and newspaper clippings, the hundreds of things that you find in the public domain. We also were assigned duties and had contacts. Each of us developed contacts in both civilian and in some military sectors, to get information for us.

Donald R. Lennon:

The French were our allies.

Charles W. Styer, Jr.:

In each country where our attachés are stationed, they are there to get information about that country, because you never know when that country is going to be an enemy, or more probably, you're going to have to go in and invade that country. So on all the trips we took, we photographed harbor installations and just kept enough information going into the Office of Naval Intelligence to keep their monographs up on beaches and harbors and industrial . . . . One of the interesting friends I made was a diver named Jacques Cousteau who was just then developing his shallow water diving gear. He showed me how it worked in a swimming pool in Paris, and I wrote a report on that and sent it to ONI.

We had liaison duties with the Sixth Fleet. We'd go down and take money for the midshipmen--take French francs down to be changed aboard ship in dollars--and we would act as escorts for the senior officers to call on the mayors. We were in the Sixth Fleet, which was in Nice along the Rivera. We took a carrier skipper to meet Picasso and his then gal who was living with him at the time. My wife was along, and the wife of another assistant attaché, and he took us around his villa and showed us all the interesting . . . . This was the period when he was doing ceramics and he showed us all these paintings he'd done on plates laid out on the floor all through the villa as we walked around. At the end of the visit, he gave my wife a plate wrapped up in a piece of paper and after we left and got in the car, the gals opened it. It was just a plain white plate that he had fired, but hadn't drawn anything on.



Donald R. Lennon:

You thought you had an original Picasso.

Charles W. Styer, Jr.:

I spent quite a bit of time, of course, with the French submarine Navy, and I went to sea with them. It was just a fun tour of duty and, of course, a very professionally interesting one, because I had never done anything like that before.

Donald R. Lennon:

Well, France was in the midst of rebuilding from the war at this time.

Charles W. Styer, Jr.:

Yeah. That was interesting. We were reporting on the industries they were building up. Their vacuum tube industry had been flattened and it was being rebuilt. We made several trips to Germany, because Germany was almost still completely flattened. We went through Bremerhaven and Bremen and there just was nothing there.

Donald R. Lennon:

Was De Gaulle in power at this time?

Charles W. Styer, Jr.:

No.

Donald R. Lennon:

This was before he'd come back.

Charles W. Styer, Jr.:

I then went back to the States and I was assigned to the submarine RAZORBACK out in Pearl Harbor, as executive officer. She was redeployed from Pearl Harbor to Norfolk during the time I was aboard.

Donald R. Lennon:

In 1949, 1950?

Charles W. Styer, Jr.:

Yes. Then, about 1950, I was sent to PCO School--Prospective Commanding Officer school--in New London and had orders to command a submarine that was being built at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. While I was in sub school, the skipper of the CUTLASS grounded the submarine and they detached him. I got yanked out of sub school and was sent down to take command of the CUTLASS in Key West.

Donald R. Lennon:

Was it damaged?



Charles W. Styer, Jr.:

It sheared off the sonar gear and it damaged the bottom a little bit and damaged one screw. In fact, when I arrived there, she was in dry dock or on the marine railway. So, I commanded. The CUTLASS was a guppy submarine. She was one of the first of the fast underwater propulsion submarines that had high capacity batteries and a lot of new equipment, including open cell ventilation, which was new in submarines at that time. I had command of the CUTLASS for two years. We wound up in Norfolk, deployed from Key West to Norfolk after a yard overhaul in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. I think the CUTLASS was one of the highlights of my career, because we brought her up from nothing all the way to get the "E" for the ship.

We made several deployments with her: one to the Caribbean, where we engaged in mock war games with other Atlantic Fleet Units, and one to the Mediterranean for about thirteen weeks. That was an interesting one. We had the king and queen of Greece aboard for a visit at that time. We were in the Riviera and met this gal, Florence J. Gould. Do you remember J. Gould, the railroad man?

