From WILL - World War II Central Illinois Stories -

Oral History Interview: George Myers of Springfield


(Duration: 1:02:13)

George Myers grew up in Hoopeston on a family farm with his widowed mom. He enrolled in the U of I to major in agriculture, thinking he could learn something to make the farm more successful. Myers served on an LST in the Pacific from 1944 to 1946. He didn’t get shot at, but he recalls being scared. “I still remember the full moon on the water and how it seemed like we were visible to everybody, but we couldn’t see a thing,” he said. Myers has been president of the national LST Association. Of the some 100 men on his ship, only about 7 are left.

Categories: History, Military

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    Pop Up Archive Item: “Oral History Interview: George Myers of Springfield” :
    Transcript for file: georgemyers2008-03-20.mp3


    Thursday March twentieth two thousand and eight. And Major avoidance
    and I am interviewing George Myers for the Veterans History Project
    of the Library of Congress American Folklife Center we are at Studio X.
    Campbell Hall on the University of Illinois campus and Urbana. Henry Radcliffe is
    the director of lighting sound and camera.
    George I’d like you to tell us a little bit about your background before you went into


    service and how you came to join the Navy.
    And I’m glad to.
    Back at that time he had no choice. You would not be in the service and
    I was a farm boy. When my mother
    was a widow. We were on a poor farm small farm
    up by hopes then. And maybe I could have
    been drafted to the farm. But I didn’t choose to be


    because I was going to college too. And when the war broke out.
    Well I’d I had three years of college and when.
    The war broke out. I had I dropped out for a semester
    trying to decide what I was going to do. I was in the R O
    T C. Here at the University of Elmo line. And starting
    the third year I would have to signed up for an advance
    school or training in the Army. And I wasn’t sure that I


    wanted to be in the Army. I’d seen enough of the arrow to see that
    I had questions. Is there something better.
    I didn’t know anything I did didn’t know anything except that the
    naval publicity looked pretty good to me and
    I I had grown up in a time when there.
    The the.
    United States were very much stuck on isolation. It isn’t. And


    I can remember those pictures in the in the star in the picture in the newspapers
    Pieces of humanity that were slaughtered in World War one.
    And they really turned me off. And
    I didn’t wish to get into this but I knew I had to be.
    There I could just imagine the millions of people that would be slaughtered.
    And was there a better way for me to serve in that and


    so were while I was at home. I decided possibly.
    And maybe a naval program would fit for me and I you know I
    think it was April of forty two. While I was home.
    I. I I.
    joined the Navy. The seven program that was the R. O.T.C. for
    the Navy but it was operated differently than in the Army because
    I would to see in the army we were marching and doing this and that and sending guns


    up and so forth.
    But but.
    They weren’t equipped. We had booms that were we were carrying around
    instead of real rifles. Early on when I was in
    basic R. O.T.C. we had in field rifles had been
    used in World War one. But when the war broke out. They
    took all those due to war somewhere. We didn’t get. They were grilling with them.


    And so I joined the. V seven program which would allow
    me to take courses getting ready for naval
    service. Like a spherical Korean trade. The number
    It’s very cool. So you could have a three ninety degree
    angles in this as they are in an honest way or.
    So as the effort. I took an astronomy. I took math. I


    took things that I thought might be of help to me. And I did.
    And I didn’t. Oh I was going to happen. So when I I I went through I went
    to summer school to get out earlier when I got out of summer
    school in the fall of forty three. I waited
    until they called me and maybe called me I got very impatient
    because I wondered what was going on. My friends that were.
    that I’d served with him and knew were getting going through a lot


    of hell and I here. I was sitting in sitting it sitting it out.
    And I was glad too. But I I felt I was doing my part. I had
    a classmate at high school at host in my same
    class. He’d you know join the V five program which was
    at the naval area. Officer Training for.
    naval pilots and he was in all kinds of combat.
    When the war was over he had twelve or thirteen


    Japanese planes he shot down. He was a super
    hero an awfully lucky to
    survive. I don’t see how a man could have gone through as much as he did.
    Power P.C. people that I was with they were already in the service and they
    got they were catching all kinds of hell. And
    I was.


    On the outside. When
    when I was called up and.
    Lo and behold I was assigned to the employee of this hadn’t even heard of them. And I
    don’t think anybody in the country had heard of the unfairness. Really.
    And even to this day. They don’t know very little about them because the M. fans
    who are. Live in the new ship
    the L.S.D. that that could land on beaches.


