Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veteran's Day- Enjoying The Experience of My Father

I know it has been way too long since I have been on here and I am determined to correct that, but today is not about me. It's about that father of mine. He served in the navy during World War II aboard what he calls one of the "tin cans", the destroyers that served in the Pacific at the end of the war.

I love to hear his stories, from the times when they would earn ice cream whenever one of the pilots would miss their landing on the air craft carrier so they would hurry to bring them aboard. When he was first crossing in a smaller boat to get to his ship the person who had their medical records dropped them into the ocean and he was afraid that he would have to take all his shots again. (He didn't). When he first arrived on the ship he didn't actually report to duty so for 4 months he did not have a daily job.

 When the captain found out he was awarded by being tied down in the top of the basket up in the air (for the life of me I can't remember the correct name). He did spot a torpedo, so the engines were turned off, the ship was made to lean the other way to slip by it, and then the guys at the back torpedoed it. He other adventure up there was the typhoon that came along. The captain had to send up 2 men to work to get Dad down. There are other stories that he doesn't speak of, but he does speak heatedly about the fact that when the Japanese came aboard the USS Missouri for the ceremony, the Japanese also came aboard ships across Japan to sign records of surrender, including the USS Remey. Dad has pictures of the event. It really bothers him that that is not written anywhere, history books or in Navy publications.

This is him aboard the USS Remey. Years later they were able to realize the loss of hearing he had suffered through all his life and that was continuing to diminish was related to one of the times when he needed to rush to the guns and was unable to put his gear on because of the situation. He was working one of the guns that was just below when the larger one fired and his ear immediately began to ring and lose hearing.

Today I will be going with to a Veteran's Day breakfast aboard LST 325 which was on the beaches on June 6, 1944. Our city built many of them at a riverfront that worked around the clock. Amazing the contributions by all, and I look forward to hearing the stories from others, and learning new ones from my father.

Happy Veteran's Day to All!!


Michelle Goodrum said...

Very interesting stories of your father. I'm glad to know of the Japanese coming aboard other ships to sign surrender papers. Thank you for sharing that fact. Please thank your father for his service to his country. It is immensely appreciated!!!

Thor said...

Thank you for your father's stories. I always tried to tell my father that his stories were as important as anything written in the history books. FYI, a national oral history project is being done for those who served. If your father is still alive, he should be interviewed for this.

Anonymous said...

Nice post. Thanks.

Kim said...

When we were at the LST, Dad was approached by an interviewer for the national project, who has since conducted the interview for the archives. I am anxious to get a copy.