North High School Wall of Honor
George Wilfred Gaekle, Jr.
Class of June, 1939
Research done by Claradell Shedd, Class of 1953. PAGE IN PROGRESS
George Wilfred Gaekle, Jr.
George was a member of North High's class of June, 1939. His next of kin was Mr. George W. Gaekle, 1341 Washington Avenue, Des Moines, IA. George's service number was xxxx.
George Wilfred Gaekle, Jr.
Year   Rank/Rating   Status
June, 1939 x x x Graduated from North High, Des Moines, IA
date   Employed
  Oil Company; messenger role
1942 x US Coast Guard x Enlisted in Des Moines
1942 x US Coast Guard/
Storekeeper 2ndC
x One month of Basic Training;
Alameda Coast Guard Training Base.
Sept., 1945
x US Coast Guard x Government Island, CA; 40 miles from San Francisco.
Sept. 1945-April, 1946 x Enroute x Troop ship, *USS Admiral H.T. Mayo (AP-125), to Okinawa, Japan, Korea. Sailing from Fort Mason, San Francisco, CA.
(3 round trips) Korean trip: December, 1945-January, 1946.
May, 1946 x Discharged x Discharged from US Coast Guard. Wilmington, CA.
1946-1948 x Student x Drake University, Des Moines, IA.
1948-1949 Graduated University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA; BA, Political Science
Fall, 1949-
Fall, 1950
x Student/Graduated x Master in Public Administration; University of Denver
April, 1951 x US Navy/Recalled x Recalled. Great Lakes Training Center.
x x Enroute x To San Francisco, CA
date x x Served on Guam.
x x Enroute x San Francisco to Guam, Port of Inchon, Korea (in Inchon for two hours while we picked up military personnel and then returned back to States) (3 round trips)
1952 x Discharged x Discharged from US Navy.
1952 x Civilian x Living in Colorado.
2010 x x x Has lived for years in Modesto, CA.
*USS Admiral H. T. Mayo, a 9,676-ton (light displacement) Admiral W. S. Benson class transport built at Alameda, California to the Maritime Commission's P2-SE2-R1 design, was commissioned in April 1945. After shakedown she steamed to the Atlantic and, in June, carried 5,819 released prisoners of war from Le Havre, France, to Boston. Her next voyage took her to Marseilles, France, where she embarked 4,888 quartermaster and engineer troops and transported them to Okinawa, arriving in September. Admiral H. T. Mayo then began the first of several "Magic Carpet" trips, bringing servicemen home from the Western Pacific. The ship completed the last of these voyages in April 1946 and sailed for New York, where she was decommissioned in May 1946 and transferred, via the Maritime Commission, to the U.S. Army.

Specifics of the USS Admiral H.T. Mayo:
What Goes On Inside the Mayo

If you were to take the entire population of a town the size of Las Vegas, New Mexico, and put it on board a ship 608 feet long, that displaced 24,000 tons, and traveled through the briny deep at 25 miles an hour, you would have to admit that you had accomplished something out of the ordinary.
Inside this huge structure, however, is a veritable beehive of activity, one that has the makeup, equipment, and modern conveniences of that most ultra-modern city.

A ship's service store which wells everything from cigars to ladies' silk stockings, does a tremendous business; as does the clothing store which can completely outfit any member of our crew.

A group of experts who can do a neat job of arc-welding, or wield a hammer and saw from which will emanate library shelves or a portable stage for entertaining troops. A fire-fighting unit that is made up of expert ex-firemen from back home.

Our engine rooms ( there are two of them) are formidable things to see, manned by engineers, electricians, firemen, and water tenders. With a machinery plant that cost approximately $5,000,000, the engineering department is responsible for 20,000 horsepower, 80,000 gallons of fresh water every 24 hours, as well as 18,000 kilowatts of electricity.

Our gigantic fuel tanks have a capacity of over one million gallons of fuel oil, which is enough to take the Mayo around the world, plus 106 vent systems, 30 miles of piping, over 300,000 rivets, 190 miles of welding, and a huge fresh water storage tank that will allow 800,000 gallons of emergency supply, complete a top-notch engineering project.

When it comes to show, well the figures we are going to give you are astounding. For example, it took 5,000 lbs. of ham to feed the troops in one single day. It took 2,000 lbs. of pork sausage for one breakfast alone. And speaking of one breakfast it might interest you to know that it requires 14,780 fresh eggs... it took all night to crack them.

A few other items we might mention are that yesterday's menu called for 7,000 lbs of potatoes, 2,500 lbs of sugar, 1,800 loaves of bread, 1,000 lbs. of coffee, 2,000 lbs. of pears, 800 lbs. of rice, 540 lbs. of butter, 350 gallons of ice cream, 1,000 lbs. of milk powder, -- and 12 lbs. of that precious little black stuff that you can't get in the States, -- pepper.

All of our foodstuffs come from a gigantic warehouse that has over a quarter of a million lbs. of meat, 170,000 lbs. of flour, 100,000 lbs. of sugar, potatoes, and fresh vegetables each, and approximately 400 tons of canned goods.

If you should be taken ill, even seriously, although we hope this never happens, our hospital, complete in every detail, with treatment clinic, x-ray lab, pharmacy, biological lab, and operating room, can handle any medical situation.

Beyond the horizon, by day and night, in fog or rain, our seeing-eye Radar is able to indicate the approach of another ship to the navigator. Our ship is steered by a man who turns a small wheel; electricity transmits his instructions to a great hydraulic ram which swings the rudder, weighing many tons, from side to side.

We have, as you know, the best band in the service, made up of some of the leading musicians from the most famous dance bands in the country. The best radio programs obtainable are sent out over our loud-speakers for the entertainment of all hands. On a good sunny day, you won't find a better sun-bathing beach anywhere than on the decks of the USS Admiral H. T. Mayo.

USS Admiral H.T. Mayo (AP-125) Coming Home!

US Coast Guard seal


US Navy seal

George Wilfred Gaekle, Jr.
US Coast Guard; US Navy

George Gaekle's photo

US Coast Guard: Storekeeper 2nd Class

US Navy Insignia
(1) The World War II Army Enlistment Records contain information on more than nine million indivdual enlistments. These records can be found online 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 Wilfred Gaekle, Jr.'s class page is:
05/23/10. Died May 24, 2010 in Modesto, CA.
Music: "Anchors Aweigh"
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