Page 3 - APR RAPNEWS 2017
P. 3

By Dr. Patsy Barber

Although the war against Japan was declared December 8, the Then because a Japanese sub, I-58, threw several torpedoes at us

Pacific Command was considered by many to be second choice to during the night of July 29, 1945; an electric failure prevented the

secure every military item. They knew it.                           sending of an SOS and the loss went unreported for 82 hours. Of

                                                                    1,999 people on board there were 316 survivors. Some were

Some two million troops, endless number of ships and submarines, civilians who had gone over with the Atomic Bomb. It was in a box

the Code Talkers (Indians from Arizona from many tribes) who welded to the deck.

passed vital messages in their native language, large canine corps

who earned their Purple Hearts and other medals while saving Finally found a kapok jacket that saved me because I can’t swim. I

thousands of combat troops. Those service crews gave their best have only a partial recall because it was too traumatic. Sharks

until the first atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and          were all around. A PBY spotted us, landed and called for help.

Nagasaki, Japan.                                                    Short of fuel he couldn’t get off. I was picked up by a barge and

                                                                    put on a submarine tender and taken to the Philippines. I stayed in

James Gilcrease enlisted in the U. S. Navy prior to the Pearl       a hospital there for three months. Then went to another hospital

Harbor bombing. After boot camp he was at Pearl Harbor waiting and then I went to Guam. Before the ship was hit I weighed 188

to catch a ship. He missed the bombing on December 7, but was pounds 132 pounds when I was picked up. I came back to a Navy

assigned to burial service in the Cemetery of the Pacific. Later he Hospital in New Orleans where I stayed for some time before and

was assigned to cleanup. Soon he was assigned to the USS            after being discharged.”

Indianapolis where duty consisted of watch, loading shells,

scrubbing decks and heads and handling mail. That duty was for Again we thank James and all military who helped preserve our

16 months without seeing land.                                      freedom.

They made all of the islands except Midway, Guadalcanal and         “My pride and joy of this collection is a print out of every recorded
Alaska. Nimitz was head of his fleet. “We were at Okinawa for the   word at the Nuremberg Trials. German leaders were on trial after
landing when typhoons came in, they bounced us around like a        they surrendered. I have five individual five-inch binders
                                                                    containing what I’ve categorized. You can find any topic,
rubber ball. Little did we realize what our last voyage would be    cross-referenced by what each one testified.
like, playing a vital rode in the first atomic bomb and Enola Gay,
pilot Paul Tibbets, at Saipan.                                      Continued on page 9

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