USS SAN FRANCISCO
Hal was at Pearl Harbor Decembr 7,1941, assigned to the USS San Francisco CA38, on which he served from 1939 to 1942. He went to boot camp and Sub School in Newport, Rhode Island. He later served aboard Motor Torpedo Boats from 1942 to 1945 assigned to Squadron 18, then known as "ACES AVENGERS".
Hal acquired the nickname "DOGGIE" who can imagine how that happened.!
He participated in the Guadalcanal Campaign, including Tulagi and Cape Esperance, then Bouganville in the Solomon Islands and the Salamaue Lae Raids in New Guinea Waters.
Hal was awarded the Silver Star for extraordinary heroism under fire, above and beyond the call of duty, during the rescue of a Navy Fighter Pilot shot down in the bay at Halamera Island off the coast of eastern New Guinea.
After a rescue attempt by aircraft was driven back by intense hostile anti-aircraft fire, the two Torpedo Boats were assigned the rescue attempt. Although the two Torpedo Boats were twice driven back by intense fire from numerous coast defense guns lining an 11 mile strait at the entrance to the bay, they finally succeeded in reaching their objective and rescuing the pilot. Hal Merowitz rendered cool and courages service during the two and one half-hour operation despite fierce Japanese fire, which harrassed the gallant crews throughout the operation. His conduct reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Naval Service.
During his very active career in the US NAVY he accumulated 17 battle stars, assisted in shooting down 15 Japanese planes and during the war traveled 298,000 miles.
In 1946 after the war was over Hal decided he had so much fun in the Navy he joined the US MARINE CORPS for a tour. This is a pretty extraordinary guy and we're glad he came on board PHSA River City Chapter Six, Sacramento California.
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