Preserving The Oral HistorIES of Combat Veterans


Axel McGraw | USS Dade (APA-99) - Navy

4:13   |   North Dakota farmers knew Japan was up to something. They were buying up all the scrap metal. Farm boy Axel McGraw thought he wanted to join the Army, but a camping trip in the summer heat put him off that idea. The Navy saw him through engineering school and then he headed for Annapolis.

More From Axel McGraw

Keywords   :     Axel McGraw    North Dakota    Cogswell    scrap    Japan    Bismarck    South Dakota    Ft. Lincoln    summer    rattlesnake    Pearl Harbor    Fargo    University of Minnesota    aeronautical    mechanical    engineering    Annapolis    diver    swim    commission

Videos ( 2 )
  • Axel McGraw  |  WWII  |  USS Dade (APA-99)  |  5:07

    It was the simple act of easily scaling the obstacle wall that caught the eye of his superiors. First he was excused from drill and interviewed for three days. Then he was pulled from breakfast by a Petty Officer, who already had his belongings packed, and sent to Damage Control School.

  • Axel McGraw  |  WWII  |  USS Dade (APA-99)  |  6:56

    The brand new USS Dade, was nearly ready and some of its crew were at Damage Control school in training. Officers there weren't supposed to drive the salvage tractor but Ensign Axel McGraw jumped right on it. Then, when he pitched in on a mechanical rebuild and the Captain acknowledged his talent, he said, "Farmers have to know a lot about a lot!"

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