EM1 Herschel R. Gustafson, U.S. Navy | World War II Tribute

Editor’s note: This tribute is one in a series of reader-submitted tributes to World War II-era veterans that will be posted during September.


Hometown: Spokane.

Branch: U.S. Navy.

Years of service: 1942-46.

Highest rank attained: Electrician’s mate third class.

Significant duty stations or deployments during the War: Served on the USS William C. Cole, DE-641. Saw action in the Battle of Okinawa; while shooting down two Japanese planes, a kamikaze’s wingtips bent a tube on a torpedo mount and the Cole sailed to the Philippines for repairs.

POST-WAR CAREER: Earned an electrical engineering degree at Gonzaga University in 1950; started a high-voltage transmission wiring installation company with three partners in 1967. He was president of WICO (Wire Installation Contractors) and retired in 1982. Died in 2012.