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LT Bruce D Skidmore Luck Bag picture

LT Bruce D. Skidmore

        LT Bruce Delbert Skidmore from Lansing, Michigan was a 1937 graduate of the US Naval Academy. His biography from the Lucky Bag reads "Quiet, cool, and unhurried, Skid gains just about what he desires, whether it be a seat in the crew or a pretty girl's affections. Although a first section man, Skid gives Colliers and Cosmo more weight than Nav and Steam. He likes good music, good companions, and a good time. Don't argue with him politically, because you can't win. Skid hopes to become a naval attaché, and has all the natural requisites for the duty. Not entirely intellectual, he has developed through naval training a fast left jab, a strong pipe, and an undue discrimination in rating the fair sex."  

        Commissioned as an Ensign in June 1937, he reported aboard USS Enterprise (CV-6) for his first shipboard assignment. By June 1940, Skidmore was promoted to Lieutenant Junior Grade and served aboard USS Augusta (CA-31) He received a temporary promotion to Lieutenant on 2 January 1942. LT Skidmore was serving as a gunnery spotter aboard the USS Houston (CA-30) when was sunk on March 1, 1942 during the Battle of Sunda Strait. Following the sinking of the Houston, 368 men were taken as prisoners of war by the Japanese. LT Skidmore was not among the survivors of the sinking.  

        Though owned by an officer aboard a doomed ship, these uniform pieces survived thanks to the simple uniform rules for men stationed in the South Pacific- travel light. Occasions for formal uniforms were rare, especially during wartime. Additionally, the climate in the tropics was very hard on woolen uniforms- they tended to mold quickly and needed frequent maintenance. As a result, men were encouraged to leave these uniforms behind.