Electrician’s Mate 1st Class Thomas McLean’s war in the Pacific lasted a little over three months. He sailed aboard the USS Tollberg, APD-103, for Pearl Harbor arriving April 22, 1945.
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.