Dennis A. Kelly is not only a veteran of World War II, but also a submarine veteran of the Korean War and Cold War, having served aboard 10 submarines during his twenty year career in the Navy; making the transition from diesel to nuclear powered submarines; retiring from active service as a Radioman Chief Petty Officer. Just prior to the Korean War, Shipwreck also served aboard the submarine USS POMFRET (SS-391) with former President (then Lieutenant) James Earl "Jimmy" Carter.
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Dennis A. "Shipwreck" Kelly was born in Los Angeles, California on December 28, 1927. He enlisted in the Navy in January 1945 and received basic training (boot camp) in San Diego. Upon completion of boot camp, Kelly was transferred to the Fleet Training Center at Oahu, Hawaii, for 16 weeks of Radio Operator School. Upon completion of of radio school, Kelly was transferred to COMSUBPAC communications in the bomb shelter at the Submarine Base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. He reported aboard the USS BUSHNELL (AS-15) in January of 1946, and rode her to Apra Harbor, Guam where he swapped duty stations with another radioman/seaman and began his career in submarines aboard the USS QUEENFISH (SS-393). His next assignment was USS BLOWER (SS-325) in 1947, followed by USS REDFISH (SS-395) from late 1947 to 1950 where he was detached in January 1948 and assigned TAD to the USS BAIROKO (CVE-115) to participate in "Operation Sandstone," the detonation of three nuclear bombs in Eniwetok Lagoon. His next assignment was aboard the USS POMFRET (SS-391) from 1950 to 1952,USS TINOSA (SS-283), recommissioning her in 1952, USS BLENNY (SS-324) and USS DIODON (SS-349) from 1952 to 1955, USS POMODON (SS-486) from 1957 to 1960 and USS SCULPIN (SSN-590) from 1960 to June 1964. He concluded his active duty career by riding SCULPIN (SSN-590) to Sydney, Australia in 1964 for the Coral Sea anniversary celebration. He was detached in Olongapo, Subic Bay, Philippine Islands and transferred stateside for discharge into the Fleet Reserve as chief radioman.
Entering the civilian world, Kelly went to work for Xerox Corporation in Irvine, California. He stayed with Xerox for 12-1/2 years, departing as a Senior Production Foreman. The next two years were spent as a yacht salesman for Uniflite Yachts in the Newport Beach, California, followed by two years running his own yacht maintenance business in the Newport Beach-Huntington Harbor area. Shipwreck is now fully retired and living in Fountain Valley, California. He is an active member of the Los Angeles Area "Diesel Boaters" Chapter of U.S. Submarine Veterans of World War II and the Los Angeles-Pasadena Base of United States Submarine Veterans Inc..