9:20 | Eugene Whitfield tells the story of the twin kamikaze attacks on the aircraft carrier Ticonderoga. The first plane caught them by surprise when the Japanese pilot came straight down out of the sun. The second one hit the bridge and the captain was wounded, but he proved to be very tough.
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After basic training, where he learned the art of fire fighting aboard ship, Eugene Whitfield went to a Naval air group in Quonset Point, Rhode Island. New aircraft for carriers were received and prepped for battle, and this task began a long career for him in aviation munitions.
He decided to stay in Naval Aviation and soon, Eugene Whitfield found himself on the brand new aircraft carrier, the USS Ticonderoga. After a shakedown cruise in the Atlantic, the ship passed through the Panama Canal and on to Pearl Harbor, which was still reeling from the surprise Japanese attack.
The routine for an Aviation Ordnanceman meant rising long before dawn to prepare the planes for battle. Daylight meant they were on their way. Eugene Whitfield recalls how they worked with lamps strapped to their arms.
Aviation Ordanceman Eugene Whitfield recalls the stoic actions of Captain Dixie Kiefer during the kamikaze strike on the Ticonderoga. As if the crippling attack wasn't enough trouble for the crew, a typhoon lurked nearby.
Eugene Whitfield said goodbye to the USS Ticonderoga after it returned to Seattle, too damaged to continue. Put in charge of ordnance at the Naval Air Station in Jacksonville, Florida, he didn't have to dodge any more kamikaze attacks and he even had time to develop a special skill and teach it to new pilots.
After the war ended in the Pacific, Eugene Whitfield decide to make a career of it and served aboard many different carriers. A visit to Hiroshima was a sobering experience, and a search for a missionary led to an amazing coincidence.
Eugene Whitfield tells the story of the twin kamikaze attacks on the aircraft carrier Ticonderoga. The first plane caught them by surprise when the Japanese pilot came straight down out of the sun. The second one hit the bridge and the captain was wounded, but he proved to be very tough.
Gilbert Jensen had a best friend named Billy Ricketts. The war caught up with their friendship on a three man patrol in the jungle of Guadalcanal. Other combat memories from this time include a night attack on a Japanese camp and nighttime Japanese banzai attacks.
The first operation for the 4th Division was the landing on Roi-Namur. Lawrence Snowden remembers that, though it was an easy victory, valuable combat experience and important lessons were imparted on the Marines.
After a mission, Mitch Touart and his crew notice that one of the planes has gone missing, only to find out that it has crashed into an embankment. COL Dunning ends up having to make a tragic decision about SGT Edelman, who is trapped in the aircraft.
Cassetta’s unit landed in Sing Tao, China to keep peace between Mao Zedong’s Chinese and Chiang Kai-shek’s Japanese. The two armies would not cooperate, and the Chinese army even kept active in the middle of the night to ensure the Americans did not advance any farther in their land. Cassetta also recalls the devastation China suffered at the hands of the Japanese at both Peking and the Great Wall.
While returning and regrouping from Okinawa, a man on the ship came down and told Cassetta’s unit that the war was over. They did not immediately celebrate, but once everyone realized the truth of the matter, everyone was very grateful.
Cassetta tells a humorous story about playing Italian love songs on a guitar during his unit's down time. When the men requested that he play Hank Williams, Cassetta's true Italian roots became impossible to deny.
In this chilling account Elmer Wisherd describes flying into German territory before encountering heavy gunfire in Holland. After a bullet pierced his plane, he recalls what happened next.
A German Messerschmitt airplane attacks Bill's B-17 head on, taking out two engines. When it loses one more engine on their return flight home, Bill and his crew are forced to make a big decision.