Donald R. Lennon:

Yeah.

Charles W. Styer, Jr.:

This was his wife and she insisted upon having the whole CUTLASS wardroom ashore.

Donald R. Lennon:

She was quite elderly by that time, wasn't she?

Charles W. Styer, Jr.:

She was, yes, but she was full of wee-wee and ginger. At any rate, she treated us to some very funny things there and Juan les Pins on the Riviera. We went to Ismir, and obviously to Greece. We met the king and queen in Greece before we went to Malaga, in Spain. Several really fun ports.

Donald R. Lennon:

When the king and queen of Greece came aboard, did they just tour?



Charles W. Styer, Jr.:

We didn't take them to sea. The CUTLASS was alongside the Sixth Fleet flagship, a cruiser. I remember they stretched down a big netting to the top of our conning tower. We had a small brow that ran from the main deck of the cruiser to the top of our bridge area. She walked down that thing, which must have been a pretty precarious walk for her. At any rate, both the king and queen came aboard. My exec, Bob Long, took the king around and I took the queen around separately, so they each had a full tour of the ship.

Donald R. Lennon:

I don't know whether you know Bob. He was my exec for essentially the whole time I was aboard the CUTLASS. He retired as a four star admiral and lives in Annapolis.

Donald R. Lennon:

I didn't know whether you had facilities aboard that had refreshments or entertainment or a meal or anything of that nature.

Charles W. Styer, Jr.:

No, we didn't. They just took an hour or so tour each through the boat. Of course, the ship was shined up to the nines. After that Mediterranean run, I left the ship, was relieved shortly thereafter, and went to Washington for duty. I was assigned to the staff of CINCLANT Fleet in Norfolk, where I was on the operations side of the staff, in charge primarily with submarine operations and also setting up the schedules for the rest of the fleet. From there I did get involved in the guided missile area in Washington and went to work for the Advance Research Project.

Donald R. Lennon:

Is this when they were developing the Polaris?

Charles W. Styer, Jr.:

No. They were trying to decide whether the military was going into the manned space program. I got involved quite heavily in that and then went into the Polaris program. I became chief staff officer to the first Polaris submarine squadron and stayed with that for about two years in various other jobs associated with Polaris, winding up in 1962. I put the USS HOLLAND, which was a new construction Polaris tender, in commission.



Donald R. Lennon:

Most of the time, between 1952 and 1962, you were on shore duty.

Charles W. Styer, Jr.:

Yeah. I was stationed ashore, but the Polaris squadron that I was chief-of-staff officer of counted as sea duty. I took the HOLLAND to Rota, Spain, having a couple of years before that set up the requirements for having the submarine tender and the Polaris submarines based at Rota. I did that with the experience behind me of basing our first tender, the PROTEUS, in Holy Loch, Scotland, working with the British there. Working with the Spanish and with the U.S. base commander in Rota, we set up the same kind of requirements for the tender, which I later went to and commanded.

We enjoyed Spain so much. Unfortunately, it was a very short tour, because I got ordered back to New London to command Submarine Squadron 10. Submarine Squadron 10 had the NAUTILUS and all the nuclear powered submarines. I decided I was going to get back to Spain one way or the other. After a tour of duty at the National War College and then one on the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Washington, I did have my last tour in Madrid as Deputy Chief of the Joint U.S. Military group. So, I was dealing with the Spanish military and the Spanish civilian diplomatic people. Our job was to administer the U.S. base rights in Spain, where we had four bases. Besides Rota, there were three Air Force bases there, and we also administered the military aid program to the Spanish Armed Forces.

Donald R. Lennon:

Of course, the United States and Spain were on very good terms during all of this period.

Charles W. Styer, Jr.:

Yeah. In 1958, when the U.S. first went into Spain, Admiral Sherman, who was then commander of the Sixth Fleet, set up what later became these base rights activity and the basing of U.S. forces in Spain. They are still there. Now they are a part of NATO



forces, but there are no more submarines in Rota. They were moved out when the U.S. Navy went from Polaris to the Trident submarines, which we have today and, of course, they are based in the States. There are no overseas submarines--at least strategic missile submarines--based outside the States. There are some in Guam, but they are mainly in Bangor, Washington, and up in King's Bay.

