Hometown: Ceylon, Minnesota
Branch of Military: Navy
Years of Service: 1943-1946
Wars or Battles Fought In: WWII / Battle of Angaur / Battle of Peleliu / Island of TurawaSpecialty: Coxswain for LCM Boats
Bio: Hitler and Japan's Hirohito (Emperor Showa) inspired me to sign up for the military. I was a Coxswain for Landing Craft Mechanized (LCM) boats, which were used to land troops or tanks during allied amphibious assaults. During the first bombing raid on the Island of Nukufetau, I recall going through a typhoon on an LCM boat while winds blew 80 mph. One of my vivid memories from the first bombing raid on Funafuti was the very bright full moon that offered the only light during the night. Bombs were dropped from Japanese airplanes onto the runway where American planes were waiting. Also while on Funafuti, there was a night when I was jolted awake by a man yelling, "Raid!", right outside of my sleeping tent. To hide from the gunshots, I escaped from my tent into a nearby foxhole. I jumped in the hole immediately, but should have looked more closely. As I jumped into the hole, I saw something that looked like a coconut...but soon found out was a fellow soldier's head! Luckily, there were no major injuries but it could have ended very badly. When I was in a very long beer line one night, I saw a man i recognized drive to the front of the line to pick up two cases of beer. Moments later when I met up with the man I realized it was Dick Nicholson, my old high school friend and pilot for a four-engine B-24 Bomber. Dick offered me some b eer and we spent hours that evening talking and drinking. Overall, I enjoyed my experience in the military and do not regret my years of service. My advice: Keep your powder dry, so if you have to shoot you can.