1921 – 2023
World War II Yorktown veteran, Fred N. Springs passed on October 25, 2023.
A Memorial Service will be held Saturday, November 11, at 10am, at Northwest Covenant Church, 300 N. Elmhurst Ave., Mt Prospect, IL 60056.
The service will be live streamed on YouTube at www.youtube.com/@northwestcovenantchurch3929
Below is an account of Fred’s life in his own words:
My Life by Fred Springs
I was born on October 5, 1921 on Dad’s large farm. We raised all grains including corn, wheat, oats and hay. We also raised animals, like hogs, cattle, chickens, horses and mules. Everything was going fine until the Depression hit. Dad lost all his land during that time. We were better off than a lot of people who lived in the city. We still had our house and animals. We had our hogs for meat, cows for milk and chickens for eggs. We had a large garden where we grew many different kinds of vegetables. My dad built a cellar with a door where we stored all of our fruits and vegetables. My mom did a lot of canning with everything we grew. As the depression continued, the government created the WPA which was a program to put men to work such as repairing the banks of the Mississippi River. The government also created the CCC which was for young men. They worked around the country building dams and other small jobs.
I left Missouri and moved to Chicago where I held several jobs. I joined the Navy in 1942 and went to Boot Camp at Great Lakes Naval Base. After Boot Camp I was assigned to the Yorktown which was the largest aircraft carrier at that time. We were sent to South America on a Shakedown cruise. This was to make sure the carrier was ready for deployment. We returned to Norfolk, VA, and then went through the Panama Canal to San Diego, CA. At this port our guns were installed onto the ship. There were 5 inch, 40mm, and 20mm guns. We were then sent to the Pacific to bomb different islands such as Midway, Iwo Jima, Guam, and others. I served on this ship for 3 years. During that time, I served as a fireman and cable operator. I saved pilots from burning planes, stopped warplanes from going off the edge of the ship and put out many fires. During a flight I was was shot down, floated in the ocean for several hours and finally rescued. The Yorktown was bombed leaving a big hole in its side. We found a friendly island to get it repaired. We returned to action for about another year. Finally, we headed to Tokyo Bay after the Japanese surrendered. We witnessed the signing of the surrender papers between General MacArthur and the Japanese minister. We headed home under the Golden Gate bridge.
After I was home, I met, dated and married the most wonderful woman in the world. We were married for 3 years when I returned to the armed services in the Air Force. I was stationed at O’hare Air Base. We were shipped to Korea. We delivered supplies to the Front Line and brought injured servicemen to the base. I served in this way from 1950-1952. My oldest daughter was born while I was away. When I returned life became normal. We raised 4 great kids. I built our home in Mt. Prospect, IL where we moved from Chicago in 1957. We lived in our home for 62 years. We attended Northwest Covenant Church where we still go. We have 9 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren. We are very blessed with our loving family.
During my life I was a security guard, in the building trades, owned a gas station, worked in a factory as a department foreman, was head of maintenance at Covenant Village of Northbrook, and ended my career working on the grounds of a golf course.
After my retirement, maintaining our home in Mt. Prospect became too difficult. We made the very wise decision to move to Covenant Living in Northbrook. We have lived here for almost 3 years and feel that this move was one of our best decisions. We truly love living in our apartment and having dinner at the Center every evening. We enjoy interacting with the all the staff. They are exceptional. We are so happy we moved here.
– Fred Springs