    And that was I think a surprise to both Japan
    and Germany that a big ship longer than a football field.
    And it could be carried in heavy tanks
    like armament four hundred men or more shore.
    Put them ashore. On a beach and then retract from the beach
    and go back for another load.
    I didn’t know anything about that. I was sent to


    camp. Bradford Cohen.
    On the East Coast. Gold Coast in Norfolk. And there they were putting this
    together putting our crews together and I got to be.
    got assigned a crew. So you you have been commissioned as an ensign.
    Yes there was another step in here that I haven’t mentioned.
    But after I got out of.
    College they called me out for midshipman training at Notre


    Dame. And so in ninety days. I was one of those
    wonders had a commission and then in the Navy I had maybe ever
    seen that done. Oceania. And I wasn’t very confident in
    that but they had done a tremendous job with teaching us
    what we need to know giving us the book work and that sort of thing. And.
    We were well prepared because the Navy in their in their.
    And wisdom had put half a dozen or so


    Tried and true veterans on the ship with us. And one such A veteran was a
    guy the name of Whitehead who’d been a an enlisted man in the
    Navy had been on a destroyer that was sunk in the Coral Sea
    He said that they were in in formation. In
    a column. And got caught
    some fire. And in there. They were a destroyer was


    hit and sunk before the ship and they lay behind him come to that spot the ship. This
    went on through there. The other ships were right on through there. And these guys were down in the
    water. And and it was only nine people on that destroyer.
    That survived. And he was assigned to our ship.
    And he was an enlisted man and that was. What we call a
    Mustang that he and he got a commission even while he was in the service
    for the kind of work that he did and he was a


    tremendous leader for for us. And one of the
    things that I’ve done in recent years. Fifty years after
    we served and now it’s sixty.
    We start looking for the crew that was on our L.S.D. six thirty five
    and three I was searched searched in needle in the haystack. It’s very
    hard to find those people and we found enough to have a reunion.
    And in this year


    next month.
    We’ll have our eleven three union. And there’ll be about six or
    seven of the original crew but there’ll be other people that
    are family and that sort of thing. They will be there. The reunion will have about
    thirty people down at Tampa Florida. And one of
    things. I never ever expected.
    We found we find that we were very very close. We


    served together. We were particular friends. We were just
    serving together. And when we search for the crew
    and found enough to have a reunion. My Lai
    it was just it was a lot of these are our wives and our families all
    bought into that. And we I have another family. It’s being
    depleted by years. Now that other people that I served on an
    L.S.D. with.


    That this is a good example. I
    gotten active in the Elmo like L.S.D. Association. I
    got into that. Because it with our thought maybe it would help us find
    crew members and the National Association. And.
    I’ve been president of the don’t know eye Association twice.
    So total. I’ve been president for four years. But


    those contacts that I’ve made through the associations help
    me help me to find. More of our crew and help some
    people who had lost their. Loved ones aboard
    and L.S.D. like the five seventy seven I met some people down in
    Florida. One time is tell me that they had that there was a brother in law that had been lost on
    that ship there. They never knew what happened to the ship. I found out
    information through the contacts I had and. I found a


    world of information because there were others that were looking for the information
    and they put it together and made a log of it.
    So this bond started to bargain with the bond which you established was a man and your
    crew started on the East Coast right after you’ve been through the
    ninety day program at Notre Dame. So what sort of training did you have where you
    was your ship there or were you just training on or was this was that Ellis to you


    They had they had that couple. Al Estes there. Most of our training was
    was on on there with your. But they had it
    smell. Estes and they would sign us
    on a cruise and we went on some cruises on the East
    Coast. And.
    And then.
    It was sort of a shakedown for cruising. And we


    got the experience that we needed.
    And then.
    Now this this was roughly the one hundred man that would later serve on the sands
    with raft so they had you grouped together already.
    They group is there on the East Coast. And and the after
    this training that we had. They put us on a troop
    train and it was July. God it


    was hot and there was no air-conditioning and we went through the
    tunnels. with the windows down and the steam engine
    or the coal-fired engine blowing smoke out in the
    tunnels when we when we got to. Navy
    Pier in Chicago are our Navy or naval whites were just black with
    with sweat and all that so.
    And that was a probably about one of the first experiences I had


    with with crew.
    If I was as just a stopover in Chicago or as or more training or.
    OK. What we did. They send us to a naval pier at Navy Pier
    and lo and behold they were building.
    L.S.D. a few miles from Chicago on the alloy river
    at cynic Illinois. Here is a little town of about two


    thousand people. And the real building
    L.S.D. is there. They built one hundred fifty seven L. Estes at
    And they had.
    Twenty thousand people working there in a shipyard that’s close enough to
    Chicago and close enough to the rural areas that they had people coming in
    to work in the shipyard.


