American Legion Post 310 was established in 1944 and named after John H. Gertz, a resident of our town in Little Ferry. He was sailor in the Navy attached to the Ship USS Juneau, during World War II. He perished and went down with the ship.The Ship USS Juneau: She was laid down by Federal Shipbuilding Company, Kearny, New Jersey, May 27 1940 launched 25 October1941, sponsored by Mrs. Harry I Lucas, wife of the mayor of the city of Juneau, Alaska, and commissioned 14 Februaryon Valentine’s Day 1942, CaptainLyman K. Swenson in command.They ran into trouble in the early morning hours of Friday, the thirteenth of November 1942. The crew of the USS Juneau and a few other US ships were off the coast of the Solo Man Islands helping to defend a base located on Guadalcanal. Shortly before 2 am, the Japanese made a surprise attack. The USS Juneau was hit by a torpedo that the crewmates believed to be intended for a neighboring ship. The hull was nearly broken in half. They retreated with some losses. Later that same morning, the USS Juneau joined the USS San Francisco so that they might help each other tend to injured men. During this time, a Japanese submarine had closed in on the unsuspecting ships. Two (possibly even three) torpedoes were fired. Both barely missed the San Francisco.The first passed right by the Juneau and ended up sinking to the bottom of the ocean. The second struck the shipalmost the exact same spot as the previous hit. In about twenty seconds the two halves of the Juneau were gone. The five Sullivan Brothers were also lost when the ship to which all five were assigned, USS Juneau (CL-52) was sunk on 13 November 1942. Those aboard the USS San Francisco found it hard to believe that there might be any survivors. Fearing another attack, they sought safe waters without attempting a rescue. John H. Gertz will never be forgotten at our post. Its men and women like him from yester year to today that keep our home land, the land of the brave and
the home of the free.