Loren Bennett was born in October 1927 in Chicago [Annotator's Note: Chicago, Illinois]. He did not have any siblings. His father was an accountant for General Motors. He was fortunate to keep his job during the depression [Annotator's Note: the Great Depression was a global economic depression that lasted from 1929 through 1939 in the United States]. His father was easy to talk to and he was easy to get along with. His mother was an interior decorator. He had no problems with the depression. It did not weigh on him because his family was not affected badly. He walked to school. Growing up was a good time. He did not have any bad experiences. He was at home when Pearl Harbor was attacked [Annotator's Note: the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on 7 December 1941]. He knew there was a war going on. He knew the United States was involved. He was getting close to the draft age. He had that to look forward to. He knew he would most likely have to go into the service. When it was time for him to be drafted he wanted to get out of it. He did not want to be in the Army. He had visions of sleeping in a mudhole and did not like the idea of that. He was on his parents constantly to sign papers for him to be in the Navy. He thought the Navy would have better living standards and would be clean. He wanted them to sign the papers so he would not be drafted into the Army. His parents signed the papers for him.
Loren Bennett went to boot camp at Great Lakes [Annotator's Note: Naval Station Great Lakes in Lake County, Illinois]. He was in the scouts [Annotator’s Note: The Boy Scouts of America; youth organization in the United States] as a boy, and he went to different camps. He did not think boot camp was negative. He went in knowing he would be doing something good for the country. He went from Great Lakes to Ripley [Annotator’s Note: Fort Ripley, Minnesota] to California where he boarded a ship. He joined the Navy to see the world, and that is the experience he had. He was on the USS Frontier (AD-25). He was told not to volunteer. The first thing he did was volunteer. During boot camp, they were asked if anyone had experience with mail. He raised his hand because he was a mail carrier for his school. After that, he was the mailman for his division. When he went aboard the ship he was the mailman on the ship. He was on a big ship, a destroyer tender. This kept him out of harm's way. As a mailman, he was in the area of safety. He did not deliver the mail. He was the postmaster general aboard the ship. He had an office on the ship. Everyone came to him rather than him going to them. It was the quickest and easiest way to get the mail to the men. Each man had their own cubby hole for their mail. Everyone wanted him to like them because they wanted to make sure they got their mail.
Loren Bennett thought it was easy to manage the limits of what could be sent home because they were at sea. The guys knew they were limited so they did not ask for things that were impossible. He lived in the same quarters as most of the service-oriented jobs, such as the cooks and the bakers. All the guys that worked in service were in the same area. It was a pretty nice area. He was not with the guys who were mechanics. When the war ended they were off the coast of Japan. They saw some action. They had Japanese dive bombers [Annotator's Note: kamikazes the Japanese suicide bombers] attack their ship. They would get aircraft from the other ships to protect them from the dive bombers. Dive bombers came in to get them because they were a repair ship. Other ships sent in planes to shoot down the kamikazes. This made him feel like they were protected.
Loren Bennett stayed out at sea for about two or three months after the war was over. He was ready to get out of the Navy. He went home to Chicago [Annotator's Note: Chicago, Illinois]. He used the G.I. Bill [Annotator's Note: the G.I. Bill, or Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944, was enacted by the United States Congress to aid United States veterans of World War 2 in transitioning back to civilian life and included financial aid for education, mortgages, business starts and unemployment] to go back to school. He volunteered at his mother's work for interior design. He took special courses that tied into his mother's work. Then he went to work for her. He went to work for a Kirsch Company which was a large manufacturer at the time. That job brought him out to California. He does not think the war changed him. He did things during the war that he did after the war. He thinks younger generations are appreciative of what the war did for the country. He does not think they deserve as much credit as they get. People come up to him and thank him for his service when he wears his World War 2 veteran hat. World War 2 veterans did it for them. He appreciates their thanks. He appreciates everything the Navy did for him by keeping him safe and letting him help the country.
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