My grandfather fought in World War II and
he's alive and well to tell all 14 of his wonderful
grandchildren about what he did. This is his story.
When the war first began my grandfather was
14 years old. He was very tall so it made him look like he
was 17 years old. He had a job at those old gas stations
that had people pumping the gas for you. On the day Pearl
Harbor was attacked he went to the post office and signed up
for the Navy. All he needed now was his parents' permission.
Well, my grandfather's father didn't want his 14 year old
son in the war without an education.
Listen to my grandfather
tell you. (824K)
My grandfather wanted to go to war so badly,
but he listened to his father's advise (this pays off in the
future, I'll tell you what happens to him later). So my
grandfather went back to high school and got an education.
On my grandfather's 17th birthday his father signed the form
and my he went off to boot camp. His parents were proud that
he wanted to fight for our country, but they were worried
that he might die. Listen to my
grandfather tell how his parents felt about him going off to
After a short 6 weeks at boot camp he was
assigned to a Destroyer
Escort. A Destroyer Escort is a ship that follows
big Destroyer ships around to help them fight.
These are some pictures of the Destroyer
escort my grandfather was on.
This is a picture of the ship where some
soldiers are shooting a line to the ship to transfer
One time when my grandfather's platoon
searched a Japanese cruiser they found a Japanese Berry
Pistol, a Japanese Fire Extinguisher, and a canteen on a
dead Japanese soldier. He still has these to this day. He
said that the Japanese copied the American weapons.
Listen to my grandpa
tell you about the items he collected.
While at sea there were certain jobs to do
but the captain of the ship didn't want his men doing the
same thing all the time because they might get bored and not
pay attention. So every 30 minutes his men would switch
places. There were many places for seamen to work. One of
them was at the wheel. Listen to my grandpa
talk to you about the jobs on the ship.
One time when my grandfather was steering
there was a typhoon. A typhoon is a hurricane in the ocean.
During a typhoon it is scary. Sometimes the typhoon would
last for hours, other times it would last for a shorter
period of time. When the typhoon starts the waves are 6 feet
high or more. After a while it gets stronger. If you're
steering, you would be dealing with winds of about 30-95
miles per hour. At the same time, you're holding onto the
wheel for dear life. This is very scary.
The water by now is gushing onto the deck.
After the storm about half the deck is in pieces. If you
were below deck, you would feel very sick because the ship
is swaying back and forth. You'd sometimes even throw up.
But the only thing that would come up is oranges. (I'll tell
you about that later.)
Learning that a typhoon is so destructive, I
was so glad my grandfather stayed alive after that
experience. He had to keep the ship from turning over by
steering the ship in a zig-zag pattern. My grandfather
didn't panic. Doing this, he saved at least 300 lives. Now
that I know this I really think he is a hero.
Now I'd like to tell you about the food they
eat. One of the foods that makes my grandfather sick is
oranges. When you're on a ship for a long time you have to
eat oranges for Vitamin C. This was to prevent the men form
getting scurvy. When a man got seasick, the only thing that
would come up was oranges (sick, isn't it). My grandfather
also told me that men in prison would volunteer to fight for
our country. When they weren't allowed to fight, they would
volunteer to be tested with dangerous medicines to help cure
seasick people. Sometimes they would die from the
Because he had an education, after the war
my grandfather went to work for N.A.S.A. for 3 years. This
was during the Apollo Moon landing and Apollo 13. Then he
taught high school for 21 years. Now he's retired and lives
in a house he built with his own two hands. None of this
would have happened to him if he hadn't gone back to high
school. So let this be a lesson to you.
This is what my grandfather told me he did
during and after the war.