    was quite a show. Is that where your ship was built.
    And that our ship was built at Seneca was six thirty five AM
    and it was launched. I think in August of forty
    And it and.
    I were on those outlets that were in their original crew. He called


    them play co-owners. And we played the orders were there
    and they they launched the L.S.D. sideways in the
    river because if you could let it in the river. One wide enough to launch it in a
    conventional way.
    And then.
    One of the things it’s been very interesting to me is that.
    There Elmo L.S.D. Association has been holding their annual New York. Now


    annual monthly meetings in Seneca. And the
    library at Seneca has got quite a bit of information about Ellis things
    that activity that was there during World War two.
    Era. And two years ago. Our
    association build a monument in khaki park
    at Seneca commemorating Alice days.


    So there’s something there that for generations to see there.
    That Seneca was a very important. Park place during World War
    two Not a thing left. Not a thing left.
    Still only about two thousand people live there. There is that there is not
    a sign of the shipyard. It’s all gone. What it will at one time
    it was a tremendously busy spot close to Chicago on the river
    and we went and it launched the L.S.D. into the river.


    They put our put our crew on the ship but they
    included the Coast Guard people onboard. The L.S.D.
    to do.
    To navigate the river and we went down the river. We went under the bridges and
    I-. There was people on the bridge is watching us go through and.
    You know we were almost close enough to the people on the bridge that they could hand
    cigarettes down to us and that sort of thing. And it was it was quite a show.


    But we went down the river. And lo and behold the river had trees
    along this side. So you couldn’t see what towns or anything. You were going through just were going
    down the river.
    That we got down to New Orleans and then.
    They would say finished construction of the L.S.D.
    But the mass in the in the parts of the ship
    above there. The main deck on on that ship


    because it you couldn’t have them on again under the bridge and then. And so then we
    went. From there after we got fitted
    for a shakedown in the Caribbean. And we made an
    invasion on an arm.
    Or one of the towns there in in Florida.
    course they didn’t tell the townspeople what was going on there. There were military


    people there and.
    And and and.
    There was an alarm that went out and all the people in the military had to report and so forth
    and so forth. It was a it was a training for sure
    people as well as on the ship.
    How many how many of the A-Listers were in your flotilla. Come again. How many of the
    ships were in your hotel and your group in this invasion


    or how many ships in the flotilla. You know you know roughly.
    think a dozen but we never saw those ships.
    I don’t know how they did it but we were all independent
    that we get or shake down in a lotus with Theo. And I retained you needed to go
    overseas. We went through the Panama Canal.
    And we knew we were who I think it was two ships going all the way


    where we kept the.
    Next morning at we went through the canal zone. It was a little reassuring to look out see
    destroyers out there. going back and forth and
    protecting us and that was all day and then the next night when we got
    after the next night we got out there were you know no nothing there no destroyers we were
    on our own one ship. It was to ship those ships. But
    Ally stays there don’t have the kind of armament do. To


    protect themselves very much. We just felt we were expendable.
    And with. Putin We travel all over the Pacific.
    We were we would by ourselves we would wear it on except when we made in
    big invasion in the in game Gulf where there was all kinds of support
    there. But most of the time we travelled alone.
    As and.
    When we had loaded troops on. We were important enough to have


    an escort. But I’d say. Ninety five percent of
    the time. Would this travel by ourselves in the Pacific. It’s a big big
    ocean. We were we were thirty days outside of Lyon going from
    Panama Canal Zone to new hammered is Islands menace island that that area.
    Thirty days we never saw anything any any
    land. Just how did it leadership.
    How did your commanding officers know where you were and know if you were going to arrive


    safely or didn’t.
    That was before. A lot of things we have now but.
    Maybe people been or ship ships have been traveling the
    oceans for generations and generations. It’s one of the things that


    That training I had was to be a navigator and you
    took a year. I guess you call an asthma and you took a
    reading on the star. Pull it down to the. horizon
    write that down button there to the second and then find another star and
    bring it down right and write it down and then go in go in the chart room
    and and we could figure out where we were
    by celestial navigation. I was a navigator.


