World War II

Richmond Heights, OH

My family is basically a Navy family. I am proud to say that I had 11 uncles serve in World War II. My hero is my uncle Eugene. He was on USS New Orleans, a cruiser, when Pearl Harbor was bombed. He said he saw his shipmates get blown up. The Japanese had blown off the bow of the ship. They were able to get the ship underway and had to steam 1,000 miles backwards to a port to get the ship repaired. After that Uncle Gene was in every major sea battle in the South Pacific. He recalls the Battle of the Coral Sea. They went to general quarters and closed all the hatches. When they secured from General Guarters, each sailor came out of the boiler room and collapsed on the deck. Once they dried out, their blues work uniforms were white with salt. Uncle Gene was the first class in charge of one of the boiler rooms. When they went to General Quarters, he strapped a .45 on his hip and his instructions were if anyone tries to get out of the boiler room during battle, shoot them. Great guy; I really miss him.

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