Minesweeper flagship

Simi Valley, CA

I read with great interest Jeff Stoffer's article in the Legion magazine on the history of WWII; it is hard to believe it has been 75 years since V-J Day. I joined the Navy right out of high school.

I am a 94-year-old Navy veteran of World War II, serving in the Pacific aboard USS Obstructor (ACM 7, a mine layer, as a radioman class). We had sailed from San Diego to Pearl Harbor, to Eniwetok, Bikini, Saipan and on into Guam, headed into the Philippines. Gen. MacArthur had returned to the Philippines, Doolittle had dropped the A-bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the war ended on Sept. 2, 1945, with the treaty being signed aboard USS Missouri.

We became the flagship of a minesweeper squadron and sailed to Hong Kong for the next year, returning to the United States in July 1946; the entire crew received a piece of it, I still have mine with my dog tags and discharge papers.

Even though the war had ended we had some harrowing experiences. We had sent an LCVP in to check out the Harbor of Amoy for mines and had dropped anchor outside the harbor. When we weighed anchor, we had entangled a mine. We disarmed it and everybody did their skivvies that night. We were running dark close to shore, as we were being fired upon from the shore. I was on the bridge and for no reason the skipper turned on the flood lights and right ahead was a telephone pole trap that would have ripped open the hull of our ship. The skipper reversed engines and we avoided that trap.

In 1992 my late wife of 65 years, Rosalie, and I returned to Manila and visited Corregidor. The entire island is a memorial with all the bombed-out buildings and Big Berthas still in place, and the Milan Tunnel where Gen. Wainwright took his men, and has been memorialized with statues.

My father was an American Legion member, being an Army veteran of World War I belonging to the Leonard Wood post, and I belong to Post 484 in Simi Valley, Calif.

Carl J. Anderson

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