The photo in service uniform was taken about 1958 (the "Ike" jacket was finally discarded about 1961). The rating on his left sleeve indicates he was a Specialist Second Class, Pay Grade E-5 at that time (these specialist ratings were first introduced in 1955 and have been modified several times through the years).
The "stripes" on his lower right sleeve are overseas bars - each one represents six months service within the prescribed limits of an overseas theater during wartime or period of national emergency.
The "circular" insigne immediately below his overseas bars is actually a yellow (gold) olive wreath on olive drab backgound - the original Meritorious Unit Commendation (now displayed as a scarlet ribbon within a gold-colored metal wreath of olive leaves).
The ribbons are too blurred for positive identication. The badge above the ribbons looks like an Army Air Corps enlisted specialty badge (WWII) but likewise too blurred to make a positive identification.
The ribbon above his right pocket is the Distinguished Unit Emblem (now known as the Army Presidential Unit Citation).
There's no way to identify the ship from the pictures. It appears to be either an APA or AKA; they were probably on a NATO training excercise. The markings on the hatch is the hatch's location number.
The White Cliffs of Dover are situated on the southern coast of England and overlook the English Channel. He was probably born in Herrin, Williamson County, Illinois as there is no "Hering" (that is, so far as I can determine).