My paternal grandfather, James Joseph Kelley, was born in Brewer, Maine on July 7, 1896. He died in July, 1958, at the Chelsea Naval Hospital in Massachusetts. He served as an enlisted member of the Navy from 1914-1934. According to his "Continuous Service Certificate": (1) He enlisted on 9/11/1914 at the Navy Recruiting Station, Portsmouth, NH. ( I believe that he retired as a Senior Chief Petty Officer (E-8) in the Medical Corps). (2) He served aboard The USS PUTNAM (287), as a Pharmacist Mate (later, this rate became "Medical Corpsman"). She was homeported in New York City, then Boston, MA. I am not sure, but I believe that the PUTNAM was either a Destroyer or a Hospital Ship. (3) He was also stationed at Naval Hospitals in Norfolk, VA and Chelsea, MA.
After his retirement in 1934, he worked for the Massachusetts Maritime Commission. I am not sure what position he held there, but I believe he was involved in training certain crewmen in the US Merchant Marine. In a Letter of Appointment from the Commanding Officer, Naval ROTC Unit at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, dated 08/10/1942, he was found to be "mentally, morally, and professionally qualified" for appointment to rank of Ensign, (Hospital Corps) for Temporary Service in the United States Navy. He had been given the date of rank as 06/15/1942.
The rest is second hand information: My grandfather served in the Pacific Theatre of WWII. I had been told that while assigned to the USS Rescue (AH-18), anchored off shore, he was the senior medical officer on a section of the beach head, during the bloody Battle of Guadalcanal in 1942-43. He was under enemy fire with the Marines. He contracted a painful skin disease that plagued him for the rest of his life. However, he later refused to file for any medical disability, even though he was entitled to do so.
After the war, he was assigned to the Chelsea Naval Hospital, across from the Boston Navy Yard. Even though the Navy offered him the Executive Officer position and promotion to Lieutenant Commander, he declined. He had risen to the rank of full Lieutenant, and received his Honorable Discharge in 1946. I am making inquiries within my family to try to get my grandfather's SSN or Service ID number. No luck to date.
Several years ago, I submitted a photograph of my grandfather and me in our service dress blue uniforms to the "Navy Log" at the US Naval Memorial (Museum) in Washington, DC. (I had served for 10 years active duty, as a Naval Aviator and 13 years in the Naval Air Reserve.) I was able to include all my duty stations and awards with my photo, but my grandfather's photo has no record of his service displayed! I hope to correct that. I'd appreciate anyone who could point me in the right direction to gain access to his records.