KOTOVSKY, Stanley, Sr., RM1c

 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Petty Officer First Class
Last Primary NEC
RM-2304-Morse Code Operator
Last Rating/NEC Group
Primary Unit
1943-1946, RM-0000, USS St Louis (CL-49)
Service Years
1940 - 1946
Official/Unofficial US Navy Certificates
Iwo Jima
Panama Canal
Plank Owner
One Hash Mark

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

111 kb

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Steven Loomis (SaigonShipyard), IC3 to remember KOTOVSKY, Stanley, Sr. (Stan), PO1.

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Contact Info
Home Town
Webster Groves, Missouri, a suburb of St Louis
Last Address
Las Cruces, New Mexico

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 

Order of the Shellback Pearl Harbor Memorial Medallion US Navy Honorable Discharge Order of the Golden Dragon

Gold Star

 Military Association Memberships
Pearl Harbor Survivor's AssociationUSS Arizona Memorial
  1958, Pearl Harbor Survivor's Association2
  1990, USS Arizona Memorial [Verified]1

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

 Duty Stations
Professional Schools and CoursesUS Navy
  1940-1940, Pre-Radio Material School
  1940-1940, RM-2304, Radio Material School
  1940-1943, RM-2304, USS St Louis (CL-49)
  1943-1943, RM-0000, (RM) Radioman B School
  1943-1946, 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 Central Pacific Campaign (1941-43)/Bombardment - Marshall and Gilbert Islands
  1942-1942 Guadalcanal Campaign (1942-42)/Battle of the Eastern Solomons
  1942-1945 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater
  1943-1943 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Guadalcanal Campaign (1942-42)
  1943-1943 New Georgia Campaign (1943)/Battle of Kolombangara
  1943-1943 Northern Solomon Islands Campaign (1943-44)/Battle of Kula Gulf
  1944-1944 Mariana and Palau Islands Campaign (1944)/Battle of Saipan
  1945-1945 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater
  1945-1945 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Surrender of Japan, End of WWII
  1945-1945 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Iwo Jima Operation
  1945-1945 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Okinawa Gunto Operation
  1945-1945 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Okinawa Gunto Operation
 Colleges Attended 
University of Utah
  1948-1952, University of Utah
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

Pearl Harbor survivor
recalls fateful attack

Stan Kotovsky was aboard USS St. Louis 71 years ago.

Las Cruces, NM: December 7, 2012.

After 71 years, the sudden and graphic shift from peace to war remains on the mind of Navy veteran Stan Kotovsky.

He was 19 then, and awoke early that fateful morning. He bought a Sunday newspaper, then sat in the transmitter room aboard the USS St. Louis, enjoying the Honolulu headlines with his feet up.

"All of the sudden I hear these explosions, and I'm thinking, 'What are those dumb Marines doing out there?'" Kotovsky said after speaking at a Pearl Harbor Day Memorial ceremony Friday morning. "It was a couple of these before I realized it wasn't that. I ran out on the deck and realized the war had started.

Kotovsky, 90, earned his ham radio license in high school. The military had a high demand for radio operators then, and he saw the Navy as a chance to see the world - before that, Kotovsky hadn't ventured far outside of his small Missouri hometown.

On Dec. 7, 1941, the Las Crucen had a box seat to one of the most historic and horrific days in American history.

Said Kotovsky to the Friday morning crowd at Veterans Memorial Park: "We're at peace and the next moment, we're fighting for our very lives. ... It was unbelievable."

According to Naval Historical Center, the USS St. Louis was the first major vessel to reach open water after the attack. The fiery carnage played out in front of him as his ship sped toward the Pacific.

A radio operator, Kotovsky hurried to set up an antenna on the ship's yardarm rigging "so we could have communications," he said. Kotovsky saw Japanese torpedoes fired at his ship hit nearby coral reef.

Kotovsky punctuated his short talk as he regularly does when talking about his experiences.

"Remember Pearl Harbor," he said. "Keep America strong. And, above all, support our men and women in the armed forces."

That message certainly wasn't lost on the people at Friday's ceremony, which included the raising of the Garrison Flag. Many of those in attendance were veterans, including a handful that served in World War II. There was also one other Pearl Harbor survivor, Archie Luce.

A pair of WWII vintage aircraft from Santa Teresa's War Eagles Museum made two passes over the memorial.

Simon Mendoza, 90, was another veteran in attendance. He enjoyed the brief ceremony, reflecting on his experiences as he dunked a cookie into his coffee cup.

"It's a wonderful thing," he said, referring to Friday's commemoration. But, he added, "It's pretty sad to me because I remember my friends that I lost in the war."

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