The United States Navy was founded on 13 October 1775 and “Navy Day” will be celebrated on 27 October this year, so it’s a good time to share a series of stories about my only (known) ancestor who served in the US Navy.
My grandfather, William Arthur “Art” Cubbage, served in the US Navy during the end of World War II from 1944-1946. At the start of the war, Art was living Ohio (first Akron and then Cleveland) with his wife, Agnes (Speck), and young sons Corky and Jeff. He worked as a passenger representative for the Pennsylvania Railroad. Art was inducted into the US Navy on 17 April 1944 in Akron. Corky was not yet 3, and Jeff was only 3 weeks old.
Art attended boot camp at the US Naval Training Center Great Lakes in North Chicago, Illinois. All recruits began their Naval careers at the USNTC for orientation and training. The Training Center at Great Lakes had grown substantially since World War I. Over four million sailors served in the US Navy during World War II, and about 1\one million were trained at Great Lakes. Below is a picture of Art’s Company on 11 May 1944.
Art went on to complete additional training in Service School Command at Great Lakes on 22 September 1944. This school was organized to provide additional intensive courses of study in various specialized areas (signal, coxswain, armed guard, quartermaster, etc.). Art was in Section Y6-1, Yeoman School. The yeoman branch of the Navy executed the clerical work of the navy, and required some clerical experience. Art had worked in accounting before working for the Pennsylvania Railroad, and likely had the clerical background needed. In the Yeoman School at Great Lakes, four months of courses included “practical work in all branches of clerical duty ashore and afloat”.
Art is in the second row, second from the left. It is interesting that in most of these pictures, he was not wearing his glasses. In almost every other picture of him since high school, he wore his glasses. During this time, Agnes, Corky and Jeff moved to Pittsburgh to live with Agnes’ mother and step-father, Elizabeth and Charles Merz.
The story continues next week when Art was stationed in Virginia.
 Notice of Separation from U.S. Naval Service, William Arthur Cubbage, 2C USN-I(SA), 9 April 1945, USN PSC Shelton, Virginia; privately held by the author’s father, original scanned by Laura Cubbage-Draper, 2011.
 “About Naval Station Great Lakes – History,” Naval Station Great Lakes, (https://www.cnic.navy.mil/regions/cnrma/installations/ns_great_lakes/about/history.html : accessed 2 October 2017).
 Yates Stirling, Fundamentals of Naval Service, (Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott Company, 1917), 71; digital images, Google Books (https://books.google.com/books?id=SRTV_4GAx6UC&pg=PR3&lpg=PR3&dq=Yates+Stirling,+Fundamentals+of+Naval+Service&source=bl&ots=hF05mLKEqM&sig=PJI-mGpK9V0K_F3h4EDAskTkqmE&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiK4Y2IlNfWAhWB5iYKHbk_DZIQ6AEISTAJ#v=onepage&q=yeoman&f=false : accessed 4 October 2017).
 Francis Buzzell, The Great Lakes Naval Training Station: A History (Boston: Small, Maynard & Company, 1918), 118; digital images, Archive.org (https://archive.org/stream/greatlakesnavalt00buzziala#page/118/mode/2up : accessed 3 October 2017).