Gary Fletcher was born on November 1, 1932 in West Virginia before moving to Wisconsin on the shores of Lake Superior. Shortly after graduating from Bayfield High School, he enlisted in the US Navy in July, 1951 to avoid the draft. During the Korean War, he was deployed in the North Atlantic on the USS Razorback (SS-394). He describes his time as a Boatswain’s Mate on the submarine during the Korean War, highlighting the living conditions of his “home.” These conditions included small living spaces and few opportunities to bathe. He also explains the what the role of the crew was during this time, including loading torpedoes. He is proud of his contribution to the war effort.
Gary Fletcher describes the layout of the USS Razorback, the submarine he was on during the Korean War. He remembers that while there was no Chaplain, they would still have a church service. He also explains crew consisted of a only few executive officers and then the rankings went down from there.
"A Man's Home is His Castle"
Gary Fletcher continues to explain life on the submarine, including just how small “home” really. He remembers that while they had good comradery, it was not easy to get close like you would in normal life. He comments on how they were called “sewer pipers” because they were rarely able to bathe even though they would have diesel on them.
Boatswain's Mate on a Submarine
Gary Fletcher describes his job as a Boatswain's Mate on the USS Razorback. Part of his crew’s role was to load the torpedoes down into the ships. He had to qualify and be certified to earn a “dolphin.”