    We were off the coast of China quite a bit later.
    And then.
    And I was rusted out the second.
    One morning right after sunrise and you guys struck me and said
    come up where. Get up here the sun come up in the wrong direction. This morning
    is the air’s myth. Or the reason.
    Or whether you call it the.


    Dry roller Jarrod compass had gone out during the
    night. The thing had been to swing around like that. And our ship had been falling
    And so we did know our we were accepted
    that we were we were following this this
    giant row. And and I had
    only done celestial navigation. So I knew there


    was in the training they give you a lot of things. I knew that
    that. You could do. You could do some lines. So the
    only time I ever did is sunlight. Some lines was that morning and I
    did some sun lines going on where the sun was and brought it down to the
    horizon and found where we were and.
    That’s when you felt good about the training you had that they had they train you on many
    things that you never use. But who knows. Maybe you would some time. So


    was it was navigation officer. Your primary duty or did you have other duties.
    However as the officers.
    I was an officer after aboard a ship of over nineteen had nine
    officers aboard on the selling of the ship. And I
    was the communication officer in that radio room was
    my responsibility and we had about four or five radio men there taking


    messages messages messages and then sometimes they were
    coded in that. And then I had the secret.
    Code that I could be code those messages. But that was my main
    responsibility was communications officer.
    I was navigator. Not all the time I was aboard ship.
    So let me come back tears as he left the Panama Canal. And thirty days
    later you arrived at your port destination port where you were going to be. We


    went into. Oh well whatever. Go ahead. Well what happened.
    We never did arrive at ports. As you know you’d say
    as readers said oh this is just an island and we were a bunch of Alice thieves and we
    just go up on the beach and then.
    Our ship was loaded with all kinds of war material in
    there and it was packed full. And then on the deck on the deck. There was an
    L.C.D. T.V. little land. Little landing chip.


    That would go on a beach and had a crew of I think came.
    In and. Now this team is a remarkable ship and
    it was built by. It was designed by a submarine architect.
    So when we got to. And men are silent. And we wanted to get rid of it would
    launch our L C T off the deck we had just released
    all the cables that pass in that pump the water out of one side


    made the ship. March over to the side because of the tanks. It slid
    off in the water.
    They work it. I take it that worked. It didn’t sink or anything silly like that.
    And everything it was you were hauling on an L.S.D.. It was all.
    Always buckle down because an
    Alice T. is a flat bottom chair and I don’t know. I don’t know how they


    could survive in the Atlantic. But the. Pacific for the
    most part is very camp. And so it was just this kind of a
    cruise that we had we got into one or two
    what we call him. In life those are typhoon.
    And in fact is a typhoon that right at the end of the World War. Two
    when we would have been going getting ready to go to
    Japan. We’d if it would have we’d


    had a big big problem with that typhoon that
    typhoon was so strong that some cattle ship sank. But
    L.S.D.. There were broken out that Alice dea’s written all wrote it out.
    And it was a long flexible ship and some
    people said it kind of snakes through the water. Well when you’re in that kind of water
    you could see the ship the.
    There bending if you’re down below where this


    is the blockage would crack and pop as it as it is just went on
    him. But the ship would could write those things down. It’s a
    remarkably well designed ship.
    Why don’t you tell us what you were doing after riots in the Pacific center.
    What sort of activities were were involved.
    We were assigned to MacArthur his group.
    And he started down in New Guinea.


    You know flew for menace. We went to to New Guinea
    and dad Jim. Jim Fisher had a lot of
    experience in that area. He’s going to be talking to you later.
    We would indeed New Guinea and I copy and
    land here and loaded up. equipment and
    personnel to to take up to the Indian Gulf invasion. And that’s the first
    activity we saw. And that was is that


    you run this operation.
    The ships as far as you could see thirty miles that way. thirteen miles that way. Thirteen.
    Thirteen and you were just in the center of that as far as you could see where ships.
    In and.
    So down in New Guinea. We loaded up to make the
    invasion in the Philippines.
    And you were you were saying you had personnel as well as a cabin on your.


