Preserving The Oral HistorIES of Combat Veterans

COMBAT STORIES FROM World War II

Corwin Mokler | USS McGowan (DD-678) - Navy

4:17   |   Corwin Mokler decided to enlist in the Navy before the Army got him through the draft. At Great Lakes Naval Station, he was selected as a sonarman and went to Key West for training, where he saw the ocean for the first time. The destroyer USS McGowan was his ship and it was still being built.

More From Corwin Mokler

Keywords   :     Corwin Mokler    Chicago IL    Pearl Harbor    Great Lakes Training Center    sonar    Key West FL    submarine (sub)    USS McGowan (DD-678)    Brooklyn Navy Yard

Videos ( 6 )
WWII
  • Corwin Mokler  |  WWII  |  USS McGowan (DD-678)  |  4:36

    He was getting acclimated to Navy life. Corwin Mokler had completed sonar school and went to Brooklyn Navy Yard, where his ship was still being built. The crew moved on board and dealt with all the noise. Finally, they set out an a shakedown cruise down to Bermuda and, once that was done, they made their way to the Pacific.

  • Corwin Mokler  |  WWII  |  USS McGowan (DD-678)  |  4:37

    Corwin Mokler was part of a ten man sonar crew on a destroyer in the Pacific. His first action was at Saipan, where the ship bombarded the shore. Although he was a sonarman, his battle station was the 40 mm anti-aircraft gun.

  • Corwin Mokler  |  WWII  |  USS McGowan (DD-678)  |  5:43

    By the time sonarman Corwin Mokler got to the Pacific, the threat from Japanese planes and submarines was just about gone. His destroyer found no opposition as they took part in shore bombardment of Saipan and Peleliu. Later, as kamikazes began to appear, they had a near miss from one of the suicide planes.

  • Corwin Mokler  |  WWII  |  USS McGowan (DD-678)  |  6:11

    While in the armada at Iwo Jima, the men on Corwin Mokler's destroyer went to the aid of a sister ship when it was hit by a kamikaze. They escorted it to a safe anchorage and took the opportunity to have a little beer on the beach. They then sailed for Leyte Gulf, where they encountered a Japanese task force and confronted them head on.

  • Corwin Mokler  |  WWII  |  USS McGowan (DD-678)  |  4:31

    In the Philippines, Corwin Mokler's ship escorted LSTs and troop transports through the region. He remembers a lone aircraft at high altitude that was relaying a signal that identified it as a friendly. That turned out not to be the case. When the ship was reattached to its task force, they took part in a bombardment run on Japan.

  • Corwin Mokler  |  WWII  |  USS McGowan (DD-678)  |  3:30

    He was en route to San Diego because his ship needed an overhaul, but while they were stopped in the Aleutians, the war ended. Corwin Mokler had a only a short mine clearing mission to go and then he was home.

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