Waters, Kenneth Alva

Kenneth Alva Waters
Born: January 13, 1920
Hometown: Hartford, IN
Class: 1943
Service: Merchant Marine
Position / Rank: Third Mate
Date / Place of death: September 21, 1943 /
Khorramshahr, Iran
Date / Place of burial: September 21, 1943 / Christian
Cemetery, Khorramshar, Iran
Age: 22

 

 

Kenneth A. Waters reported to the U.S. Maritime Commission Cadet School at Algiers,
LA on the evening of September 22, 1941. After completing his initial training he was
detached on December 4, 1941 to join the SS Zoella Lykes as Deck Cadet. He signed
on aboard the SS Zoella Lykes on December 23, 1941 and remained aboard until he
signed off on September 30, 1942. He then reported to Kings Point where he was
assigned to Section A-105 before completing his training at Kings Point in April 1943.
After graduation he served as Third Mate aboard the SS Francis Lewis from May to July
1943.

On July 15, 1943 at Philadelphia, PA Kenneth A. Waters signed on aboard the SS
Exhibitor as Third Mate. The ship sailed without escort on the evening of July 22, 1943
for Freemantle, Australia via the Panama Canal. Upon arrival at Freemantle the
Exhibitor was assigned to a convoy for the voyage to the Persian Gulf. The Exhibitor
arrived in the Persian Gulf on September 12, 1943. By September 19 the Exhibitor was
anchored off the Iranian port of Khorramshahr and began discharging its cargo.

At 1505 on September 19, 1943, while he was supervising cargo operations, Kenneth
Waters was pinned between the body of a truck that was being unloaded and the ship’s
#2 Resistor House. Two hours later he was taken ashore by boat to the U.S. Army 21st
Station Hospital for treatment. There he was diagnosed with traumatic rupture of the
duodenum and shock resulting from the accident. Despite the efforts of the doctors
and staff at the Station Hospital, Kenneth W aters succumbed to his injuries at 0602
September 21, 1943. He was buried the same day.

Based on his merchant marine service, Kenneth A. Waters was posthumously awarded
the Atlantic War Zone Bar, Mediterranean-Middle East War Zone Bar, Pacific War Zone
Bar, the Victory Medal and Presidential Testimonial Letter. Kenneth A. Waters is
amongst the more than 1,800 names listed on the World War II memorial on the
grounds of the Blackford County, Indiana Court House.

Kenneth A. Waters was the second of Walter W. Waters and Frances Templeton
Waters’ three children and their oldest son. Kenneth’s sister, Hope was three years
older, while his little brother, Calvin, was five years younger. According to the 1930
U.S. Census, Walter Waters was employed as a machinist in a gear factory. By the
1940 U.S. Census, Walter was still working as a machinist, while Frances was working
as a sales woman in a department store. At the same time Kenneth is listed has having
completed one year of college while little brother Calvin was working on a newspaper
delivery route.

The April, 1943 edition of “Polaris” described Kenneth Waters upon his graduation;
“Kenneth A. Waters, referred to as “Fluid” really doesn’t know whether
he’s coming or going. Regarding by the prelims as a great sage. Is the
mathematical genius of his class and happily proves it for the edification
of all.”

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