    Oh yes. You know we have that where these marines were.
    Well I believe in every case they were army and they we might have had
    Marines on at one time but we had Army personnel. And
    well I remember we had one group that wars that were part of
    MacArthur And. Headquarters. And I can I can
    still picture the little. shouldn’t say
    little. But the. Army guy. He


    didn’t have any right. But he had he felt like he was responsible for these
    things that were my partners and that he had more.
    Say than you could imagine because he was protecting the Carters equipment on
    board. MacArthur I have a
    great great admiration for him.
    Because quote We were doing and taken a part that was going from one
    island. Where it were a sort of security perimeter


    and put in an airfield and then then they
    picked that up and secure another perimeter that got up
    to secure another runway. We. went all the way to
    Philippines and then Japan by. This
    this island hopping. And MacArthur didn’t care
    didn’t seem to worry about the Japanese that were in the caves and that sort of
    thing. In the battles that we you know heard


    about this horrific horrific battles with dragging the
    Japanese out of the caves. Very little of that happen under MacArthur is
    command because all he was interested in was was securing a perimeter.
    If there are caves. Arie had to do that but. We just
    island hop all the way to the Philippines. And
    we were. We were getting ready to make the invasion of
    Japan. When we were. I know we were out to sea somewhere when


    they notice came through over the radio and then see if
    that was a part of the thing that I had responsibility for that. The war was over.
    As you already heard that they had dropped the first atom bomb. We heard about the bombs and then the
    end of the war.
    And then the end of the war come a few days later I felt a little bit frustrated
    had a little bit of scientific training here at the air. You lie.


    And I was very blown away with the idea of an atomic bomb.
    And I can remember I was talking to different members on our ship and
    they said oh it’s just another bomb. Well no one’s trying to say this is the beginning
    of the new age and atomic age. And then
    then come the. surrender of Japan because
    it was. Terrific.
    Terrific plan. And so then after the war was over we said


    Wait we’ve got I was on a couple islands in Japan. We went to
    Yokohama in and on liberty. While we were.
    There on Japan. And the thing that impressed me so much.
    That the war had been over just a matter of a few weeks I
    doubt whether these Japanese folks had seen any Americans but
    we went on liberty and we went on liberty. After Dark.
    As the two or three or four of us. Separately


    And we didn’t feel that we were in any danger at all. We might have been but we didn’t feel
    that we were and I never heard of the Japanese
    taking out a their anger on the on the Americans. If it was
    our country. I don’t know whether we did it. We couldn’t walk through the
    dark streets of Chicago. Let alone like we were walking through the
    streets of Japan immediately after the war and the other thing that I was so
    impressed about the Japanese. That we


    had we had just destroyed. So much of that country
    DNS this trip was a was a very
    industrial. And.
    developed areas where I’m trying to say. And that was gone.
    This is gives history. What was nothing there but a park ring grass and everything they’d
    picked up all the roads. They refuse in and did something. Whether
    we were in Japan. And then in China and other places. And


    they were the rubble from previous wars were still in there and
    here a month after the war was over. And the Japanese had cleaned up
    the debris that in the areas where were where I was. They were
    very very very industrious people.
    And I had an opportunity who we had an
    opportunity. You know after immediately after the war to go to China.
    Also And in fact.


    was that at that that I got rotated off
    the air.
    Before the ship was decommissioned in the late yank Lou river
    of China. But I had been there with the ship in the
    ankle and then. I had a mike come
    away from experience aboard this ship with a
    lot of respect for the A.G. Eric. People there are


    different but they’re all.
    We’ve just had an enormous respect for him. And
    well you know.
    What was your ship doing something military when I was down on the China
    and in China or.
    Well we were doing things that it’s like oh you were just moving personnel
    and equipment around. One way to Japan or China.


    Sea There was a there was a.
    sort of revolution going on in China. And we
    knew we were the moon when I kind of say well we were
    moving the Chinese around so they could so they could
    continue their revolution. And.
    So these were the Chiang Kai shock troops perhaps you know and I can’t quite
    right but but but.


    When the World War two was over. But something else was going on in. In
    China Korea and.
    After the war there. We had a United Nations relief organization under
    L. and you got over to China. We had Sun Ra C
    N R eight. And so we were moving stuff in that
    the Chinese needed.
    And and it’s.


    True every country every place you go is different. And so
    I can remember where they downloaded stuff. And
    it seemed that. That the stuff was unloaded
    on China. And then when you go through certain Providence in the
    New Year. Each province had its own go.
    At. But.
    Part of me. And so.


