Preserving The Oral HistorIES of Combat Veterans


Jesus Cepeda | USS Honolulu (CL-48) - Navy

9:22   |   When at anchor in Pearl Harbor, Jesus Cepeda would attend mass on Sunday with his friend from back home in Guam. As he waited for him on deck, he heard a big rumbling noise, like hundreds of planes at once, but as he searched the sky, he could see nothing. Then he turned to the north.

More From Jesus Cepeda

Keywords   :     Jesus Cepeda    Guam    mess attendant    Pearl Harbor    Jose Ramirez    Honolulu HI    Catholic    torpedo bomber    bomber    fighter    Japanese    USS Honolulu (CL-48)    USS Arizona (BB-39)

Videos ( 10 )
  • Jesus Cepeda  |  WWII  |  Multiple Ships  |  5:44

    Following in the footsteps of his father, Guam native Jesus Cepeda eagerly joined the US Navy in 1939 when a sailor he befriended recommended him. All he could be was a mess attendant but it was still the best opportunity on the undeveloped island.

  • Jesus Cepeda  |  WWII  |  Multiple Ships  |  4:52

    Ten young men from Guam were recruited into the US Navy per month and in 1939, Jesus Cepeda was one of them. The training was simple, since they were only going to be mess attendants and personal assistants for officers.

  • Jesus Cepeda  |  WWII  |  USS Honolulu (CL-48)  |  5:09

    As a mess attendant, Jesus Cepeda's duty was to take care of the personal needs of officers aboard ship. This "lowest of the lowest" position, as he calls it, did not prevent him from having an informed opinion on the way commanders were relieved of duty in the aftermath of the Pearl Harbor attack.

  • Jesus Cepeda  |  WWII  |  Multiple Ships  |  6:23

    Immediately after the Pearl Harbor attack, the top Army and Navy commanders in the Pacific were recalled to Washington and relieved of command. Jesus Cepeda was on the admiral's staff and followed the new commander to the southern Pacific, where the ANZAC force was being organized.

  • Jesus Cepeda  |  WWII  |  USS Pasadena (CL-65)  |  4:42

    Jesus Cepeda was a mess attendant who followed his officer from the Pacific to the Atlantic when he was promoted to rear admiral. It wasn't long before they were reassigned back to the Pacific aboard the USS Pasadena, a cruiser which was involved in every major naval engagement for the rest of the war.

  • Jesus Cepeda  |  WWII  |  USS Pasadena (CL-65)  |  6:17

    Guam native Jesus Cepeda had joined the US Navy before the war started. He was witness to nearly ever major battle in the Pacific from an unusual perspective, as a personal attendant to commanding officers. This gave him a front row seat to amphibious landings, kamikaze attacks and massive bombardments.

  • Jesus Cepeda  |  WWII  |  USS Pasadena (CL-65)  |  6:14

    Anchored off Iwo Jima, Jesus Cepeda heard the news about the atomic bomb on the ship's radio. He wondered, what is this? When he found out what it had done to an entire city, he knew it was the right thing to do, to bring the war to an end. After his release, he rushed home to Guam, to find out if his family had survived the Japanese occupation.

  • Jesus Cepeda  |  WWII  |  Multiple Ships  |  3:53

    Guam native Jesus Cepeda returned home after the war and began work as a government clerk, then he followed his brother into a business distributing alcohol to the stores on the island. It was in one of these that a pretty cashier caught his eye.

  • Jesus Cepeda  |  WWII  |  Multiple Ships  |  4:18

    Was joining the US Navy in 1939 the best choice for him as a young man on the island of Guam? Jesus Cepada responds to that question and then has some sharp words for Harry Truman's post war policy.

  • Jesus Cepeda  |  WWII  |  Multiple Ships  |  2:05

    What did he learn from his service in the US Navy? World War II veteran Jesus Cepeda lets you know in no uncertain terms.

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