The worst thing that happened in Okinawa was a typhoon that hit the island on November 22, 1945. Our camp consisted of a bunch of tents, which were flattened by the typhoon. We had to look for shelter. Initially, we took cover in a quonset hut, but then that blew away. Finally we moved into a tomb, which had numerous skulls staring at us. We knew that we were entering a tomb and were respectful of the remains that were there.
We then returned to Ulithi where a Jap submarine torpedoed and sank the USS Mississenewa while it was anchored about 1,500 yards from us. The sky turned black from burning oil, and it rained black rain. We sent rescue boats for survivors from the oiler.
Most of the crew on the stricken flaming ship escaped and were rescued. We watched the ship break in half and go down. It left us with a sickening feeling. It could have been us. Subsequently, three Japanese subs were sunk the following day.
It was while I was in New York, that President Roosevelt died. I was at a canteen when some other servicemen and I saw the headlines in the paper. From the photo in the newspaper, I can see that I was just as upset as the other guys – even the English sailor displayed concern. We wondered how Roosevelt’s passing would affect the war. — Bob Allured Continue reading →