    If you’ve got to go through here. We’re going to take this and this is the way it would seem to
    work. And so the provincial officials. Yes there are. And so.
    It is. It went from around around the local people
    the local government seem to be really able and Rahul and
    allowed to sort of taxes stuff that was going through that they
    had a cake. Here’s what they want let the rest go through. was an interesting
    thing to observe.


    An interesting administrative situation here. There are naval vessel. But you’re being
    taxed by the local governments was.
    You know this was the equipment the things that we all do in their town.
    But you’re still like bureau in America. And.
    stuff and then you know that we do with Chinese
    relief. OK but but how much it was going to get where it need to be.
    Well maybe it’s and that’s just the way it was done.


    Well but before we talk about your being leaving the service. Would you like to go back and discuss any
    of the those divisions that year of whom your craft was on and what was what would
    happen in an invasion would you be landing early in the invasion or later.
    After the bitch. Had it been established. How did these work.
    With Jim Fisher can talk much more about that because
    as a matter of fact. That’s when we made the made the
    beaches. No one ever fired at us.


    Things were pretty well secured. So I had a trip in the
    cruise that was.
    Very uneventful. Even the fact that I can show you about twenty
    different places in the Pacific that we were it was uneventful as far as
    combat it. We were just moving things.
    So you were like a truck on water. You were clear. You were the Transportation Corps as a


    Yes that’s what it was in the Army. I mean we you know. We
    carried fifty ten tanks on that. Alice day
    and put him on shore. But most the thing. We were the
    things that we needed for a war for rehab. You know but we had to build
    it for the donation or what will we hear we’re been
    bringing the shore and then there was. The
    red all lines. These were there were a whole series of trucks


    Red balls painted on them. And those
    they’d load those trucks up and they. traveled through in
    terrific speeds and then.
    We were just bringing him to where these kind of people could get a hold of it. And
    and and run with it. Go with it.
    So it must have given you an appreciation for all of the logistics that go on in


    planning the battle all the things behind the scenes that have to occur.
    I don’t know about that logistically when you’re part of those logistics in a sense that you
    were on your ship was I mean.
    Yes we just took the orders and carried out while
    we were assigned to do. We were not. We were not
    heroes. On the six thirty five. We’re going to talk some other people that are
    heroes in the lost people in combat. We didn’t lose any private body in


    combat. We lost some people but that’s still some more stories.
    Who is in does. You want to talk about any of the losses that you had
    to walk because you want to talk about any of the losses that occurred on your ship or
    we don’t really have any loss although you said you lost some people. Now I know.
    We had people that said we had that one that I
    felt so badly about. We had a full blooded in me and.


    I can’t recall what tribe he was his name was blue arm
    and he got sick. And died aboard our ship
    and it turned out that it was some kind of the.
    disease if you know it was in his in his inheritance
    in there and.
    The poor guy. Right. in.
    And Lou we’re land. Lubbers. And and


    so I would wasn’t a part of
    it but I knew it happened.
    We put him in the cooler that we got to.
    Run along the land and why he should have been buried at sea.
    We didn’t do that because that we knew we were going to that.
    Kind of thing. But one time


    we we had a very very competent a
    pharmacist made. And.
    Since we were a flight officer flagship we got word
    that there was a man that was sick on board. Another L.S.D..
    He seemed to have him inside his. And so
    our pharmacist made got a boat got on board a small boat.
    And went over to the other L.S.D.. He


    performed at the neck of the knee all the sailor he’d never seen it
    done. But they need to be done. And he had had
    had a medical doctor on the telephone talking to him as he did that the guy
    survived and did all right. And I I’ve heard stories
    being told that this happened in other board
    other ships but it had aboard our pharmacist. Nate
    performed a appendectomy. If he


    was a good pharmacist mate but he’d never seen an appendectomy operation.
    But he performed go on without having seen one. Things like that that happened to.
    where there’s where a lot of heroes out there in the war.
    But there were so many. Most of them were unknown
    like this by staying in the zone that.
    This took command of ours and took control over a ship and saw that we knew how to


    do survive in combat and so forth. He was a real hero that I saw
    him in the in the. mightiest
    naval period because he knew a lot had to be done. He knew how
    to train us to do it. And and he made it was real hard on ensued
    any time night or day that he thought that that we ought to be.
    learned you know what to do it as such and such a thing happened.
    How many how many ships were in that were under the command of your


