Archive for the 'Personal Account' Category

Dec 5

From Bad to Worse

Thursday, December 5, 2019 12:01 AM

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After two months in Vietnam, I had learned a lot about being a corpsman on the front lines. I had already filled out dozens of casualty cards, and I had seen more KIA’s (Killed-in Action) and WIA’s (Wounded-In-Action) than I cared to think about. On this particular day, we were on another search and destroy mission. The sun was just rising, and with no clouds in the sky, we were already sweating from the heat and humidity. With Vietnam only eight degrees north of the equator, we knew it was going to be another very hot day. In South Vietnam,… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Dec 3

Risky Rescue off Nauru Island, December 1944

Tuesday, December 3, 2019 8:50 AM

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Admiral U. S. Grant Sharp, USN (Ret.)

  In this clip excerpted from his oral history recordings, Admiral Sharp recalls a risky rescue mission five miles off Nauru Island in December 1944, in which the downed “pilot” turned out to be a float light bobbing in the water. During World War II, Admiral Sharp was CO of the USS Hogan (DD-178) on convoy duty in the Western Atlantic and Caribbean as well as in the invasion of North Africa. In 1943 he was CO of the USS Boyd (DD-544) and took part in many strikes in the Pacific: Wake Islands, Nauru, the Marianas, the Bonins, Mindanao, Cebu, Negros, Luzon, Truk, Okinawa, and… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Nov 21

The Life & Service of a World War 2 Mine Warfare Sailor. Part 4

Thursday, November 21, 2019 12:01 AM

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When last we left my grandfather, Seaman Thomas Schreck was settling into life at the Oran Naval Receiving station in Algeria. This was merely a stopping off point until he moved on to Tunisia where he joined the Auk Class minesweeper USS Sway (AM-120). This blog entry picks up on 16 May 1944. Tuesday May 16th Our convoy that went to Oran was bombed and they lost two Navy ships and five merchant. Guess we rate a star. First time we saw those French and English planes got scared. Nice ships. Played ball this A.M. Our crew against the Phillies. Beat… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Nov 5

German Fleet Surrender of World War I

Tuesday, November 5, 2019 12:01 AM

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Head shot of Vice Admiral John L. McCrea, USN (Ret.)

  In this clip excerpted from his oral history recordings, Vice Admiral McCrea recalls the remarkable capstone of his World War I service on board the battleship USS New York (BB-34) — the German fleet surrender of World War I. McCrea was a Naval Academy midshipman in 1914 when his ship, the USS Idaho (BB-24), was sold to Greece on the eve of World War I. After graduating in 1915, he served in the New York and was present when the German fleet surrendered following the war. He served a tour in Guam in the 1930s, then was executive officer of… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Oct 15

The Life & Service of a World War 2 Mine Warfare Sailor. Part 3

Tuesday, October 15, 2019 12:01 AM

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This Blog picks up with my grandfather Thomas Schreck’s journal on 8 May 1944. My grandfather was a passenger on the liberty ship SS Reverdy Johnson in route to Algeria to meet the ship he served on until the end of the war. The Reverdy Johnson was part of convoy UGS-40 that sailed from Norfolk, Virginia on 23 April, my grandfather boarded two days earlier. Monday May 8th Started betting on when we would see the rock, Saw birds and small craft. The rock is the Rock of Gibraltar, which every ship traveling to North Africa passed. Seeing birds and small… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Sep 19

The Life & Service of a World War 2 Mine Warfare Sailor. Part 2

Thursday, September 19, 2019 12:01 AM

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With this blog I pickup on day four of my grandfather, Thomas D. Schreck’s journal. To recap, he was a passenger aboard the liberty ship SS Reverdy Johnson traveling to North Africa to join the ship he would serve on until the end of the war. The Reverdy Johnson was part of convoy UGS-40 which departed Norfolk, Virginia on 23 April 1944. I am writing this blog as a way to preserve his experiences for the historic record so that future generations may continue to learn from the “Greatest Generation.” As we lose more and more World War II veterans each… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Apr 18

Reflections on Admiral Yamamoto

Thursday, April 18, 2019 12:01 AM

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On this date in 1943, U.S. Army Air Forces P-38 Lightning fighters, acting on U.S. Navy signals intelligence, shot down a bomber carrying Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, Commander-in-Chief of the Japanese Combined Fleet and architect of the Pearl Harbor attack. Yamamoto’s death was a devastating blow to Japan’s war effort. Commander Edwin T. Layton, intelligence officer on the staff of Admiral Chester Nimitz, U.S. Pacific Fleet Commander-in-Chief, played a key role in the events that led to Yamamoto’s death. Ironically, Layton had gotten to know the Japanese admiral while serving as assistant naval attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo from… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Apr 11

Diplomatic Exchange with Japan — 1942

Thursday, April 11, 2019 1:50 AM

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MS Gripsholm carrying prisoners of war, loads Red Cross supplies in New York Harbor.

While cataloguing photos for the Naval Institute’s digital image collection, one of our archivists brought this photo to my attention. I was intrigued, and started to search our content for the story behind the picture. It didn’t take me long to find the fascinating story related in a first person account by Captain Henri Harold Smith-Hutton, U.S. Navy (Retired) in his oral history transcript from interviews conducted by Captain Paul Ryan at Smith-Hutton’s home in Palo Alto, California in 1973. Captain Smith-Hutton was serving as Naval Attaché in Japan at the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor. In Captain… Read the rest of this entry »

 
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