Edmund G. Klepps

My grandfather, CMM Edmund G. Klepps was a Plank Owner on the USS Helena (CL-50). On January 8, 2013, at the age of 98 he went home to the Lord.

My grandfather never talked much about his experience on the USS Helena when I was growing up. If we asked him direct questions, he would answer. But he never volunteered information, it was just too painful for him to talk about. But in 2002, he started writing his life story, and much of it concerned his time on the Helena. He always wanted to release his life story as a book, but just never got to it. I am in the process of editing his story. The book will be published on February 5, 2014, which would have been my grandfather’s 100th birthday.

Now, on the 70th anniversary of the sinking of the USS Helena, I would like to share a part of that book. With the Depression gripping the economy, he enlisted in the Navy in 1935 from his hometown of Terryville, Connecticut. He went to machinist school and was assigned to the battleship USS Mississippi. He left the Navy at the end of his enlistment. But a couple of months later, finding the job prospects still limited, he decided to reenlist. Here is his story, starting with his reenlistment, and going through his rescue from Kula Gulf. Except for some minor editing, this is in his words, as he wrote it in 2002.

Signed----Kenneth Finger

The Book

The Pre-War Years

Pearl Harbor

The Battles

Kula Gulf



CWO Klepps Awards

CWO Klepps Pictures

Shipmate Collections