My time in uniform

Southbury, CT

I enlisted while attending the University of Chicago in 1942. They sent me to Dartmouth College. I did OK, but opted to fight the war. I was trained as a signalman in flashing light and semaphore. I was then sent to Chickasaw, Ala., to be a signalman on a new destroyer, DD656 Van Valkenburg, a Fletcher-class destroyer. We took the ship on a shakedown cruise in the Atlantic. We stopped over at Bermuda and then returned to the United States to Charleston, S.C. We then escorted a cruiser through the Panama Canal.
Then went to San Francisco. Sailed to Hawaiian Islands. Then to Saipan and Guam.
Escorted a convoy to Iwo Jima where we fired our guns at Mt. Sarabachi. We were less than 100 yards from Sarabachi and bombarded the island along with a battleship.
We did that for several days and then we saw the troops landing. We were right there when we saw our flag being raised. My battle station was on the bridge, so I got to see it all. We then escorted the troop ships back to Saipan. Later we escorted another invasion force of ships to Okinawa where we experienced a heavy attack of kamakaze aircraft of Japanese. We fought them off and helped put out fires in ships close by.
On return to Saipan I was transferred to the United States via air to California for R&R. I was then assigned to Adm. Lockwood's Staff on board USS Holland. We went to Guam where he was to stay as he was in charge of all submarines in the Pacific. I was transferred to USS Sperry, a sub tender. While there I organized and was MC for a variety show which we put on weekly for all the servicemen and women on Guam. The war ended while on Guam. Sperry then sailed to below the equator and I became a Shellback along with Capt. Ramsbotham and many of the crew. We then sailed to San Diego where we stayed. I served eight years with an honorable discharge.

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