Parks and Recreation Image


Juneau-Douglas City Museum


Sperling, David John

by Harry, Mary, David & Bill Sperling
UID=1118


DAVID JOHN SPERLING (1929 - )

Born at St. Annís Hospital; went from K-12 at Juneau schools graduating in 1947. Accepted at the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis and commissioned Ensign in 1952. One year in Destroyers. Flight training Florida and received my wings in 1954. Married Judy Perry in 1957. Had three children, Mike, Michelle, and Douglas. Flight instructor Pensacola 1957-60, career tail hook pilot; two combat tours Viet Nam, stationed with family in Europe/Mediterranean 1970-77; promoted to Captain in 1973; Naval Attache Egypt, 1980-83 (in the viewing stands with Judy when Saddat was killed). Retired in 1983 after 31 year commissioned service. Currently reside in Pensacola, Florida.

About Juneau: delivered Daily Alaska Empire papers while in grade school. Boy Scouts with civil defense at night following bombing of Dutch Harbor. Drove truck for Jack McDanielís White service. Worked in summer at Pelican Cold Storage with several high school classmates (Roy Gray, Denny Merritt and Bob Larsen). Forest Service summer trail crew Kenai Peninsula with Jack OíConnor and Bob Larsen. During winter months, helped grandparents with janitorial chores at the high school and Behrends Bank. Broke leg sliding down 9th Street hill (body cast 6-8 weeks), usurped sisterís room and became spoiled brat. Early summers a Halm country farm out-the-road complete with ď2-holer.Ē Skiing on Douglas Island with what amounted to plain skis with a strap to insert foot held in place by rubber bands cut from inner tubes. Some deer hunting on the island without much luck, but hell on wheels shooting ducks on the flats outside of town. I often accompanied my Dad on his frequent inspection trips in SE Alaska. Always by air on chartered seaplanes from Shell Simmons (source of my love for flying I guess). High school? Nothing big, worked on school paper, on the basketball team, theater projectionist and ticket taker. First and only love was Shasta Hatten who moved to Port Angeles, Washington. My time in Juneau ended after my Dadís death, except for the memorable 50th class reunion.