Alan Saddoris enlisted in the US Navy on January 7, 1964. He spent 46 days in boot camp at US Naval training center in San Diego, California. Alan contracted meningitis on February 26th of 1964, and spent nine months in recovery at Balboa Naval Hospital in San Diego. On August 2, 1964, all patients were evaluated and sent back to active duty or discharged, due to the Gulf of Tonkin Incident in international waters off Vietnam, where North Vietnamese torpedo boats fired on the USS Maddox.
Doctors advised Saddoris that he was unfit for active duty and since he still wanted to stay in the Navy, they placed him on temporary retirement, and stationed him out of the VA (Veterans' Administration) hospital in Des Moines, Iowa.

After returning to Des Moines and having a Navy Medical Board review along with a Veterans Board review, Saddoris was given a medical discharge on February 28, 1965. Saddoris was quoted as saying, "I got pretty salty over those nine months, while sharing a two bed cubical with a twenty year Boatswain Mate, a Marine Drill Instructor, and ten year Airdale (flat-top airman) off the USS Hancock. My cubical roommate, who was off the USS Hancock, missed the ships' movement since he was in the hospital, and the USS Hancock was the first flat-top sent to the South China Sea in the fall of 1964."




Return to main page for Clarke Veterans by Fern Underwood

Last Revised June 13, 2015