The story I remember him telling is memorable if only because it causes me to think of what might have been if he had gotten his wish. Like many in his group, he wanted to serve on a big ship and not on the little LSTs and Destroyer Escort boats. But alas, in late July 1945, he and his group set sail for Leyte (Island) Philippines from Guam (Island) to the east. They were three or four hours out sailing west in their little LST when up from behind them came the “Grand Grey Lady”, the USS Indianapolis, sailing west herself. She passed them easily and soon was gone from sight. My dad and his buddies lamented about how great it would be to be on a Cruiser like the Indianapolis. Later it was learned, she never made it to Leyte –a Japanese sub slammed two torpedoes into her side and she sank in 12 minutes. From a crew of 1196, only 316 were pulled from the sea five days later. The Indy had delivered the two A-bombs – Fat Man and Little Boy – to Tinian (Island) all under top secrecy. I’ve always been grateful that dad didn’t get his wish. God Bless all who have served.
~ written by John F. Murdick