    flag officer.
    You know I don’t know around a dozen I guess so. Did you move as a group or were
    never as a group I say.
    And when we moved to L.A. skis around and here
    be an Alice day we’d never see a scene before. And another one we hadn’t seen before. And we
    move together. And then when the next time may be. Some other.
    I don’t know. There was a lot of organization that I didn’t see


    but it worked. I didn’t see any snack foods that were.
    serious. Except like I think I.
    was I’m thinking about the fact that we were a flagship
    and then we had it two lieutenants
    assigned one for the skipper and one was an executive officer and
    they were trained with the idea that they were in command of the ship.
    And they were. But here come a flag officer aboard who was there in


    the cab of the man who he was a commander.
    Who. I doubt whether he had a very spacious naval career up to that
    point. And he probably had been retired from the Navy
    because he couldn’t be promoted. But the war came along and here he was out there
    as a. And as our flag officer.
    And he was out there to make a name for himself.


    He was in charge of everything. And the skipper and the exact say what
    we thought we were supposed to be in charge. They were supposed to be all just one of them.
    So you know that was a.
    Common and satisfactory situation. So.
    There commander had those head to our skipper and our executive
    court-martialed on a trumped up charge so get him off the ship so he could


    do it so he could be what he wanted to be.
    So they work for their lives got rid of them. Oh my gosh. Then we got
    two more officers said to be skipper and executive
    and they were good officers. And so. It was. No
    no loss really as far as our ship was concerned. I just feel
    bad for the careers of the levies to.
    Their previous exact illness. And the skipper. But of course they were just


    reserves like reservists like I was. And so.
    That was just a part of their career and their gender ruined their life. But it was a
    very hard thing to see the skipper Darren. I
    mean this commander. I have none of us
    had much. Good feelings. No good feeling
    for him because he was trying to make a career. And we


    were just trying to get the war over there. And so he would take
    charge he would and I in our minutes we
    can and I could show you that. We will go and some buy would see
    something floating out in the ocean. And he’d come up and pronounce it
    this or that. And so by Alice would say well I don’t think so. But he whatever he
    said he that he would stick by it. And he would he was.
    Always wrong and that


    for example.
    We had these small boats that go ashore back and forth ashore. One day at one
    time he. Two that was taken the small boat
    ashore. And in the Cox in the course was piloting this small boat
    where he knew weeks should be. And the commander said no. I will go over
    here. Go this way. No that’s not the way to go. I said go
    this way. And so. They ran the small boat


    aground or here at Coral Reef.
    And had to back off and made the trip around to come back and
    tied the small boat up to the balloon and that night.
    The small boat sank. And so will
    Commander come out. The next day and found out who was the officer that day.
    When the small boat sank. He didn’t tell anybody that that maybe had an accident


    with the boat. The cops who knew about it. And he told us the boat the boat
    sank and the and even rode a reprimand in the officer in the decks.
    jacket for allowing that thing to happen.
    And he was he just was. He was just focused on
    what he saw and it might make a career for himself and not
    not winning the war or anything like that. And he probably saved our lives because
    Jim will be talking to you. Probably made.


    Tin invasions.
    And we were out there going kind of like on a cruise because
    this this commander didn’t get to our ship in any trouble initially. But
    it was a great was an experience of a lifetime. That was compressed in
    four years.
    So now that the war is over in Europe. You’re still working. The ship is still
    transporting things harder and harder to come to you. Where finally you know


    discharged from the service. And come again. How did you what was the circumstances of your
    Or when I got my points you. The
    everyone. Depending on their points and their points were by
    age and by.
    By the time. You served in Bye Bye dependents. I had no dependents. So


    I I didn’t my points didn’t come up
    till way late. And that’s the best part of my whole
    naval experience was that the war was over. And
    I could have gone home. If I had the points. But since I didn’t have
    the points. I made a lot of I made trips
    to Japan and China and some of those exotic places that I had never seen


