8:18 | Following the repair of the USS Chicago, they would return to the South Pacific to continue fighting in the Guadalcanal Campaign. Jesse Linam describes the Battle of Rennell Island and the devastating losses when the ship was hit by multiple torpedos.
Keywords : Torpedo Japanese pilot bomber sink overboard shark rescue
Jesse Linam, like many WWII veterans, had a tough childhood. Growing up through the Depression, there were not a lot of opportunities for a young man, so before the war even started Jesse had joined the Navy which would put him face to face with history.
The USS Chicago was lucky to be out on gunnery practice on the day of the Pearl Harbor attacks. Jesse Linam recalls being stateside for Range Finder training during that time, only to return to the ship and a devastated Pearl Harbor.
Early in the war, the USS Chicago would join the ANZAC Squadron, a fleet made up of ships from New Zealand, Australia, and the United States. Jesse Linam remembers sailing to Guadalcanal and supporting the 1st Marine Division in their assault of the island.
Jesse Linam tells the story of the Battle of Savo Island where the bow of the USS Chicago was struck by a torpedo. Despite the damage, they carried on in fighting, and Jesse tells the tragic fate of their CPT Bode.
After the Battle of Savo Island, Jesse Linam and the crew sailed the wounded USS Chicago back for repairs. After a brief time away from the war, they'd be back to sea.
Jesse Linam's life at sea was far from over after the sinking of the USS Chicago. Upon rescue, they'd be given medical treatment and sent back to the states. He had hoped to be reassigned to the European Theater for a chance to fight the Germans, but the winds blew him from Newport News, VA to the Panama Canal and he was on his way back to the Pacific Theater.
As the war raged on in the Pacific, U.S. forces were trying valiantly to take over as many islands as they could from the Japanese. Jesse Linam found himself a witness to the carnage of the Marshall Islands Campaign where many men lost their lives on the beaches. From the sea, they could support them by bombarding the islands, but it was often so close he was worried they'd hit their own men.