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A Tradition of Service Logo 75Irving Alexander Slicklen

Submitted by: Gayle Reynolds {great-niece}

Irving Alexander Slicklen crop

Irving Alexander Slicklen born around 1903. Irving Slicklen served in World War 1 with the the United States Coast Guard. The enlistment was in 1918 and the service was completed in 1918.

Story of Service


Irving was said to be tall and looked older than his actual age, so being very patriotic he decided he'd try and enlist after school one day. He obviously pulled the wool over the eyes of those in the recruitment office and found himself an instant member of the Coast Guard. Puffed out with pride, he went home and told his mother.

Great-Grandma Slicklen was so appalled that a 15-year old could have been signed up for war that she grabbed her coat and dashed out of the house, forgetting she was wearing her bedroom slippers. She ran all the way to the recruitment office, where she breathlessly begged for Irving to be released from service. Unfortunately she was told that he had signed the official papers, which were already being processed, there was no way he could be released from active duty.

His father, an attorney, was then called home from his office and put his argumentative skills to work to no avail. Since Irving felt so honored to be part of the Coast Guard, giving a better argument for his service than his father had against it, he was reluctantly granted his parent's blessings.

The date was 1 March 1918.

Irving attended the Coast Guard Academy and was eventually assigned to the USS Tampa. On 2 September 1918 the Tampa was torpedoed: all hands, plus civilian passengers, were lost. No bodies were ever recovered.

Several family photos show Irving preferred wearing sailor shirts from the time he was very young. Apparently being a sailor was his (short) lifelong dream. In his honor, many of the nephews he never met joined the Navy during WWII.

1a Isabelle Ethel Irving Arthur Monroe

1b Irving Alexander Slicklen 15 yr

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