Branch: U. S. Navy
Date of Service: WWII
Home Town: Pine Lake
Russell, Harry and Raymond Stenberg, Christmas 1944
Raymond Earnest Stenberg was born in Thief River Falls, Minnesota on November 25, 1918 to Martin and Cora Monson Stenberg. Martin, an 1892 Norwegian immigrant, and Cora made their home on a farm in Pine Lake Township near Gonvick. Raymond had brothers Maurice, Helmer, Clifford, Russell and Harry and a sister Clara.
Raymond enlisted in the United States Navy on June 13, 1939. He was a sailor on board the USS Vincennes which went through the Panama Canal in March of 1942 en route to the war in the Pacific Theater.
The USS Vincennes was sunk on August 9, 1942 in the Battle of Savo Island, part of the Guadalcanal Campaign. Although 322 of his fellow sailors did not survive, Raymond managed to stay alive until he was rescued the next day by the USS Bagley. (Note the irony of the name!)
Raymond’s next ship was the USS Santa Fe where he remained until the end of the war. The Santa Fe was a much luckier ship than the Vincennes. The WWII exploits of the Santa Fe and the USS Franklin are told in the 2003 book “Lucky Lady: The World War II Heroics of the USS Santa Fe and Franklin” by Steve Jackson. Raymond was released from active duty on September 10, 1945.
Raymond married Phyllis Mae Dahl, daughter of Ole and Betsy Dahl of Gonvick on October 11, 1952 and they had children Kevin and Cynthia.
Raymond died at age 66 on January 1, 1985.
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