Robert “Bob” Lydick
Date of birth: Oct. 17, 1923
Dates of service: 1943 to 1946
Hometown: Erie, Kan.
Theater and location of service: Pacific
Branch: U.S. Navy
Rank: Fire controlman second class
Unit and specialty: USS St. Paul fire controlman
Veterans organizations: VFW 3280
In his words: Bob Lydick left his job at a tool and dye shop in Kansas to enlist in the Navy and go to war. Many in his family had gone into the military, and he said he thought it was time for him to go too.
Operating a computer system that controlled the big guns, Lydick was onboard a heavy cruiser tasked with protecting aircraft carriers, lighter ships and other assets in the fleet, warning of subs, aircraft and enemy ships. “We were ready to do business,” he said. “Most of the time it was boring and routine,” he said, adding, “there were periods of excitement.”
Life aboard ship for Lydick was pretty good, he said, and he remembers the food served by the Navy cooks. “I liked Spam pretty well but I wasn’t too fond of Australia’s mutton,” he recalled.
When the war ended, Lydick returned home and used his GI Bill to go to college at New Mexico State University and study engineering.
Reflecting on the war, he said, “I just put it down as doing your duty. I did my duty.”
Veterans’ profiles are a weekly feature. To submit a profile, contact CNJ staff writer Sharna Johnson at 763-6991 or by e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org