Claude Siceluff Kirkpatrick

Chronology

 

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Claude Siceluff Kirkpatrick was born October 26, 1910. He was the fourth son born of Dr. Elmer E. and Helene Claudia Spencer Kirkpatrick. Claude attended school in Oklahoma City, first McKinley Elementary School and later Classen High School. After attending the University of Oklahoma for two years, he entered the United States Naval Academy where he graduated as an ensign and was assigned to the USS Cincinnati where he served with his brother, John E. Kirkpatrick. He was later assigned to the USS Ralph Talbot, a destroyer.

In November 1937, Claude married Elizabeth Ann Bole in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and the couple then moved to Boston, Massachusetts. The next year, the couple moved north where Claude attended a Submarine Training school In New London, Connecticut. In 1938, Claude and Elizabeth saw Claude’s brother John and his wife, Eleanor, in New Orleans, Louisiana where the USS Ralph Talbot was going through its shakedown cruise. Claude and Elizabeth then returned to Boston where they lived until September when the New England hurricane forced Elizabeth to return to Tulsa, Oklahoma and Claude’s ship to set sail. During the summer of 1939 and was promoted that summer to Lieutenant (j.g.) before he left the Navy to work with the Petroleum Engineering, Inc. in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Claude was called to Key West, Florida in January to continue his submarine duty. Later, his son, John Bole, was born on March 29, 1939. In June, Claude resigned from the Navy and moved his family to Detroit, Michigan to work for the General Motors Corporation. In August, when Elizabeth’s father, George S. Bole, died, the family returned to Tulsa, Oklahoma. The following January, the family lived in Tulsa where Claude worked as a “roughneck” and engineer on oil rigs.

In March 1941, Claude was recalled to active duty at Key West, Florida. In May he was ordered to command the SC/PC 453, an anti-submarine chaser which was one of the first ships to use a special “pancake” diesel engine designed by General Motors. On September 18 1941, Claude’s second son, Brian, was born. Later that month the PC 453 had its shakedown cruise in Detroit.

In March 1942, Claude was ordered to command the building of sub chasers at Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin (possibly Leathem D. Smith Shipbuilding Company). However, in April he was ordered to Miami, Florida to the Submarine Chasing School which had been commissioned in March. The family moved there with him that year.

After being promoted to Lieutenant Commander in 1943, Claude was assigned to command the USS Scott, a destroyer launched that July. Later that year, Claude was recalled for sub chaser school in Florida. He was later joined by his family and remained working with the school until he was made the commander of the USS Goss, another destroyer. Elizabeth and the children moved to Tulsa to live with her sister, Mary and husband Charles. Later in December, Claude is ordered to return to the Sub Chaser Training Center and the family moves to Coconut Grove, Florida.

The Goss left Norfolk, Virginia in October 1944 and headed for Pearl Harbor that December. Here, Claude was able to meet up with his brother, John, who was then in command of the Anti-Aircraft Training Center at Waianae on Oahu among the Hawaiian Islands (then, the Territory of Hawaii). The Goss later participated in the landings of the Philippines and in support of the invasion of Iwo Jima.

In May 1945, Claude was forced to rest for awhile at a hospital in Guam for complications related to his heart. The time allowed Claude to see his brother, Elmer E. Kirkpatrick, Jr. twice. Claude was then assigned to the USS Griswold, another destroyer, which, together with John’s ship the USS Alaska, participated in the invasion of Okinawa. Later in 1945 as the war was winding down, John and Claude’s ships kept getting close to each other and in July the two finally were able to meet again. John, Nick Seger, and Claude all returned aboard the Griswold, arriving in October in San Pedro, California.

Claude was released from active duty in 1946 and returned to Tulsa, Oklahoma to become a Petroleum Engineer for Jones and Laughlin (Steel) Supply Co. and was the chairman of the Tulsa School Board. He moved with his family in 1949 to Hillsborough, California.

In 1952, likely August, Claude was ordered to active duty in San Francisco and in November 1952 he was ordered to the Armed Forces Special Weapons Project at the Sandia Base in New Mexico. In 1953 he became the Inspector General of Armed Forces Special Weapons Project. Later in 1954, he served as U.S. Naval attaché in Tokyo and the deputy chief of Naval Operations for Research and Development in Washington, D.C.

He returned to Hillsborough, California in 1962 after retiring from the Navy. Claude joined several social and civic organizations including the Bohemian Club of San Francisco, California. After his wife died in 1974, Claude continued to see his brothers and sister, Mary, until he went to the Idelewood Convalescent Home in Sunnyvale, California where he died in 1985.

 

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