Bernard's Story

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Bernard Louis Stoffel (Barney) died on January 22, 2018 at the age of 98. He is survived by his wife Elizabeth, daughter Karen Balfour (Paul), grandchildren Jeremy Smith (Stacey), Jessica Parker (Jason), and Taylor Newman (Dustin) and 1 1/2 great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife Hilda and his son Barney.
Enlisted in the Communication Reserve3 in October 1938. He volunteered for active duty in non-pay status in April 1939 and was assigned to the USS CIMARRON at Philadelphia.
The USS CIMARRON operated from Baton Rouge, Louisiana to Guantanamo Bay and Canal Zone. In the Canal Zone, he was introduced to submarines and in Baton Rouge, he met his future wife, Hilda, who was attending Louisiana State University at the time.
Finding it rough without pay as an RM3, he enlisted regular Navy and entered boot camp in San Diego, California in September 1939.
Early in 1940s, he was one of the first three Navy men assigned to the Marine detachment in Trinidad, British West Indies, Barney served as an RM2 on USS LAPWING at Trinidad beginning December 7, 1941 and copied the dispatch "Exercise War Plan Forty-six Against Japan."
He left Trinidad for sub school in 1943 and arrived New London as an RM1. Barney married Hilda who had graduated from Louisiana State University and was teaching school in Baton Rouge.
After sub school, he 'was sent to Australia via troop transport, landed at Brisbane and rode an Aussie troop train to Melbourne and Perth where he was soon assigned to the USS POMPON (SS-267). Stoffel made CRM and four patrols out of Perth, Pearl and Midway and left the USS POMPON (SS-267) at Majuro Aral on December 24, 1944. He was there when the bomb was dropped and was discharged at New Orleans in October 1945.
He immediately registered at Louisiana State University and graduated with an Electrical Engineering degree in 1949. Stoffel was commissioned as 2nd Lt in Army Signal Corps on a basis of two years advanced ROTC.
A 25 year civilian career was spent in Research and Development and commenced with Sidewinder and Terrior programs at NOTS, China Lake, California, and ended with NASA in manned spacecraft operations during Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Soyuz and Skylab programs.
Barney retired in February 1974 and since then has spent full time on hobbies including scuba diving, square and round dancing, sailing and traveling in their motor home.
A memorial service will be held at First Advent Christian Village in Live Oak, FL on Saturday, February 3 at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, please donate to Advent Christian Village.
Published on January 30, 2018
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