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Leo Siegenthaler joined the Navy in Seattle Washington in June, 1948 for a three year hitch. He received Basic Training in San Diego, then was assigned to 3 months in the Bakery. Navy life at this time was flipping do-nuts and going on liberty. He finally got his assignment for schooling to become a Disbursing Clerk, after which he was assigned to the USS Askari (ARL-30). Leo spent about 18 months aboard Askari, acting as Disbursing Clerk. The Askari operated out of San Diego at this time, with one cruise to Hawaii.

The North Koreans invaded South Korea on 25 June 1950. On 27 June, Leo Siegenthaler was transferred to the USS Diachenko, APD-123, and on 30 June 1950 the Diachenko headed west toward Korea. Leo missed the Inchon Invasion (in the Hospital at Sasebo, diagnosed as polio, which turned out to be mononucleosis), but was returned to Diachenko in time for Wonsan, Hungnam, etc.

The Diachenko went back to The States in May 1951 for overhaul. Leo's three years were just about up, but his enlistment had been extended by the US Government. In March 1952, the Diachenko was back in action off the Korean coast, and Leo was still aboard.

In early July 1952, the Diachenko's squadron mate USS Bass (APD-124) was scheduled for a return to The States. As Leo's extended enlistment was close to expiration, he was transferred to Bass to be sent home. The Bass arrived on the West Coast in late July, and three weeks later, Leo Siegenthaler was a civilian again.

Comments courtesy of Leo's Nephew, Ron Bansemer

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