I’d get a shell, they weighed about 80 pounds I think, but when I was 19 or 20 that was nothing. I’d take a shell and a bag of powder, I’d put it in the hoist and then I would send it up to the gun.
The gunner’s mate came up and started breaking the locks on the ammunition. Everything was locked up for fear that someone might go in there with a cigarette or something.
Our duty was to try and find the Japanese fleet. We never did find the Japanese fleet and I am awfully glad, because they had attacked us there with six carriers, three battleships, 10 or 15 cruisers, and about 20 destroyers.
We managed to get underway, and I don’t know to this day why we didn’t get struck or take a torpedo, but we didn’t. We got outside of the exit of the harbor and we started dropping depth charges.
We got orders to strike the Marshall and Gilbert Islands. We had a task force with the Enterprise. We had two or three cruisers and probably eight or 10 destroyers.
After the atomic bombs were dropped, the war ended and we went into Tokyo Bay with the rest of the fleet, the Missouri and the rest of them, while they signed the terms of surrender that ended the war.
I was standing on the deck of the USS Blue, a destroyer. We were all alone out there at this buoy, tied up.
It was lucky for me. It wasn’t lucky for the nine people that got killed and the 20 that were injured.