Originally Published: November 10, 2015 7:26 p.m.
Everett F. Sanborn
City of Residence: Prescott
Branch of Service: U.S. Navy
Dates of Service: 1955-60
Rank: Radioman E5
From 1955 to 1960, the U.S. Navy turned this rebellious teenager who quit school at 17 to join the Marines into a somewhat respectable and moderately successful guy who is now well on his way to birthday number 78. When I went to the Marine recruiting office in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, the sergeant was out to lunch. While I waited outside, along comes the Navy Chief Petty Officer Jesse Bostick. I still remember him 60 years later. A smooth-talking southerner with a sales pitch you just could not turn down. So there I was in the U.S. Navy. Took boot camp in Bainbridge, Maryland, and then stayed there the rest of the year for Radio/Communications School. Graduated and was off to Long Beach, California. Next I was off to Norfolk, Virginia, for duty on a drone launching ship. And then for the last three years of my five, I went to Naples, Italy, to join the staff of the admiral who was the commander of Fleet Air Operations Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean. Those three years were the most enjoyable of my Navy career. All the officers on staff were pilots and a few were highly decorated WW II heroes.
One of my most interesting jobs while there was monitoring the communications of our U2 spy planes that flew over the Soviet Union. We would receive two communications from each flight using a code word plus the word "IN" when they left Peshawar and "OUT" when they safely arrived in Norway. At the time, all of this had the highest top-secret classification.The recently released movie "Bridge of Spies" is about CIA U2 pilot Gary Powers being shot down over Russia that became an international incident and a great embarrassment for the U.S. I had finished my Navy service in January of 1960 just prior to this incident. During my service we were deep in the Cold War, but no conflicts and no stories of great courage and sacrifice from me. There are, however, many veterans living here in Prescott who do have those stories to tell.