A retired 30-year Navy veteran visits the Port of Oakland tomorrow for a look at his World War II legacy. Wisconsin native Robert Almquist, 95, is making a pilgrimage to the Port’s Middle Harbor Shoreline Park. He’ll pay his respects at 11 a.m. to the mast of his late ship, the light cruiser USS Oakland.
Almquist spent the years 1942 to 1946 aboard the 542-foot vessel in the Pacific. He helped load the cruiser’s anti-aircraft guns. Now he’s returning to honor the only remaining relic of the ship that was scrapped back in 1959.
The USS Oakland’s mast has welcomed visitors to Middle Harbor Shoreline Park for the past 15 years. Before that it was a fixture in the Port’s Jack London Square.
Almquist’s visit to the Port is part of a 2,000-mile journey from his home in Wisconsin Rapids. The retired mill worker spent yesterday in San Diego viewing a plaque bearing his name at the Mt. Soledad National Veterans Memorial. Today he’s scheduled to receive a proclamation from Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf. Tomorrow at 1 p.m., he’ll be honored at a luncheon in Alameda aboard the decommissioned aircraft carrier USS Hornet.