North High School Wall of Honor
George Charles Coon
Would have graduated in Class of June, 1951
Research done by Claradell Shedd, Class of 1953. PAGE IN PROGRESS.
George Charles Coon

George would have graduated in the June, 1951 North High class, but enlisted in theUS Navy before North High graduation. His service number was _________. George's next of kin was listed as Mr. and Mrs. George B. Coon, ______ Harding Road, Des Moines, IA. Information below will be edited appropriately when the correct information is received from George.

George Charles Coon
Year   Rank   Status
1951 x Enlisted/
US Navy
x Enlisted in downtown Des Moines, Iowa.
June, 1951 x Schooling x Would have graduated from the June, 1951 North High School class.
June, 1949 x Training x Completed boot camp. US Naval Training Center, Great Lakes, IL
1951? x Stationed x *USS Peterson (DE-152) Destroyer. Cuba.
March 2, 1950 x US Navy/
Radarman 3rd Class
x Discharged from Regular Navy; US NAVRECSTA, NAVBASE, CHASN, S.C. Released from active duty and returned to Des Moines where Bill became a member of the Active Naval Reserve Unit there.
March, 1950-
Oct., 1950
x Employment x Bookkeeper at Fred Keating Coal Company, Des Moines, Iowa
June, 1950 x Event x Korean War began.
October,1950 x US Navy/Recalled x Recalled to activty duty and reported to the US Naval Station in Chicago, Il. Assigned to USS Pigeon (AM-374) which was in mothballs in Orange, TX.
January, 1951 x US Navy Reserves/
x ***USS Pigeon (AM-374) Minesweeper. Left Orange, TX after recommissioning and proceeded to Charleston, SC where the Minecraft Base became its homeport. The Pigeon joined three other Minesweepers to become Mine Squadron 8. Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; Summer of 1951
Summer, 1951 x Stationed x ***USS Pigeon (AM-374) Minesweeper. Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. One of many operations was to tow a target sled for the Battleship Iowa during gunnery practice. The practice began at a distance of about 20 miles, and the USS Iowa was very accurate with its 16 inch guns. Unfortunately, that was not the case when it was within seven miles and firest its 5 inch guns. Firing was terminated when a salvo splashed too close to the Pigeon.
September, 1952 x Stationed x The USS Pigeon was scheduled to leave for a tour of the Mediterranean, and Bill was transferred off of the ship to be released from active duty. He returned to Des Moines.
September, 1952 x Schooling x Enrolled in Drake University, Des Moines, IA.
Aug. 23 ,1953 x US Navy Reserves/
x Honorable discharge from active duty on August 23, 1953 through Hdqtrs., Ninth Naval District, Great Lakes, IL
date x Employment x Where and when?
date x Family x Marriage to Nanette Bradley.
x Retirement/Civilian x Living in IA and FL.
Photo of USS Peterson (DE-152) Destroyer Escort
USS Peterson; DE-152 Awards, Citations, and Campaign Ribbons
Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row: Combat Action Ribbon (retroactive) - Navy Expeditionary Medal - American Campaign Medal
Second Row: Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal - European-Africa-Middle East Campaign Medal w/ 1 star - WWII Victory Medal
third Row: National Defense Service Medal w/ star - Antarctic Service Medal - Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
*USS Peterson (DE-152)
USS Peterson (DE–152) was a Edsall class destroyer escort, the first United States Navy ship so named. This ship was named for Chief Water Tender Oscar V. Peterson (1899–1942), who was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously for his actions during the Battle of the Coral Sea.

Peterson recommissioned in the Boston Naval Shipyard, 2 May 1952, Lt. Comdr. Kay S. Irwin in command. Peterson spent the next five years operating with Escort Squadron 10 off the east coast of the United States, from Newport, Rhode Island, to Key West, Florida, and in the Caribbean Sea. During these years she saw considerable duty as Fleet Sonar Schoolship at Key West. In July 1953 she visited Bergen, Norway, and Copenhagen, Denmark. In October 1954 she conducted simulated convoy escort exercises to waters off Hamilton Inlet, Labrador. In July 1955 she cruised to Edinburgh, Scotland, and Copenhagen. In May 1957 while in the Caribbean she tracked Jupiter missiles fired from Cape Canaveral and in August played a vital role in the first successful recovery of a missile nose cone, attaching a buoy-float to the nose cone flotation unit.
***Photo and Call Sign of USS Pigeon (AM-374) Minesweeper.
Pic on right: Combat Information Center on USS Pigeon while in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; 1951
***USS Pigeon (AM-374)
USS Pigeon (AM-374) was an Auk-class minesweeper acquired by the United States Navy for the dangerous task of removing mines from minefields laid in the water to prevent ships from passing.

Pigeon departed Orange, Texas, on 2 January 1951 to join Mine Squadron 8 at Charleston, South Carolina. Tactics and Atlantic Fleet exercises took her to Norfolk, Virginia, and to Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. Spent time in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba the summer of 1951.
Photos will be replaced when we receive appropriate photos of George Coon.
Present pictures are of Bill Grother, Class of 1949.
USS Hubbard; Hunters Point, CA Hunters Point, CA; July, 1949 USS Kyes; November, 1949; Off of CA.
George Charles Coon
United States Navy
US Navy Seal

US Navy Insignia

Aboard the USS James E. Kyes/1949

Radioman; E5
(1) Information was obtained from the Records on Military Personnel Who Died, were Missing in Action, or Prisoners of War as a result of the Vietnam War. This document can be found online at the National Archives and Records Administration at

(2) The comprehensive list of names from North High's 1893-2018 graduation classes are from Claradell Shedd's North Des Moines High School website. The names of North High School graduates can be found online at: George Charles Coon's 1951 class page is:
01/15/11: Currently living in IA and FL.
Music: "Anchors Aweigh" by the U.S. Navy Band.
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