Anyway, I retired from that job after thirty-one years. I had been kept on in Spain another year as a retired officer on active duty. Bud Zumwalt was then CNO and Bud asked me to stay on and keep an eye on the Air Force in Spain. So, I actually had thirty-one years--not counting my Academy years--and five months or something like that, active duty or service, before retirement.

We went to River Hills, South Carolina, just south of Charlotte, North Carolina, and built homes there. I went into the home building business. I did that for a couple years and then I went to work for HomeLite, the people that build chain saws. I worked for them. I built their office and laboratory in the Charlotte area and moved all their people from Port Chester, New York, down to that facility. After the two years of building the place and getting it outfitted, I became their director of purchasing. I stayed with them another eight years as purchasing manager. Then I fully retired.

Donald R. Lennon:

You live on Lake Wiley?

Charles W. Styer, Jr.:

I live on Lake Wiley. You know Lake Wiley?

Donald R. Lennon:

Yes. When we finish, I will mention someone to you. What was your relationship with Admiral Zumwalt?

Charles W. Styer, Jr.:

We had the same girlfriend.

Donald R. Lennon:

Oh really?



Charles W. Styer, Jr.:

Yes.

Donald R. Lennon:

Give us some personal insight into. . . .

Charles W. Styer, Jr.:

Well, I think Bud was a plebe when I was a second classman. We did drag the same girl who is now deceased. The only time I saw Bud was professionally, except when he was aide to the Secretary of the Navy in Washington. I saw him several times there. When the Secretary of the Navy came over to Rota, Bud was with him and we chatted. This was when the HOLLAND was first assigned in Rota and it was the first visit of the Secretary of the Navy to the HOLLAND. He asked me to do two things while he was CNO, besides staying on that year. One was to brief him up before his first official visits with the Spanish Navy. So, I flew down from Madrid to Rota and spent the time in the plane coming back up to Rota to brief him on what our relationships were with the Spanish Navy and on some projects that he was working on at the time. We had the Spanish CNO make calls on Bud the following year and I was asked to go along as escort for Admiral Barbuto(?) who was the Spanish CNO. We entertained the Zumwalts in Madrid. Katie had never known either one of them before. I had known Bud, but I had never met his wife before. I think he was an interesting man. I can't say that I ever was in favor of some of the things Bud did to change the Navy. I was leaving the Navy at about that time, so I guess my feelings weren't quite the same as they would have been if I were still looking to continue on in the Navy. He is a very, very learned man. Have you ever interviewed him or talked to him?

Donald R. Lennon:

No. I've never talked to him, but, of course, I certainly know of him.

Charles W. Styer, Jr.:

He is smart as a whip. In my mind, all his duty assignments and his promotions were well-warranted.



Donald R. Lennon:

In thinking back over your career, are there any specific individuals that you either worked with or came in contact with, that you had very strong feelings about, either positive or negative?

Charles W. Styer, Jr.:

As I mentioned earlier, I had very positive feelings about Beverly Harrison, my first skipper. He was a very, very senior officer. At the time I went to the ROWAN, he was lieutenant commander, but he was class of 1925, so he was an old man to me, really. I had subsequent skippers that never put the feelings in me that he did about doing your job and learning the ship and all that kind of stuff.

My skipper in the destroyer was a very negative guy; and when I was on the MATAGORDA, it was a required sea duty. He was an aviator commander and he knew nothing about ships and I often wondered how we were going to make it.

Don Donohoe. If submarines had aces, he was considered an ace. He got several Navy Crosses. He was a martinet of the first water/order(?), and I know many people aboard had less than love for the guy, but he had successes that went with it.

