Beaufort’s Jay Fields, 76, joined the United States Navy in Miami in 1965. After boot camp at Great Lakes, Ill., he was assigned to USS Kearsarge (CV-33) in the Pacific. The ship was deployed to the western Pacific, including Vietnam for six months. In 1967, he separated from active duty to attend Florida Southern College under the GI Bill. He joined the active Naval Reserve and trained to become a Navy diver. For nearly the next 30 years he served as a diver, including recovery work on the Shuttle Challenger, a number of downed aircraft and the Ellis Island Ferry. In 1986 he was promoted to Chief Warrant Officer. In 1999, while serving attached to USS Inchon (LPH/MCS 12) and deployed to the Mediterranean, he served ashore in Albania providing critical communications between the ship and its helos. He retired in 2001 as a Chief Warrant Officer – 4.
– Compiled by John Chubb, American Legion Post 9. For nominations, contact email@example.com.