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Bob Jacobsen

Bob-Jacobsen-2Born July 31, 1922, Robert Clyde Jacobsen grew up an only child in Garibaldi, a small town on Tillamook Bay on the north coast of Oregon, about sixty miles west of Portland. He took to the water early. He first rowed a boat at age six. In high school he played basketball and baseball and ran track; he scrimmaged with the football team but did not play on it. (He may have had an ulterior motive for all this athletic activity. By his own account, bathtubs were rare and showers nonexistent in Garibaldi homes at the time, so many of the boys went out for every sport they could so they could take showers at school.)
He graduated in 1941 and went to work at a dockside fish-processing facility, gutting fish and cleaning and cooking crabs, an experience that left him with a lifelong aversion to crab salad.


Bob (left) and friend, Pearl Harbor, 1943

He enlisted in Portland on August 11, 1942. After boot camp, he was sent to carpentry school in San Diego, and then to the Macaw, still undergoing outfitting at Moore Dry Dock in Oakland. After the Macaw sank, he was assigned, along with a number of his shipmates, to the submarine base at Pearl Harbor, and later to the USS Oberon AKA14, an attack cargo vessel, and the USS Cacapon AO52, an oiler.


USS Cacapon AO52 off the Philippines (Date and photographer unknown.)

He mustered out of the Navy in 1955 and enrolled at the University of California in Berkeley, planning to major in physical education and history with an eye toward teaching and coaching high school kids, but he cut short his schooling to return home to Oregon to help care for his ailing grandmother. There he went to work as a boom man at a log dump, helping propel logs downriver to a sawmill. He later returned to California, got married, raised a family, pursued a career as a technician with Southern California Edison and continued rooting for the Dodgers, having started doing that before the war, long before either he or they moved to greater Los Angeles. Bob retired in 1988. He died peacefully, in the easy chair he liked to sit in in his garage at his home in Long Beach, on the morning of February 23, 2012. He was 89.


Photo courtesy of the Jacobsen family