I've worked on two or three occasions with Bud Ward(?), who was the first Polaris squadron commander. In fact, he asked for me to come to his staff. That was a very positive experience. I had known him in Norfolk days when I was on fleet staff. He was on the Second Fleet staff in Norfolk at the same time. Then he was a squadron commander when I was chief staff officer of a squadron in San Diego--not his squadron--but there were two squadrons. So, I knew him quite a bit and I enjoyed the tour on his staff. We worked long and hard on the Polaris. It was a very demanding type of activity. Unlike most Navy commands, we worked from seven in the morning until seven at night, routinely. I did a lot of traveling. I went to every Polaris shoot down in Cape Canaveral. After Bud moved the



staff over to Holy Loch, I had the other half of the staff in New London that was operating the Polaris submarines on both coasts. So, I went to every shoot at Canaveral and they were coming quick, thick, and fast. I went on every first sea trial of all the Polaris submarines with Admiral Rickover. He was always there.

Donald R. Lennon:

You hadn't mentioned Admiral Rickover. I was wondering it you were going to comment.

Charles W. Styer, Jr.:

There were two of us considered for the command of the NAUTILUS. One was Dennis Wilkens on, who was commissioning skipper of the NAUTILUS, and Dennis told me that I had been considered also. We all aspired for command of nuclear-powered submarines, but the Class of 1941 was just not quite in the right position. They didn't need commanding officers in large numbers until the Polaris program. The most senior one was Hal Sheer in 1942 and then after that there were commanding officers from the Classes of 1943 and 1944. Most of them were 1944 and so I just never got a crack at being skipper of a nuclear powered submarine. Although, I had command later of a squadron of fifteen of them. Other than being with Rickover at all these sea trials, where I got to know him quite well, he also came over to Spain when I was there. I took him to meet with the foreign minister, because he was trying to get more nuclear power visits for U.S. ships in Spanish ports, and that was very interesting.

Donald R. Lennon:

It seems that everyone who knew Rickover had very strong feelings one way or another about him. He had a reputation for being extremely rude.

Charles W. Styer, Jr.:

Yeah. He was a very abrupt person. I knew a lot of him second hand too, before I went to sea with him on those half a dozen sea trials, because my young brother had been interviewed by him and later became skipper of two nuclear-powered submarines. He is a



retired Navy captain in the Class of 1948. Of course, I knew a lot of Rickover through the skippers of SubRon 14 and then later when I had command of Submarine Squadron 10. I had occasion to relieve a skipper that grounded his boat and in effect, I had to justify that to Rickover. Nobody else, just Rickover, because he had a very strong hand.

Donald R. Lennon:

He kept close reins on things.

Charles W. Styer, Jr.:

Absolutely. He bypassed or short-circuited all the normal chains of communication.

Donald R. Lennon:

And got away with it.

Charles W. Styer, Jr.:

But, you've got to give the man credit for his vision of getting nuclear power into submarines over the objection of a lot of submariners in the early days. He was really an unknown, you might say, when he started. Nobody else seemed to want the job that he took over or eventually built up into.

Donald R. Lennon:

Can you think of any particular anecdote concerning your relationship?

Charles W. Styer, Jr.:

Rickover? The first sea trials I went out with him on a Polaris submarine, I was then working for Admiral Daspit(?) who was deputy COMSUBLANT. I was the assistant for fleet ballistic missile matters to Admiral Daspit(?). That is the main reason I was going on these runs with Rickover. The Admiral called me in and he and Rickover did not get along at all. He was a very technically adept guy, Daspit(?) was. He was one of the wartime submarine hero skippers. Apparently, he and Rickover had had some discussion about the wearing of command pins, which had come into vogue about that time, and was designated as part of the uniform. He said, "Charlie, I have a set of cufflinks that have the command pin on them and I'd like you to deliver them to Rickover at the end of the sea trials." And he said, "only if everything goes OK. If you start knocking heads with him and things aren't going quite right, don't give them to him." So, we were sitting in the wardroom



after the sea trials on the way in, and I broke these out and gave them to Rickover. He looked at them and laughed, because this was kind of an inside joke as to whether he would ever, could ever, command anything. He said, "Styer, I bet you Admiral Daspit(?) told you not to give these to me if things didn't go too well." He knew exactly what the situation was.

