North High School Wall of Honor
Floyd William Lancaster
Graduated from North High; June, 1943
Research done by Claradell Shedd, class of 1953. PAGE IN PROGRESS
Floyd William Lancaster
Floyd William Lancaster graduated from North High in the June, 1943 class. His next of kin was Mr. E.B. Johnson, 1817 13th Street, Des Moines, IA. Floyd enlisted in the US Navy at the Des Moines Recruiting Office. His service number was 7570836.
Floyd William Lancaster
Year x Rank/Event x Status
June, 1943 x x x Graduated from North High School.
November 17, 1943 x Enlisted
US Navy
x Enlisted at Des Moines Recruiting Office located in a building east of the Court House.
March, 1944-45 x Training/
x St. Ambrose/Davenport for one year.
1945 x Training
x Marquette University/Milwaukee training for officers (like ROTC); one semester equivalent
date x Decision x War in Germany ended. Had to decide whether I wanted to sign up for an additional six years or go to the regular Navy. Chose the regular Navy.
date x Training x Basic Training at Great Lakes, IL.
date x Enroute x Train from Great Lakes, IL to area near San Jose, CA.
date x Enroute x Ship to Hawaii; *USS Saratoga (CV-3) to Pearl Harbor for one week. Then to Manila Bay in the Philippines. When we arrived there, there were many ships going out with Japanese prisoners going back to Japan. Stayed on the USS Saratoga (which served as a floating hotel) and continued to unload cargo from various ships. Then we "transferred" into Manila.
date x Enroute x Manila to San Francisco on APL (American President Lines).
date x Enroute
x At Yerba Buena Island. Had tonsillitis, so spent time in sick bay.
date x Enroute x Train from San Francisco to Kansas City, MO.
June, 1946 x Discharged/
US Navy
x Mustered out in Kansas City, MO.
date x Enroute x Train from Kansas City, MO to Des Moines, IA.
1946-1948 x School x Drake University on the GI Bill. Graduated 1948.
1948-1950 x Employed x Taught school for two years: math.
1950 x Married x Married. Where and when?
1950's x School x Back to Drake University for master's degree.
date x Employed x Taught math at Johnston High School
1988 x Retired x From teaching.
1988-Present x Civilian x Retired. Living in Des Moines, IA.
*USS Saratoga (CV-3)
USS Saratoga (CV-3) was the second aircraft carrier of the United States Navy, the fifth ship to bear her name. She was commissioned one month earlier than her sister and class leader, Lexington, which is the third actually commissioned after Langley and Saratoga. As Saratoga was visually identical to Lexington, her funnel was painted with a large black vertical stripe to assist pilots in recognizing her. This identifying mark earned her the nickname "Stripe-Stacked Sara." Saratoga, Enterprise, and Ranger were the only fleet aircraft carriers of the United States Navy built before the war to survive and serve throughout the U.S. involvement in World War II.

She was laid down on 25 September 1920, as Lexington class Battle Cruiser #3 by the New York Shipbuilding Corporation, at Camden, New Jersey; construction canceled and re-ordered as an aircraft carrier and reclassified CV-3 on 1 July 1922, in accordance with the Washington Naval Treaty limiting naval armaments; launched on 7 April 1925; sponsored by Mrs. Curtis D. Wilbur, wife of the Secretary of the Navy; and commissioned on 16 November 1927, Captain Harry E. Yarnell in command.

Saratoga arrived at Ulithi on 7 February and sailed three days later with Enterprise and four other carrier task groups. After landing rehearsals with Marines at Tinian on 12 February, the carrier force carried out diversionary strikes on the Japanese home islands on the nights of 16 February and 17 February, before the landings on Iwo Jima. Saratoga was assigned to provide fighter cover while the remaining carriers launched the strikes on Japan, but in the process, her fighters raided two Japanese airfields. The force fueled on 18 February and 19 February, and on 21 February, Saratoga was detached with an escort of three destroyers to join the amphibious forces and carry out night patrols over Iwo Jima and night heckler missions over nearby Chi-chi Jima. However, as she approached her operating area at 1700 on the 21st, an air attack developed. Taking advantage of low cloud cover and Saratoga's insufficient escort, six Japanese planes scored five bomb hits on the carrier in three minutes. Saratoga's flight deck forward was wrecked, her starboard side was holed twice and large fires were started in her hangar deck; she lost 123 of her crew dead or missing. An attack at 1900 scored an additional bomb hit. By 2015, the fires were under control, and Saratoga was able to recover aircraft, but she was ordered to Eniwetok and then to the West Coast for repairs, arriving at Bremerton on 16 March.

On 22 May, Saratoga departed Puget Sound fully repaired, and she resumed training pilots at Pearl Harbor on 3 June. She ceased training duty on 6 September after the Japanese surrender, and sailed from Hawaii on 9 September, transporting 3,712 returning naval veterans home to the United States as part of Operation Magic Carpet. By the end of her "Magic Carpet" service, Saratoga had brought home 29,204 Pacific war veterans, more than any other individual ship. At the time, she also held the record for the greatest number of aircraft landed on a carrier, with a lifetime total of 98,549 landings in 17 years.
*USS Saratoga (CV-3) *USS Saratoga Insignia
Floyd William Lancaster
US Naval Air Corps
US Navy

Floyd William Lancaster

photo in uniform

Sample of medals.
(1) The World War II Army Enlistment Records contain information on more than nine million indivdual enlistments. These records can be found online at

(2) The comprehensive list of names from North High's 1893-2018 graduation classes are from Claradell Shedd's North Des Moines High School website. The names of North High School graduates can be found online at: Floyd William Lancaster 1943 class page is:
09/07/10. Lives in IA.
Music: "Anchors Aweigh" by the U.S. Navy Band
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