Kotovsky, Stanley Kenneth, RM1c

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Last Rank
Petty Officer First Class
Last Primary NEC
Last Rating/NEC Group
Primary Unit
1944-1946, RM-0000, USS St Louis (CL-49)
Service Years
1940 - 1947
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 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Steven Loomis (SaigonShipyard), IC3 to remember Kotovsky, Stanley Kenneth (Stan), RM1c.

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Contact Info
Home Town
Webster Grove, MO
Last Address
Las Cruces, NM

Date of Passing
Oct 02, 2013
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

WW II Honorable Discharge Pin

 Unofficial Badges 

Pearl Harbor Memorial Medallion US Navy Honorable Discharge

 Military Association Memberships
Pearl Harbor Survivor's AssociationUSS Arizona Memorial
  1958, Pearl Harbor Survivor's Association
  1990, USS Arizona Memorial [Verified]

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

 Duty Stations
US NavyAdvancement Schools and Courses
  1940-1944, RM-0000, USS St Louis (CL-49)
  1944-1944, RM-0000, (RM) Radioman B School
  1944-1946, RM-0000, USS St Louis (CL-49)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1941-1941 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Attack on Pearl Harbor
  1942-1942 Aleutians Islands Campaign (1942-43)/Japanese Occupation of Attu and Kiska
  1942-1942 Aleutians Islands Campaign (1942-43)/Defense of Adak
  1943-1943 New Georgia Campaign (1943)/Battle of Kolombangara
  1943-1943 Northern Solomon Islands Campaign (1943-44)/Battle of Kula Gulf
  1943-1943 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Treasury-Bougainville Operation
  1944-1944 Northern Solomon Islands Campaign (1943-44)/Battle of the Green Islands
  1944-1944 Mariana and Palau Islands Campaign (1944)/Battle of Philippine Sea
  1944-1944 Mariana and Palau Islands Campaign (1944)/Battle of Saipan
  1944-1944 Mariana and Palau Islands Campaign (1944)/Battle of Guam
  1944-1944 Leyte Campaign (1944)/Battle of Surigao Strait
  1945-1945 World War II/China-Burma-India Theater/China Defensive Campaign (1942-45)
  1945-1945 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Iwo Jima Operation
  1945-1945 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Okinawa Gunto Operation
  1945-1946 Operation Magic Carpet (Pacific)
 Colleges Attended 
University of Utah
  1947-1950, University of Utah
 Other News, Events and Photographs
  Jan 01, 1942, Promoted to RM2
  Oct 01, 1942, Promoted to RM1
  Dec 07, 2012, Pearl Harbor survivor recalls fateful attack6
  Nov 10, 2013, General Photos3
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

Stanley K. Kotovsky, 92, died peacefully Wednesday, October 2, 2013, at the La Posada-Mesilla Valley Hospice surrounded by family. Kotovsky was a husband, father, World War II sailor, Pearl Harbor survivor, senior electrical engineer, Master Mason, amateur radio operator, animal lover and Do It Yourselfer around his home.

Kotovsky was born February 3, 1921, in Webster Groves, Missouri, a suburb of St Louis. He was the fourth of five sons born to John and Severene Kotovsky. After graduating from Webster Groves High School, Kotovsky joined the U.S. Navy as a radio operator in 1940. His entry into the Navy was expedited by the fact he had earned an amateur radio license in 1937 and the Navy was in urgent need of radio operators who could send and receive Morse code.

Kotovsky was a crew member on the USS St Louis, a newly-commissioned cruiser, when it was attacked on December 7, 1941, along with the rest of the Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Kotovsky remembered during the attack he was forced to climb the mast to erect an antenna that had been removed earlier. In the midst of the attack, he climbed the mast to the highest point on the ship to put up the critically needed antenna as the warship was just getting underway. He often remarked he wasn't frightened because he simply was too busy doing what had to be done. Everywhere he looked while on the mast he could see and hear explosions with fire and smoke bellowing everywhere. As a result of his Pearl Harbor involvement, he remained a steadfast member of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association and various veterans groups. He always urged his fellow citizens to support the troops and keep America strong.

During his time in the Navy, he met and married a young stenographer, Catherine Toy, on August, 24, 1943 in San Francisco, California. They remained devoted to each other for nearly 68 years until Catherine passed April 19, 2011. The young Navy couple lived in Boulder, Nevada; Clinton, Oklahoma; and Clarksville, Arkansas, as Stanley completed Navy technical training.

Following World War II and his seven years in the Navy, Kotovsky was discharged from the Navy and the Kotovskys returned to her home state in Salt Lake City, Utah. He earned his Bachelor's of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Utah while working at commercial radio station KDYL. The couple rode around in a World War II surplus jeep that he had refurbished as regular commercial cars were in short supply after the war. The couple followed his career as they initially moved to the Washington, D.C., area when he worked at Andrews AFB, Maryland. Next, they moved to El Paso, Texas, where he first began working for the Western Electric Company at White Sands Missile Range from 1952-1961. It was here they fell in love with the desert, mountains and climate of Southern New Mexico.

As a Senior Electrical Engineer with Western Electric for 28 years, Kotovsky was involved with the Nike Ajax, Nike Zeus and Sprint missile systems. He also was part of the team that developed the Telstar satellite, which relayed through space the first television pictures, telephone calls, fax images and provided the first live transatlantic television feed in July 1962. Kotovsky moved his family to North Plainfield, New Jersey, from 1961-1966 when he was transferred to Murray Hill, New Jersey, by Western Electric. In 1966, Stanley was happily reassigned to White Sands. Instead of returning to El Paso, however, the Kotovsky family settled in Las Cruces, New Mexico, where his family called home between stints on Kwajalein, Marshall Islands; Greensboro, North Carolina; Langdon, North Dakota; and Saudi Arabia.

Stan was active in the Jornada Masonic Lodge #70 where he was selected as Mr. Mason several times as well as being honored as the Mason of the Year. Kotovsky, an Amateur Extra Class licensee (W5GX), enjoyed amateur radio throughout his life and maintained radio contact with other World War II era radio operators on a semi weekly basis. He was a longtime member of St Paul's United Methodist Church where he attended the early worship service without fail Sunday mornings.

A talented designer and builder, he could seemingly build or fix everything in and outside of his home. He happily remained active around his home and yard until the last few weeks of his life. Like his wife, Kotovsky truly loved all animals, great and small. Especially dear to him were his cocker spaniels, wild birds and desert box turtles.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Catherine. Kotovsky is survived by son, Stanley K. Kotovsky, Jr. and wife Dina, Albuquerque, New Mexico; Colonel (Retired) Grant D. Kotovsky, USAF, Las Cruces, New Mexico; Commander (Retired) Janet F. Zucker, USN, and husband David, Alexandria, Virginia; and Wayne F. Kotovsky, Katy, Texas. He is also survived by four adoring grandchildren: Jane Catherine Kotovsky, Blake Zucker, Catherine Zucker and Jake Kotovsky. Kotovsky, his children and grandchildren had a very obvious mutual love for each other.

There will be no memorial service at the request of the family. In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions are made to St Paul's United Methodist Church or the La Posada-Mesilla Valley Hospice.

Published in Las Cruces Sun-News on Oct. 6, 2013
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