Archive for the 'World War II' Category

Jan 16

The Life & Service of a World War 2 Mine Warfare Sailor. Part 6 Sea Stories Part 1

Thursday, January 16, 2020 12:01 AM

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This blog begins with my grandfather, Seaman Thomas Schreck, shortly after joining his ship the USS Sway (AM-120) an Auk class mine sweeper. He arrived in Bizerte Tunisia at the Karouba Air and Sea base a few days earlier. The Sway spent the first nine days of June undergoing refitting before returning to Italy where it continued to serve as part of the ongoing operations there. My grandfather stopped writing upon joining the ship as per orders from his Commanding Officer. This blog and future blogs will use a combination of the ship’s war journal, a few entries he did make, an… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Jan 14

Flying Beer Trucks

Tuesday, January 14, 2020 10:04 AM

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In October 1944, I was with Marine Scout Bomber Squadron (VMSB) 142 stationed on Emirau Island, 1 degree south of the equator, in the northern Solomons. We were part of the force keeping the Japanese bases of Kavieng and Rabaul isolated. Training flights in our Douglas SBD Dauntlesses plus an occasional strike was the order of the day, as we waited for the Philippine liberation campaign to begin. I had noticed a small growth on the sole of my left foot that made it painful to walk on, and also painful to put pressure on the rudder pedal of the… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Jan 2

The Sinking of the BB Kongo during WWII

Thursday, January 2, 2020 12:01 AM

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Vice Admiral Eli T. Reich, USN (Ret.)

  In this excerpt, Vice Admiral Eli T. Reich recounts the 21 November 1944 sinking of the Japanese battleship BB Kongo by the USS Sealion (SS-315). This excerpt comes from Volume I of Vice Admiral Reich’s oral history and covers his career prior to 1963. He graduated from submarine school in 1939 and was assigned to the first USS Sealion (SS-195). In Manila in December 1941, he was lunching on a ship in the harbor when the Sealion (which he had left moments before) was demolished by Japanese bombs. His descriptions of submarine experience in the Pacific and Sea of… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Dec 17

The Life & Service of a World War 2 Mine Warfare Sailor. Part 5

Tuesday, December 17, 2019 12:01 AM

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This entry picks up where my grandfather’s journal left off in May, 1944. After a long voyage to Algeria and a brief stay at the Oran Naval Receiving Station he received his travel orders to Tunisia where he met his ship. As stated in previous blogs these entries are copied word for word from the original journal. Language is contemporary and some entries may not be politically correct. They are recorded here as part of the historical record. Saturday May 20th Got our clearance cards this A.M. Hate to leave. Going to Biserte by train. Bizerte, Tunisia was home to… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Dec 11

Honoring USS Eagle (PE-56)

Wednesday, December 11, 2019 10:49 AM

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I received an email this morning from a Naval Institute friend that I wanted to share about a new memorial which is replacing an old one. In part, the email read: During World War II, on April 23, 1945, the USS Eagle 56 was sunk by a German submarine about five miles off the coast of Cape Elizabeth. 49 sailors were killed in action; 13 survived. A memorial is currently located at Fort Williams Park to the right of the lighthouse, when facing the water, between the two binoculars. On November 21, 2019 Steve Lyons, Cape Elizabeth, and Paul Lawton, Naval… 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 12

Navy Bands: Diversity in Action

Tuesday, November 12, 2019 12:01 AM

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During the late-nineteenth century and early-twentieth century, musicians from South America, Central America, and Caribbean countries filled vacant ranks in U.S. Navy Bands, swearing an oath of enlistment that afforded a path to American citizenship. Early twentieth-century Navy Band rosters prove strikingly diverse. In addition to affording citizenship, music served as a medium to help bring diversity to the U.S. Navy. Of the many attempts to define the American national identity, the most enlightening are those that read American identity as a synthesis of many different influences. Unsurprisingly, American musical identity is also best defined as a synthesis. Forged through… Read the rest of this entry »

 
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