North High School Wall of Honor
Bill Lee Grother
Class of January, 1949
Bill Lee Grother
Research done by Claradell Shedd, Class of 1953. PAGE IN PROGRESS.
Bill Lee Grother

Bill graduated in the January, 1949 North High class. He enlisted in the US Navy under a program of serving one year on active duty and then completing his obligation with either four years in the active reserve or six years in the inactive reserve. His service number was 3236816. Bill's next of kin was listed as Mr. and Mrs. Jake Grother, 3846 Columbia Street, Des Moines, IA.

Bill Lee Grother
Year   Rank   Status
January, 1949   Graduated   Graduated from North High School, Des Moines, IA.
March 3, 1949 x Enlisted/
US Navy
x Enlisted in downtown Des Moines, Iowa.
June, 1949 x Training x Completed boot camp. USN Receiving Station; US Naval Station, San Diego, Caifornia.
June 22, 1949-
Sept.17, 1949
x Stationed x *USS H.E. Hubbard (DD748) Destroyer. Assigned to crew which was in drydock at Hunters Point, CA, which is near San Francisco. The ship was being prepared for decommissioning and mothballs. Bill was a member of the deck crew.
Sept.17, 1949-
Feb.21, 1950
x Stationed x **USS James E. Kyes (DD-787) Destroyer. Given the opportunity to join the O Division and become a radarman striker. His duty station was in the Combat Information Center, and he later became an RDSN (Radar Seaman). The USS Kyes was assigned as plane guard for either the USS Valley Forge or the USS Boxer when it received a squadron of jet planes which flew from San Diego to become the first jets permanently assigned on an aircraft carrier. Bill was watching on a radar scope as this exercise occurred.
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
Feb., 22, 1980 x Family x Marriage to Marilyn Munzenmaier, NHS, Class of June, 1953.
Jan., 1989 x Employment x Retired from Farm Bureau Insurance Claims Department.
date-present x Retirement/Civilian x Living in IA.
June 14, 2017 x Deceased x Clarissa C. Cook Hospice House, Bettendorf, IA. Interred at Iowa Veterans Cemetery, Van Meter, IA.
*Insignia and photo of USS H.E. Hubbard (DD-748) Destroyer
*USS H.E. Hubbard (DD-748)
She remained in the Pacific Reserve Fleet until recommissioned 14 May 1949 but decommissioned 12 December without having gone to sea. Following the invasion of South Korea, Harry E. Hubbard recommissioned 27 October 1950, Comdr. Burris D. Wood in command. After initial shakedown along the coast of California, she departed San Diego 29 January 1951 for two months of training in Hawaiian waters. She then steamed to assist the U.N. Forces in Korea.
**Insignia and photo of USS James E. Kyes (DD-787) Destroyer
**USS James E. Kyes (DD-787)
Following operations out of San Diego and San Francisco, California, and Bremerton, Washington, she departed San Pedro, California, 2 September 1948 for duty in the Far East. Arriving Yokosuka, Japan, on 30 September, she conducted surveillance patrols in the East China Sea and the Tsushima Strait. She steamed to Inchon, Korea, on 20 January 1949 as tensions mounted on that peninsula. Returning to Japan on 28 January, she resumed sea patrols until departing Yokosuka on 3 April for San Diego.

After arrival on 24 April, James E. Kyes operated out of San Diego until sailing for the western Pacific on 23 June 1950, two days before North Korean troops crossed the 38th parallel to sweep down through South Korea.
***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.
USS Hubbard; Hunters Point, CA Hunters Point, CA; July, 1949 USS Kyes; November, 1949; Off of CA.
Bill Lee Grother
Radarman 3rd Class
United States Navy
US Navy Seal

US Navy Insignia

Aboard the USS James E. Kyes/1949

Radarman 3rd Class
(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: Bill Lee Grother's 1949 class page is:
01/05/11: Currently living in IA. Died: 06/14/17.
Music: "Anchors Aweigh" by the U.S. Navy Band.
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