Bruce Owens of Burnt Store Marina was a lieutenant j.g. serving aboard the aircraft carrier USS Kearsarge (CVS-33) that plucked Astronaut Wally Schirra from the Pacific on Oct. 3, 1962 during America’s fifth manned space flight.
Archive for the ‘Navy’ Category
Electronics Technician 2nd Class Richard Berry of Venice served aboard the USS Hudson (DD-470), on picket duty off Iwo Jima and Okinawa during the closing months of World War II.
Joe Pendrak spent his time flying a twin-engine Martin Mariner PBM Seaplane on submarine patrols and convoy duty in the Atlantic and Caribbean during World War II. His squadron, V P-215, was assigned to Bermuda part of the time.
Don Lichty of Lemon Bay Isles mobile home park in Englewood was a torpedoman aboard the USS Torsk in World War II. Her claim to fame was she was the only submarine in the U.S. Navy to sink a train. She also sent the last two Japanese ships to bottom hours before the end of the Second World War. Read the rest of this entry »
The headline on the story in the Sun read: ‘Jack Callahan served aboard USS St. Mary’s at Okinawa.’ Rudy Ricci of Windmill Village mobile home park in Punta Gorda, Fla. couldn’t believe his eyes.
Tony Inzerillo of Seminole Lakes subdivision, south of Punta Gorda, Fla. almost missed World War II. He and the rest of the crew of the submarine USS Thornback, SS-418, made one combat cruise off the coast of mainland Japan a month before the Japanese unconditionally surrendered ending the Second World War.
It was Jan. 22, 1945 and Americans forces were already making air strikes on Okinawa. The captain of the battleship USS South Dakota got word a carrier plane had crashed into the sea off the Pacific island.
“We were anchored at Pearl about 1,000 feet from Battleship Row when the Japs attacked,” the 85-year-old former sailor recalled. “We got underway in 17 minutes, but our path to the open sea was blocked by the battleship West Virginia that had been torpedoed and run up on a shoal to keep from sinking.” Read the rest of this entry »
Long before the Kamikaze attack during the Battle of Leyte Gulf, off Luzon in the Philippine Islands during World War II, the USS Claxton with George Bothum aboard saw considerable action in the Solomon Islands off Guadalcanal, Bougainville and Tillage earlier in the war.
Most of the time during the Korean War Jack Potter served as a coxswain aboard a LCM (landing craft) attached to the attack transport USS Andromeda (AKA-15). He made the second landing at Inchon, South Korea and brought Marines ashore in the first wave.
There’s not much Nick Gassera remembers about serving as a seaman aboard the destroyer USS Collett, DD-730, during World War II. But three images still vividly stick out in his mind about World War II after more than six decades—Okinawa, the typhoon and being aboard the first American ship to sail into Tokyo Bay when the Japanese surrendered. Read the rest of this entry »
World War II for Hank Chiminello only lasted four months. He ended up in Honolulu as a radioman aboard a troop transport ship in April 1945.
“We were taking boys and supplies over to the islands on a 426-foot ship, the USS Medean (AKA-31),” the 88-year-old North Port resident explained. “We were sent to all the islands over there – the Philippines, Guam, Saipan, Iwo Jima and Okinawa.”
Dave Schmidt joined the Navy at 15, before World War II. He was a big boy for his age – 5-ft., 6-inches tall and 215-pounds.
“I was an out of control kid. My parents both worked and they decided the Navy was the best thing to straighten me out. They told the Navy recruiter my birth certificate was lost in a fire and I was 17-years-old,” the 86-year-old Port Charlotte man recalled almost seven decades later.
At 90 Al Gosselin of Big Tree mobile home park in Arcadia, Fla. no longer remembers all the details of the 10 trips he made across the Atlantic and Pacific as a radioman aboard six freighters and one landing craft he served on during World War II. But there are instances aboard ship he still recalls as clear as a bell.
Herb Wild of Port Charlotte, Fla. joined the Navy in 1942 during World War II as an 18 –year-old electronics assistant’s mate. His job was to repair the newfangled electronic equipment on airplanes flown by Navy pilots in the Pacific Theatre of Operations.
When Boatswain’s Mate 2nd Class Diamond Trifilo went over the side of the USS Eversole, a destroyer escort, after she was struck by two Japanese torpedoes during the Battle of Leyte in World War II he was wearing nothing but his boatswain’s whistle on a chain around his neck.
George Speidell was a “Snipe” aboard the USS Cushing, DD-797, during the Korean War. He worked as a throttle-man in the aft engine room on the Fletcher Class destroyer.
“I was 17 and a disenchanted junior in high school when I convinced my father and mother to let me joint the Navy in 1952,” the former 75-year-old Port Charlotte, Fla. sailor explained. “My grandfather and great-grandfather had been in the Navy and that’s where I wanted to be.” Read the rest of this entry »
Joe Rex joined the U.S. Navy at 17 in February 1945 near the end of World War II. In 1970, twenty-five years later, he retired as a Master Chief Petty Officer.
Although he was in the service during the Second World War, he served aboard the destroyer, USS Mole –DD-693—at the start of the Korean War and served as a Mobile Electronic Technician near then end of his quarter century in the Navy, Rex’s finest hour may have been during the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962.
A spread of three “Long Lance” Japanese torpedoes struck the light cruiser USS Helena at 2 a.m., July 6, 1943 off Vella Lavella Island, part of the Solomon Island Chain in the South Pacific. Machinist Mate Ken Schank of Port Charlotte was at his battle station maintaining an electric generator controlling the cruiser’s main guns in the bowels of the ship deep below the surface when disaster struck. Read the rest of this entry »