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USS LST 494 Association Memorial Resolution Page
Captain Irving "Chet" Noyes (right) with Joe Guarino
touring LST 325 in Mobile, Alabama during LST 494 Reunion in September 2001
Our Ship`s Association deeply mourns the loss of Captain Irving “Chet” Noyes, a highly respected and valued member of The USS LST 494 Association.  Chet passed away on September 7, 2005, at the age of 89.
Chet was a young naval officer in the Pacific when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor.  His ship left Pearl Harbor the day before the surprise attack.  Chet served in 4 tough Pacific campaigns as a member of America`s small and badly outnumbered Asiatic Fleet during the opening months of World War II.  He was recognized as an outstanding young officer and was selected to take command of a new type of American amphibious warship called an LST (Landing Ship Tank).  These ships were as long as a football field, carried a crew of approximately 150 and were designed to land men, tanks and equipment on enemy held beaches.  
Chet was assigned as Captain of what would become our ship, the USS LST 494.  He and a small number of officers and men traveled to Evansville, Indiana where the 494 had been built.  They helped launch and commission her.  They sailed her down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers to the Gulf of Mexico where a full complement of men, guns, ammunition and equipment were added to the ship.  After weeks of training, the 494 was assigned to “extra-hazardous” duty with the Atlantic Amphibious Forces.  In March 1944, as part of a 48 ship convoy, the 494 crossed the icy North Atlantic for England.
There we prepared for the invasion of Europe and became part of the largest invasion force in the history of warfare.  Very few of our crew had ever seen combat.  Most of us were young boys who months earlier had been working on family farms or were in high school or college.  Chet began to turn us into a first class fighting ship that would soon be ready to sail into harm`s way in the cause of freedom.  
After departing Plymouth, England on June 5, 1944, we crossed the English Channel with thousands of other ships and crafts of all sizes headed for the beaches of Normandy.  We carried on our ship the battle-hardened men of the U.S. Army`s 1st Infantry Division and made the initial assault on bloody Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944.  Many ships and men were lost during the invasion but we survived.
Our ship supported the invasion forces through July 1944 and was then ordered through the Straits of Gibraltar for service in North Africa and the Mediterranean.  On August 15, 1944 LST 494 made the initial assault during the invasion of Southern France.  Several large German shells hit close to us that day, but fortunately they missed their mark.  During that campaign, Chet continued to be our great leader, in whom, we had complete confidence and trust.  
We were then ordered back to the United States so our ship could be refitted for service in the Pacific.  By that time, Chet had endured 3 1/2 years of grueling sea duty in 6 different campaigns. He had commanded LST 494 for 16 months.  Chet was assigned to other Navy duties.  We all had tears in our eyes when Chet left our ship.  Chet had tears in his eyes as well.  It was a very emotional time for us all. Chet continued to distinguish himself in several other Navy commands and was discharged from the service with the rank of Lieutenant Commander.    
We have never forgotten how much Chet meant to us during those difficult days of intense training and combat.  We have always remembered his skill, leadership and outstanding judgment under fire.  Chet cared greatly about his men.  We will remain forever grateful for all he did for us.
Since the War`s end, we have enjoyed many great reunions with Chet and Katherine in various locations all over the country.  During those reunions, we were able to reminisce about the good and bad times we went through as true brothers, many years before.  Chet continued to be our leader throughout these many years.  We so enjoyed and cherished his wit, sense of humor, wisdom and love.  Chet was truly a gentle and caring man.  
Chet lived a wonderful life and was a great American. He served his God, his family, friends, shipmates and nation to the fullest.  We all know that when Chet got to the gates of heaven, God walked over to the entryway and stated to all present: “This is my beloved Chet, in whom I am well pleased.  I have fixed a special place for him in my kingdom.”
The USS LST 494 Association wishes to note with deep regret, the passing of Chet Noyes, our beloved Captain and shipmate, cherished friend and exceptional man.  We bestow our sincere sympathy to his wife Katherine, his children and grandchildren, as well as his other family members and friends.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this RESOLUTION be entered in the minutes of The LST 494 Association, made a permanent part of the records of the Association, and that copies be presented to Captain Chet Noyes` family.
 Signed this the 12th day of September, 2005.
    Donald B. Meier,         Presiding  Officer
    The USS LST 494 Association
Captain Irving "Chet" Noyes
The War Years
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