The other one that I remember was when Rickover came over to Spain, I met him at Barajas Airport and took him to the quarters that we had set up for him at Torrejon Air Force Base. We were due to leave a full day after that to take him to some Spanish ports. The first morning he was going to call on the Spanish CNO and he says, "I've changed my mind. I don't want to go call on Admiral Barbuto(?) today. I was reading in Life Magazine, coming over on the plane, about the caves in Altamira in northern Spain where these people had painted all the early paintings. I want to go see that." So, I was involved in setting up our aircraft to take him up there that morning, and to call on the Spanish Ministry of Marine and say, "He ain't going to be there today. Can you take him tomorrow?"

Donald R. Lennon:

What kind of excuse did you give? Surely, you didn't tell the CNO that he wanted to go to the caves.

Charles W. Styer, Jr.:

No. I don't remember what I told them. They knew enough about his reputation. It was not a very nice thing to do to a Spanish CNO. Anyway, we did trot out our plane. We were getting ready to go. The weather was socked in up near this little airfield where we were going, so we could take a car from there. We drove a car up from our headquarters to there in the interim, so that they'd have some wheels there and he said, "Well, that's O.K." He'd just as soon take his chances. They had no lighting on this field and the pilot was not very happy about going in there, but we did. We made several passes of the field and did



land and got out of there okay. Incidentally, the Altamira Caves were closed that day, so we had to arrange through the Spanish Navy to get them opened.

We came back the next day and he proceeded on the official call to insult the Spanish CNO, to tell him he didn't know a damn thing about shipbuilding and ships. It really was a big disaster. When we had the return call that I mentioned earlier, Bud Zumwalt told me, "I'm going to get Rickover cranked up, get him over for this visit and make him apologize to Barbuto(?)." I was surprised when we walked in Bud's office. Rickover was there and in uniform. He rarely wore a uniform, but he was there in full uniform. Whether he apologized or not, I don't know, but the occasion was presenting Barbuto(?) a Navy decoration, a U.S. Navy decoration. We went through that ceremony and I didn't see a sign of Rickover for the remaining four days in Washington that I was escorting Barbuto around. Bud must have decided that it was time that he stopped being quite as abrupt and discourteous.

Donald R. Lennon:

Interesting. Obviously, though, you managed to either ignore his abruptness or get along with him fairly well.

Charles W. Styer, Jr.:

I didn't have too much trouble. One of the things he asked us to do as soon as he got in, he said, "I need to get some presents for my wife." Katie was in the car with me going out to the airport to pick him up and get him through customs. He gave my wife fifty bucks and said, "Would you get something for my wife." So, she did go out and go shopping and I forgot what she got, but he kind of harumphed about what she bought. He also harumphed about the quarters. We took him over to the VIP quarters at Torrejon and he said, "Hell, I don't need this stuff. I would prefer to sleep in one of the regular rooms." Whenever he showed up on a submarine, he was always in civilian clothes so the skipper of the



submarine had the job of getting some khakis for him that fit. Sometimes if they didn't fit, he would get mad as hell.

Donald R. Lennon:

It never occurred to him to bring some of his own.

Charles W. Styer, Jr.:

No. I think this is part of the hazing that was going on.

Donald R. Lennon:

He had that mystique.

Charles W. Styer, Jr.:

So that brings you up to. . . . We moved from River Hills down to here. We're living at Fleet Landing now.

Donald R. Lennon:

So, you've left Lake Wiley.

Charles W. Styer, Jr.:

Yeah. We lived in two homes. I built a second home right on the lake and we lived there for about ten years and sold that. In 1991, we moved down here to Fleet Landing. We're enjoying Fleet Landing very much.

[End of Interview]

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