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07DEC41 USS Oklahoma, my grandpaws papers and more


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My Grandpaw was a 30 year man. 20 years active U.S. Navy and 10 years Fleet Reserve. He started WW2 on the USS Oklahoma. He was proud of his affiliation with the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association and was active with them until he passed away. He only talked to me once about Pearl Harbor and that was for a high school history project. He almost never talked about his time in the Navy.

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Great display and tribute

In Memoriam:
Lieutenant J.Kostelec 1-3 First Special Service Force MIA/PD 4 March 1944 Italy
I HAVE SEEN THE ENEMY AND IT IS DAYLIGHT
Forget about the tips..We'll get hell to pay (AC/DC)
"If you cant get out and run with the big dogs then sit on the porch and bark at the cars going by.."

Have you Hugged a Clown Today?

You Cant Get A Sun Tan On The Moon..





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He passed away before the award was issued and my dad was given this in his place. The letter is the only known time he put ink to paper (so to speak) and this was a submittal for the PHSA letter. My grand parents at one of the reunions.

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Paper for the Presidential Unit Citation for the Battle off Samar and paper for the Navy Unit commendation for service on the USS St. Louis. He on the USS St. Louis for the earlier combat, not Okinawa.

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Thank you for posting this. He definitely symbolized the Greatest Generation. You are fortunate he saved everything!

 

Kurt

!!!! WANTED !!!!

WWII Prisoner of War items : Medals, Mail, Diaries, Photos, Documents, Scrapbooks + More

WWII Naval Aviation Groupings : Medals, Documents, Scrapbooks, Photos, Flight Logs, Flight Jackets + More

 


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Wonderful family grouping. You are obviously a proud conservator of you Grandpa's memory. May he rest in peace. Bobgee

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"I have only two men out of my company and 20 out of some other company. We need support, but it is almost suicide to try to get it here as we are swept by machine gun fire and constant barrage is on us. I have no one on my left and only a few on my right. I will hold." (Message sent by 1st Lt. Clifton B. Cates. USMC, 96th Co., Soissons, 19 July 1918 - later 19th Commandant of the Marine Corps 1948-1952)

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USS Kalinin Bay

Kalinin Bay accelerated to flank speed and, despite fire from three enemy cruisers, launched her planes, which inflicted heavy damage on the closing ships. As the trailing ship in the escort carrier van, Kalinin Bay came under intense enemy fire. Though partially protected by chemical smoke, a timely rain squall, and counterattacks by the screening destroyers and destroyer escorts, she took the first of fifteen direct hits at 07:50. Fired from an enemy battleship, the large caliber shell (14 in (360 mm)or 16 in (410 mm)) struck the starboard side of the hangar deck just aft of the forward elevator.

By 08:00, the Japanese cruisers, which were steaming off her port quarter, closed to within 18,000 yd (16,000 m). Kalinin Bayresponded to their straddling salvos with her 5 in (127 mm) gun. Three 8 in (200 mm) AP projectiles struck her within minutes. At 08:25, the carrier scored a direct hit from 16,000 yd (15,000 m) on the No. 2 turret of a Nachi-class heavy cruiser, and a second hit shortly thereafter forced the Japanese ship to withdraw temporarily from formation.

At 08:30, five Japanese destroyers steamed over the horizon off her starboard quarter. They opened fire from about 14,500 yd (13,300 m). As screening ships engaged the cruisers and laid down concealing smoke, Kalinin Bay shifted her fire and for the next hour traded shots with Destroyer Squadron 10. No destroyer hit Kalinin Bay, but she took ten more 8-inch hits from the now obscured cruisers. One shell passed through the flight deck and into the communications area, where it destroyed all the radar and radio equipment.

At 09:15, an Avenger from St. Lo—piloted by LTJG Waldrop—strafed and exploded two torpedoes in Kalinin Bay's wake about 100 yd (91 m) astern of her. A shell from the latter's 5 in (127 mm) gun deflected a third from a collision course with her stern. At about 09:30, as the Japanese ships fired parting salvos and reversed course northward, Kalinin Bay scored a direct hit amidships on a retreating destroyer. Five minutes later, she ceased fire and retired southward with the other survivors of Taffy 3.

Around 10:50, the task unit came under a concentrated air attack. During the 40-minute battle, the first attack from a kamikazeunit in World War II, all escort carriers but Fanshaw Bay were damaged. Four diving planes attacked Kalinin Bay from astern and the starboard quarter. Two were shot down close aboard, while a third plane crashed into the port side of the flight deck, damaging it severely. The fourth destroyed the aft port stack. Kalinin Bay suffered extensive structural damage during the morning's intense action, as well as five dead among her sixty casualties. Twelve direct hits were later confirmed by damage plus two large-caliber near misses. Ironically, it was the two near misses that exploded under her counter that threatened the ship's survival.

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Kitkun Bay prepares to launch her Wildcat fighters, while White Plainsis straddled by 14 in (360 mm)shells.

Throughout the surface phase of the action, the carriers White Plains and Kitkun Bay, in the lead position, escaped hits from gunfire. During kamikaze attacks, the carrier Fanshaw Bay splashed among others a plane just about to crash into Kitkun Bay and landed planes from her sunk or damaged sisters. Fanshaw Bay lost four men killed, and four wounded.

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This was the hit by a Kamikaze on the USS Kalinin Bay that injured my Grandpaw and a number of others according to the ships log. He was struck in the face and eye by small shards of metal from the impact. They couldn't remove everything so he always had small aluminum shards floating around his eye. This is noted in the PH citation and in the BSM citation. In the ships log it's noted as a member of damage control party two he and others were sent below deck to control the list to one side by plugging the holes. He told me after they went down into the water tight compartment they were locked in to prevent further flooding of the other compartments if they couldn't plug the holes.

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  • 1 year later...

Your grandpa had a great career, and was a lucky man. Great post, thanks for bringing this up.

***WANTED*** Uniforms to Pearl Harbor Survivors.

Wanted: USN uniforms to Pearl Harbor survivors & WWII sunk ship survivors. http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/index.php?/topic/264131-wanted-uniforms-to-pearl-harbor-and-sunk-ships-survivors/

 

WANTED - seriously interested in named Chief/Senior/Master TORPEDOMAN USN uniforms from the 1950s-1960s-1970s, and named USN jumpers or CPO coats from WWII. http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/index.php?/topic/321179-wanted-torpedoman-uniforms-named-1920s-1970s/

 

"All Torpedoes running Hot, Straight and Normal."

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  • 2 weeks later...

This is fantastic. I'm partial to the Oklahoma. I was born and raised in Stillwater. I own this original pre-1928 photo of the USS Oklahoma I found at a gun show. May I borrow your images for personal reference?

 

 

 

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