TERRE HAUTE, IND. (WTWO-WAWV) — 95 year old Gus Tabor of Terre Haute was 17 years old when he volunteered for the U.S. Navy during World War II.
He started out in Air Transport, but he wanted to do something with submarines.
And even though his mother was against it, he was assigned to a submarine tender which is a
ship that supports submarines. He spent a lot time in Guam, building a submarine base and he also carried out deck duty on the USS Sperry and the USS Proteus.
It was a dangerous… as the Japanese and Americans waged brutal long battle in the Pacific.
now I wasn’t so sure I would live…but sure the US would win the war, yes
He says as part of the crew of Sub Tender… he could ..at any time, be ordered to serve on a
sub. But his young age, of 17 prevented that from happening.
“There is not a submarine commander in the fleet that is going to be a 17 year old kid on a first tour of duty with a submarine,” said Tabor.
When the war was over, he was asked to be part of an elite fighting force called the Amphibious Scouts and Raiders, which later became known as the Navy SEAL’s. He spent several weeks training but when asked to commit to 5 years, he declined.
The reason, he had married a pretty Irish girl from Connecticut named Catherine.
“She said I won’t marry a career serviceman, if you’re going to stay in the Navy the answer is no,” Tabor recalled.
Gus did serve two more years in the North Atlantic as the U.S. monitored Soviet activity during
the Cold War.
After the service, he worked for a time in Connecticut and then they moved back to Terre Haute. Later in his career he worked for Union Carbide and then spent 20 years as a Federal law enforcement officer at
the U.S. Federal Prison in Terre Haute.