    With that.
    We we were just going places in the
    during the war. Where. We were
    assigned. Who wouldn’t be places you would go if you also love
    were those South Sea island some number of beautiful places I
    wouldn’t mind going back and visiting some but narrow. Make it now.
    But I you know. I have a son who is very


    successful in tool and dye he has.
    Started out in a little shop in Chicago.
    Working for the.
    Owner of the shop and they got to do everything in the shop
    and then do everything in the office. You know everything out on sales.
    And then. Then he.
    bought the business then he expanded in other


    shops in United States. And then and then. down
    in Florida Fort Lauderdale they need. Then he had a factory in
    in Scotland. And then he had a fire at the end factory in Singapore for years and years.
    And he got rich he’s got rid all those. And now he’s got
    factories in China and Malaysia. So I have some contacts there
    in the Orient after on through my son and.
    Then a wonderful experience for me. I was just a country boy and


    still am. I’ve worked agriculture all my life and I’ve been
    lucky. I I know how to handle Agriculture and my own
    farmland. That I got through being able to do
    Now was there was one other story about when you finally were just charge on your flight back
    home. was that.
    Well we were we were I


    believe we were in Hong Kong. When I got my orders to come back
    home. And since I was an officer.
    And then they were.
    flying somewhere. Some war-weary bombers back to United States.
    And I had an opportunity to fly back to the United States. Well I
    wouldn’t chose that. But hey why not. I’ve been through everything else at
    night and I while I had climbed through the twenty ninth in


    tinny and then I’d never been in the air with any old enemy bombers.
    So I could. I said sure I’ll fly back and when we got aboard
    that. bomber. They just had out
    of Bombay who has no seats. No nothing in their biggest plane
    just a cargo area. And lo and behold we did we flew through a
    storm. Wow. that you were dropping.


    Then you were in another breath. And so you know you’d be
    lying there wrapped up in a blanket and then getting an easy and thinking
    oh maybe I better get up set up. And so then
    you try to set up and you were in an updraft. You
    couldn’t get up so I had to tried a little harder. And so the next time when you try to get
    up. You’re in a downdraft you just throw yourself in the air.
    So you were just rattling around in that thing and it would have been a lot of fun. If we


    weren’t scared as we were and it was.
    It was pitch black in that cargo hatch but it was an experience.
    And you made it. But yeah we made it everywhere that
    everything was was quite an interesting was an interesting.
    You know where you when you were your return in the States via that flight and
    then you did you take a train back to the show. And what were you doing. You know where was your final


    Well it was kind of fuzzy because I was in the reserves. Though And I was
    released released from active duty. And I think that was out in
    in California. And I was assigned.
    assigned to Treasure Island right by
    San Francisco. So I was there about a month.
    They they.
    Looked at us as naval officers we just got back from


    from overseas. And they and I was signed. First and security. And I
    was an investigating sin.
    From property that had been. Supposedly lost and so
    forth. But my my heart wasn’t in it. And I even if I was on
    maybe on the track to solve it. I didn’t solve
    any of the problems that I was assigned to. And the other thing was
    that. Here a good head and just barely got back to the United


    States and the darned.
    The president with Truman.
    In the in the room.
    Not the Coast Guard but the the
    Navy people.
    went out on strike. And lo and behold.
    It really is. People it’s a very nice day. It’s a longshoreman one ounce marker on.


    The longshoreman one on strike or the people loading their car goes one on Stryker
    These were just ships out in the harbor area in.
    San Francisco or.
    Good. And then San Francisco.
    And they the.
    Civilians that were manning the ships had gone on a


    strike. And here I was just getting back from the service
    from overseas. And I got assigned it to to be in charge of a
    ship out in the harbor. Well that was a way to do it. I.
    Guess. But it I thought that was something that I.
    I didn’t have to have but I did.
    So those were nationalizing the private shops and put the Naval officers in
    charge and you were one of them. My gosh.


    That week. But it was solved. So I did never to see a powder or anything.
    I was. Oh you finally did get home.
    I did get home and then come back to their home farm
    and it all started because.
    We were not very. successful mother had
    been widowed ten years both in thirty one and my mother was
    widowed and we lost my father and brother in a drowning


    accident they were trying to save. Some people that were in the
    water and that preacher my
    father and my twelve-Year Old brother were drowned in an effort to try
    to to save. Somebody that was
    out in out in.
    This is at the River Caf and we were we were.


    We didn’t really know what was going on. Who would looking back.
    Had it. And after it happened. There was a on
    a river.
    Barge went by and we should have known that would make an under
    Joe and current. We didn’t know what we were swimming. But there was some other
    people swimming and my father and the preacher and mice brother
    made a living chain. And tried to reach out to him but


    somebody in the chain did not.