Wednesday, July 27, 2005

It wasn’t me Copper! I’m a Navy Veteran

Ever dig up odd facts on the internet, here is a little bit of Navy trivia for you.

Today is the anniversary of John Herbert Dillinger “Public Enemy #1” joining the US Navy.

Would you call this man Shipmate?
(Source: FBI)

Dillinger joined the Navy on July 27, 1923 to avoid charges of auto theft in Indiana and went to basic at the Great Lakes Naval Training Facility. He was later assigned to the ill fated USS Utah (BB-31).

The Navy life did not agree with Dillinger. Five months after enlisting, the man who would become America's most wanted bank robber, deserted the Navy on December 4, 1923 when the USS Utah docked in Boston MA.

A quick timeline of Dillinger's crime career, including his going AWOL from the Navy, can be found here.

As far as my research can tell, there is no truth to the rumor that Dillinger took the XO's door on the way off the USS Utah.


Vigilis said...

Lubber's- Interesting bit of history. Imagine how much a letter he sent to his gal postmarked on with BB-31's cancellation could be worth now. Someone, somewhere may have one.

The Dillinger connection may not be something Navy Recruiters are happy to discuss. Which brings up another bit of history. Which ex-U.S. Senator (yet living) had been a Navy recruiter?

Lubber's Line said...

A "Conservative" guess, The former Senator from NC Jesse Helms. Served as a Navy recruiter during WWII.

OK, ok I didn't know it off the top of my head had to google it , but am I right?