Preserving The Oral HistorIES of Combat Veterans

COMBAT STORIES FROM World War II

Alvin Waldron | USS Lassen AE-3 - Navy

5:09   |   No one stood around thinking about being a hero, says Alvin Waldron. When there was a need, men just acted, like the Coxswain who jumped onto a smoldering load of bad ammunition with an axe.

More From Alvin Waldron

Keywords   :     Alvin Waldron    camaraderie    leader    Signalman    sailor    Coxswain    Petty Officer    ammo    ammunition    Coast Guard

Videos ( 8 )
WWII
  • Alvin Waldron  |  WWII  |  USS Lassen AE-3  |  3:52

    Alvin Waldron and his friends wanted to enlist. To them, it was unpatriotic to wait on the draft. As they watched the National Guard drill in their antique leggings, they all agreed, not this outfit. So it was the Navy for them.

  • Alvin Waldron  |  WWII  |  USS Lassen AE-3  |  8:28

    Signalman Alvin Waldron was a little more tense than most sailors. He wasn't seeing much combat but he was on board an ammunition ship and was well aware of the potential. Tokyo Rose told the Marines on Guadalcanal that it was sunk and they had no ammunition, but the Captain had outsmarted the enemy.

  • Alvin Waldron  |  WWII  |  USS Lassen AE-3  |  6:49

    Any warship is a dangerous place. Alvin Waldron was on watch when he heard a sound that he had not heard since the family cow fell into a ravine and broke her neck. He grabbed a flashlight and what he found was a gruesome sight.

  • Alvin Waldron  |  WWII  |  USS Lassen AE-3  |  3:13

    It was a silly injury. As Alvin Waldron jumped over and into a hatch to slide down the ladder, he caught his foot and went tumbling down, banging his head and knee. After a day he felt fine, but like so many others with minor wartime injuries, years later that knee started barking.

  • Alvin Waldron  |  WWII  |  USS Lassen AE-3  |  3:35

    As he describes trying to get a towed ship off a reef with tugboats, Alvin Waldron opines that, while somebody definitely wrote the book, nobody ever went by the book. Things just didn't work that way.

  • Alvin Waldron  |  WWII  |  USS Lassen AE-3  |  2:20

    Making port in Pearl Harbor, long after the surprise attack, Alvin Waldron had to ferry ammunition through a six inch deep oil slick that still fouled the water. It was very slow going in the muck.

  • Alvin Waldron  |  WWII  |  USS Lassen AE-3  |  6:29

    Like so many soldiers on so many fronts, Alvin Waldron recalls a "3 O' Clock Charlie" who flew over his ship every night at 3 AM. The ship lost every qualified Signalman except him, so Waldron became good friends with the coffeepot.

  • Alvin Waldron  |  WWII  |  USS Lassen AE-3  |  6:42

    There was always something going on. Alvin Waldron recalls a balky tanker and a refrigerated ship full of meat that was no longer refrigerated in the tropical heat. And he explains why you never step into the "bite" of the line.

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