Woodbury County

Richard M. Ostert



Accidents, Enemy Planes and Sub Fail to Halt Sioux Cityan

Gunner’s Mate on Third Trip “Isn’t Sorry,” He Says

At a British Port—Special: Neither enemy submarine, airplane nor accident is likely to interrupt the world travels of a 25-year-old Sioux City, Iowa, sailor who landed here recently after his fourth voyage as a member of a gun crew aboard a United States merchant vessel.

A veteran of 18 months sea duty during which he covered almost 200,000 miles and visited ports in five countries, Richard M. Ostert, gunner’s mate third class, told Sunday of the day experiences of his first three cruises aboard a ship that has been carrying vital war cargoes to united nations forces in virtually every war theater.

On his first cruise covering some 70,000 miles, Ostert disclosed, his journey to ports in South America, Africa and India was interrupted while he and other members of the gun crew aboard the ship went into action against an enemy submarine.

On his second cruise, covering approximately 40,000 miles during which he touched such spots as Iraq and Australia, he helped fight off attacking enemy aircraft.

“Things were a little quieter on my third trip,” he said. “That cruise was marred only by a collision at sea.

"I guess I’ve been pretty lucky, I can’t say, however, that I’m sorry I went through those experiences. Every armed guard man, I suppose, expects some sort of action when he’s at sea, and if it means knocking out units of the enemy and delivering supplies to our forces and those of our allies, the risk is well worth the experience.”

Gunner’s Mate Ostert, a son of Leo P. Ostert, 14 W. 13th Street, Sioux City, enlisted in the naval reserve December 12, 1941, just after Japan made her sneak attack on Pearl Harbor. He has been a member of the armed guard since May, 1942.

Source: Sioux City Journal, October 18, 1943 (photo included)