Shipmates reunited after 62 years
Published: April 2, 2008 | 6980th good news item since 2003
Methuen resident Arthur Mansor lost touch with his former shipmate and friend Stanley Moore of Lansing, Mich., after World War II.
The Navy veterans served on the USS Dutchess (APA 98) in the Pacific and worked as radiomen, copying messages they didn’t understand from Washington. They were not privy to the information in the messages; they simply passed them on to be deciphered.
They served together in 1944 and 1945.
A mutual acquaintance reunited them after 62 years. But it wasn’t until February that they finally reconnected in person. They met in Naples, Fla., while Mansor was visiting his daughter. It was the first time they had seen each other since December 1945.
Mansor turns 84 on April 2.
“I don’t want to blow our own whistle, but I think we’re in a little class by ourselves, still being here at 84,” Mansor said.
Moore is considering coming to the Merrimack Valley to visit Mansor in June. Mansor was one of three Lawrence natives to serve on the ship at the time. He served in World War II and the Korean War.
How did you two find each other?
We’ll go back to about 1988, 1986. My partner here aboard ship, he had relocated to Lakeland, Fla., and the ex-police chief of Methuen, Cyril Feugill, he retired to Lakeland, Fla. And as fate would have it, Mr. Moore happened to be in the same area. He found out the chief was from Lawrence, the same place I was (living) in WWII, and asked if he knew a certain person, (Arthur) Mansor. (The chief did know Mansor.) I got a call from Stan Moore, who had finally located me. We still hadn’t seen each other until this past month in Naples. We communicated maybe a half a dozen times, but we never could get together.
What was the first thing you said to him?
When I first saw him, I says, “You’re looking better than I am.” And he says to me, “You haven’t changed a bit.” And I had to call him a liar.
What was your job all those years ago?
Radioman 2nd classman. Also, Stan Moore, my co-partner here, he was also a radioman second class. Our job was to copy incoming, outgoing messages; mostly incoming during the war because of radio silence, which was in effect at the time. We would take incoming radio messages, which were coded and were then sent to the decoding room for deciphering, and then sent to the appropriate officers.
Where did you go in the Pacific?
We operated out of San Francisco. We went to Pearl Harbor, which was our operating base. From there, we went west. We went to all the islands in the Pacific. We went to the Philippines. Our final (voyage) while the war was still on was to Okinawa.
How did you and Stanley meet?
Being radio operators, we struck off a very good friendship. If you’re aboard ship for all that time, everybody has their own personalities. (Moore is) the type of guy like myself, we’re laid back. We have a lot of things in common.