Preserving The Oral HistorIES of Combat Veterans

COMBAT STORIES FROM World War II

Louie Clark | USS Haynsworth (DD-700)

4:07   |   After the USS Haynsworth sank a Japanese vessel, the survivors were reluctant to even grab the life rope. They finally did and were taken aboard. Louie Clark remembers his time with those men and their curious ways of strict hierarchy and constant bowing.

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Keywords   :     Louie Clark    USS Haynsworth (DD-700)    destroyer    Japanese    Tokyo    wooden ship    prisoner    William Bull Halsey    USS New Jersey (BB-62)    liquor    monkey fist    bow

Videos ( 7 )
WWII
  • Louie Clark  |  WWII  |  USS Haynsworth (DD-700)  |  4:13

    Drafted in 1943, Louie Clark headed to Navy boot camp where he was a guinea pig in mustard gas experiments. Officially denied by the Navy for years, the tests, fortunately, did not seriously affect him and he went on to wondering why boot camp was so rough and repetitive. The reason became clear in battle.

  • Louie Clark  |  WWII  |  USS Haynsworth (DD-700)  |  4:02

    Louie Clark joined the crew of the destroyer USS Haynsworth as a Storekeeper. In those days, a sailor carried his mattress on his back along with his seabag. The Haynsworth became part of the Pacific fleet, starting with the Formosa campaign. He says the ship had a "devil dog" Captain, a man angry with the world. Clark just wanted to get back home to his girlfriends.

  • Louie Clark  |  WWII  |  USS Haynsworth (DD-700)  |  4:52

    At first, Louie Clark's battle station on the destroyer was on a 20mm gun. He thought that was a little too dangerous so he moved to a 5 inch gun as a loader. He describes the many weapons carried by the ship and it's role in the fleet. One duty was picking up downed fliers, which earned the crew a tasty reward.

  • Louie Clark  |  WWII  |  USS Haynsworth (DD-700)  |  9:36

    The pilot was ready to die. Louie Clark saw him after he crashed his kamikaze into the deck of the destroyer USS Haynsworth. There were many casualties, including a big pot of beans that caught a machine gun from the kamikaze after it crashed through the deck. Clark describes the bravery of men that day and the solemn ceremonies of the burials at sea.

  • Louie Clark  |  WWII  |  USS Haynsworth (DD-700)  |  2:54

    Crippled by a kamikaze attack, the USS Haynsworth limped back to Pearl Harbor for repairs. The ship was sent on to California, where Ship Storekeeper Louie Clark was lucky to have a 10 day leave and he flew all the way home to Georgia. On the way back, he met some of the Iwo Jima flag raisers. By the time the ship was repaired, he had enough points to head home again.

  • Louie Clark  |  WWII  |  USS Haynsworth (DD-700)  |  3:26

    His ship was the destroyer USS Haynsworth. Storekeeper Louie Clark recalls the skipper, Commander Stephen Tackney and his Executive Officer Lt. Commander Scott Lothrop as very good leaders, although very strict, probably not a bad idea with 350 men on the ship. Most of the men were afraid of the Captain, but not Clark.

  • Louie Clark  |  WWII  |  USS Haynsworth (DD-700)  |  1:56

    If the war had not turned around, says Louie Clark, the draft age would have been lowered to 17, with the upper limit raised to 38. He hopes young people will never face that again. He also has some thoughts on the way wars have been resolved lately.

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