Floyd R. Turley, Signalman 3rd Class
U. S. Navy
Dates of Service: Oct 1942 - Dec 1945
Signalman, USS Tennessee
Mr. Turley grew up in east Little Rock during the Great Depression, in dire poverty. He left school in the third grade, worked many jobs to help his family, and recalls always being hungry. What saved him, he said, was the Navy. It not only trained him well, but also gave a hungry kid food, clothing, lodging, or as the saying went, three hots and a cot. He enlisted in October of 1942, two months after his 16th birthday by forging his mothers signature of approval. Aboard the USS Tennessee, Mr. Turley served as a signalman in nearly every major campaign in the Pacific, and barely survived a kamikaze attack in which a good friend, a Marine, was killed. The story has a somewhat happy ending. Years later, at a banquet for World War II veterans, a woman noticed his USS Tennessee cap and said her older brother was a Marine who died aboard the ship on 12 April. She was delighted when Mr. Turley told her he knew her brother and discussed their friendship and life aboard the ship.