Central Coast Veteran Recollects WWII Service Aboard USS Idaho

Mon May 27th, 2024

Sailors aboard USS Idaho battleship surrounding 14

Correspondent Tom Wilmer became friends with Annie Pivarski’s dad, Stanley “Steve” Pivarsky a few months before he passed on.

A veteran of WWII, Steve, like most others who served, rarely ever talked about his three years shipboard on the battleship USS Idaho.

When Wilmer met Steve, he was living in Morro Bay, terminal with cancer.

After a few months of spending time with him, Wilmer asked if he would agree to an interview about his WWII experiences, and Wilmer said, "I think, partly because I had served in the Air Force, he felt a kinship, and agreed to share.”

USS Idaho (BB-42) anchored in Hvalfjörður, Iceland, October 1941

A few months after Wilmer conducted the interview in 2012, Pivarski passed away May 4, 2013. His daughter Annie and Wilmer remain indebted to Steve for sharing his story--as his voice and story will live on forever.

USS Idaho firing 14

We are sharing Pivarski’s interview 11 years after his passing as a Memorial Day tribute to his service as a gunner’s mate aboard the USS Idaho manning one of the 14” gun turrets.

Following completion of basic training at Great Lakes Naval base north of Chicago, Illinois, Steve remained shipboard from 1942 through the conclusion of the war—including aboard ship in Tokyo Bay for the surrender ceremonies held on the neighboring battleship USS Missouri.

Stanley, Steve Pivarski achieved the rank of Gunner’s Mate 3rd Class and was the recipient of both a Bronze and Silver Star for meritorious service.

Central Coast Veteran Recollects WWII Service Aboard USS Idaho

Sailors aboard USS Idaho battleship surrounding 14" gun turret