Plymouth County

Harold A. Mulford, Jr.




Kingsley Youth Rescued At Sea From Life Raft
Harold Mulford Tells of Sinking Ship In the Pacific

“We accomplished our mission,” said Harold A. Mulford Jr., of near Kingsley, telling of the sinking of his ship, the heavy cruiser Astoria, August 9, in the Solomon island area, says the Sioux City Journal.

A petty officer, third class, Mulford was left adrift on a life raft with 15 other men, including Sioux Cityan, Melvin Foster, 3214 Fourth Avenue place.

Mulford said the Astoria was one of the warships sent to protect transport ships carrying Marines to an advanced base in the islands.

“That was our job and we did it,” he said.  “The Japs didn’t ever get close to the transports and the Marines probably have the situation well in hand by now.”

Officer Mulford told of going over the Astoria side shortly before 3 a.m., when the commander gave the order to abandon ship.  He was in the shark infested waters a short time and then was able to get aboard one of the ship’s life rafts.  About 16 men on the raft floated until 9 a.m. the next day, when they were picked up by a destroyer.

Officer Mulford said the Astoria floated until about noon and then sank.  He said the side of the cruiser looked like a sieve from the Japanese gunfire.

Officer Mulford’s parents reside northwest of Kingsley.  He enlisted in the Navy here two years ago and underwent basic training at the Great Lakes Navy training station.

Last winter, Officer Mulford was home on leave and left to return to his vessel, December 6.  When he arrived at Pearl Harbor, he found that his ship, a battleship, had left and he was assigned to the Astoria.

Officer Mulford has a ribbon with a star attached to his blouse.  When questioned as to what the star signified, he said, “One star is given for participation in from one to 150 engagements.”

His mother proudly added, “And Harold has 20 marks toward the second star,” meaning he has been in 20 engagements at sea.

Home on leave, Officer Mulford, has high praise for the Navy as a place to serve one’s country.

Source:  LeMars Semi-Weekly Sentinel, October 20, 1942

NEWS of the BOYS in the SERVICE

Harold A. Mulford, Jr., fire control third class mate, Navy, who is stationed on the West Coast, is spending a fifteen-day furlough in the home of his parents, Mr. and Mrs. H. A. Mulford.

Source: LeMars Semi-Weekly Sentinel, February 2, 1943

Our Neighbors in the Service

Kingsley, Iowa—Harold A. Mulford, Jr., is spending a two-week leave here in the home of his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Harold A. Mulford. He will report for naval duty on the west coast.

Source: The Sioux City Journal, June 10, 1943

NEWS of the BOYS in the SERVICE

Harold Mulford Jr., arrived home last week from the east coast for a short furlough in the home of his parents, Mr. & Mrs. Harold Mulford Sr., of Kingsley. He has recently completed his fourth year in the U.S. Navy, and now has been transferred to the Naval aviation section of the service and will be sent to school.

Source: LeMars Semi-Weekly Sentinel, November 21, 1944

More Pictures of Plymouth Countyans In Uniformed Services
[Group of photographs published on front page of the newspaper]

Harold and Jack Mulford

Source: LeMars Globe-Post, January 29, 1945