January’s Humboldt Hero: Myrna Farrar

Press release from Scott Hammond Insurance:

black and white photo of a woman in formal navy uniform

Myrna A. Farrar

The public is invited to attend the first Humboldt Hero recognition of the year at noon on Friday, January 26, 2024. We will gather at the corner of 7th and G Streets in Eureka, and will be honoring Myrna A. Farrar, Storekeeper Chief Petty Officer 2nd Class, US Navy retired.

Myrna was raised in Coolidge, Arizona with her two sisters and one brother and helped her Mom manage a Circle K store while she was in high school.  When she decided to join the Navy, she knew that she wanted to be in the Supply field.  She enlisted in Phoenix Arizona on November 15, 1968, and completed her Boot Camp training in Bainbridge Maryland.

Myrna was stationed at the commissary store in North Island, San Diego, California, from January 1969 to May 1973.  She met her husband Virgil while stationed in San Diego, and he is also Navy Retired. In March of this year, they will celebrate 54 years of marriage.

woman with short cropped hair in camo fatigues posing for picture with man in white tshirt and blue jeans

Myrna made history in May 1973 when she was the first female assigned to the naval facility, Centerville Beach, Ferndale, California. FCB was a top-secret submariner listening base that provided much intel for the Navy during its day. Since all the other personnel were men, there was no place for her to stay in the barracks, so she stayed with her grandfather who lived in Hydesville until she got her own place in Fortuna.

Myrna often had to stand her ground when it came to telling other service personnel that they could not get an item requisitioned from the government supply system nor were they authorized to have the funds to go purchase it locally.  Sometimes her customers would get extremely upset with her, and after a long and loud interaction with a customer, she commanded him to leave her office.  When he did, everyone in Supply yelled, “Go, Mighty Mouse!”  That became her nickname from then on, but it was shortened to “Mouse” because Mighty Mouse was too long to write on the top of the bowling score sheets at their two-lane Quonset hut bowling alley on base.   

woman with short hair in camo fatigues inside the cockpit of a helicopterMyrna stayed at in FCB until August 1976, when she was sent to NATO base Keflavic, Iceland, the international airport for Iceland. NATO bases are comprised of different branches of the service and military personnel from other countries. She served there until August 1977.

Her list enlistment being complete, she was honorably discharged from Treasure Island, San Francisco, California in 1977.  Myrna immediately applied for a civil service position back at FCB, where she was the Jack of the Dust in the supply department and food service division.

Myrna also served at FCB as a budget analyst and managed the accounting division and small purchasing division. She resigned from Centerville beach in April 1986.

Myrna joined the American Legion Post in Fortuna as soon as she got out of the Navy and became quite involved with the organization. She was the first female to become the commander of Fortuna Post number 205 and also became the first female Vice Commander of the district.

In April 1987, Myrna joined the Naval reserve. She attended a weekend drill every month, which required driving over 250 miles, and then a two-week active duty service once a year. She got to experience some very intense and interesting drills in the next 12 years, including a survival enhancement training in Williamsburg, Virginia.

Myrna was called back to Centerville Beach and served 10 months of active duty there when the Navy had to decommission the base. She was responsible for seeing that all material, equipment, and supplies were properly disposed of or distributed.  She was the last military personnel assigned to the base and was honored to be part of the decommissioning ceremony.

Myrna’s sister, Marlene, moved to Humboldt in 1980, and began teaching at Frederick and Charles beauty College in Eureka. The sisters have become a yearly fixture at the Veterans Standdown at the Humboldt County fairgrounds, and they team up to give 100 haircuts over two days. 

Myrna considers it an honor and a privilege to have served her country, and she would do it all over again. She would recommend enlisting in the Navy to any young person and tell them it is a great career. We thank Myrna for her many years of service to her country and her community!  

 

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guest__
4 months ago

Go Mouse!

tru matters
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tru matters
4 months ago

I have been inside the building that housed the listening equipment. It’s a big old concrete building across from the old Coast Guard Station. Almost like a bunker.

Wonder what they ever did with the base?

Gosh
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Gosh
4 months ago
Reply to  tru matters

If you can make it on Friday, I bet she can tell you …

Charlie Solo
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Charlie Solo
4 months ago
Reply to  tru matters

The base including the T Building on the lower side of the road have all been removed. The land has been re vegetated. Including the ball field.