Turner, Daniel N. Jr

Daniel Norman Turner was born on May 21, 1921 to Daniel and Joanna Turner, of St. Davids, Pennsylvania. His father was a World War I veteran. Daniel was the oldest of four children.

Daniel attended the Episcopal Academy, located in Merion.

Daniel enlisted in the Coast Guard in September, 1940. After basic training he was assigned to the USS Wakefield AP-21. The Wakefield was a troop transport manned by the Coast Guard. The ship was constructed as the SS Manhattan, queen of the United States Lines. Many cruise ships were constructed with federal subsidies for design so that they could be quickly converted to troop ships in time of a National Emergency.
Coast Guard Logo Shadow
The SS Manhattan was put into service to bring American civilians home from Europe at the beginning of World War II. She was then chartered for a two year period to serve as a troopship and  renamed as the Wakefield (Wakefield was the birthplace of George Washington.) The Wakefield was painted gray, and anti-aircraft guns, depth charges, and a degaussing system (to reduce the magnetic signature of the hull) were added. The ornamentation and plush acommodations were removed to allow for more troops.

In early July,  the Wakefield sailed from New York to North Carolina for extensive amphibious training. Later that month she sailed to Halifax to take on board 6,000 British troops to transport them to Cape Town, South Africa. Arriving on December 8, 1941, the day after Pearl Harbor, the Wakefield was rerouted to deliver the troops to Singapore.

The Wakefield arrived at Keppel Harbour, Singapore, on January 29th. On the 30th, while refueling dockside, the harbor was attacked by two formations of 27 Japanese bombers. The Wakefield escaped two near misses, but a third bomb hit and penetrated, destroying the sick bay. Five men were killed, and nine wounded.

Coast Guard Seaman 1st Class Daniel Norman Turner was killed in action on January 30, 1942. Daniel was awarded the Purple Heart and is remembered on the Tablets of the Buried at Sea at the Manila American Cemetery at Fort Bonifacio, Manila.


Research by Don Wambold, WCMSC