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Donald Naggatz

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Donald Naggatz Obituary
Donald Ross Naggatz

Donald Ross Naggatz, 90, Gulf Breeze, passed peacefully to be with his Lord and Savior, 1/24/14. He was born in Hastings Neb. and was raised in Hankinson and Fairmount ND. Don was preceded in death by parents Frank and Kathryn, brother Elmer (Clayton WI) and sister Laura (Miami). He leaves behind his beloved wife of 63 years, Beryl; sons Cmdr. (ret.) Jeff Naggatz and Gigi, Brad Naggatz and Cheryl and Ted all of Gulf Breeze; daughter Holly Tilson of Sanford FL; 11 grandchildren, 4 great grandchildren and several adopted cousins.

Dad cherished family above any earthly creations and we cherished him right back with his wit & wisdom, humor, poetry and his great stories. He was a member of the WW II generation and he was proud of his devotion to country and the great victory they achieved over tyranny. We saw him as a hero, but he just saw himself as "holding up his end".

Dad enlisted in Jan./42 and within a few weeks was on duty on the SS Pan Atlantic as a member of the Navy Armed Guard. The ship was a part of Convoy PQ 17, enroute to Murmansk Russia via the Arctic sea route. July 6/42, Dad's ship was attacked and sunk in the Barents Sea by German bombers. He managed to survive in a lifeboat for 3 days and was fortunate to be picked up by a British screening vessel. By Oct./42 he was back on duty on the SS Israel Putnam in sea support of the invasion of N. Africa. The following year he transferred from the Armed Guard to advanced gunnery school and duty aboard the new light cruiser Wilkes Barre as a twin 5 in. gun mount captain (GM 1c). The Williebee joined Halsey's famous fast carrier task force 38 at Ulithi Atoll. As a member of Vice Adm. J.S. McCain's task group 38.1, the Williebee would steam over 100,000 sea miles, fight in over 20 battles and earn 5 battle stars including Luzon, Iwo Jima and Okinawa. Dad was honorably discharged on Jan. 13/46.

Dad always believed that generations should never forget what his generation did. With that said, I'm sure he would be honored if you would consider supporting organizations that still tell the amazing stories of the WW II generation. One of his favorites was the Navy Armed Guard WW II Veterans Assn. and its excellent quarterly publications. Donations can be made by going to or [email protected]

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Published in Pensacola News Journal on Jan. 30, 2014
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