World War II
- During the war Bill spent time aboard three ships, the USS West Virginia,
the USS Wassatch,
and the USS Blue
Ridge. The USS West Virginia and The USS Blue Ridge were both
battleships, and the USS Wassatch was a command ship.
- Bill was on the USS West Virginia as a passenger from the Carribean to
the Phillapines where he boarded the USS Wassatch for the American invasion
at Lingayen Gulf.
- Here is a link to a log of the movements of the USS Wassatch during the
invasions of the Phillapines, specifically the one at Lingayen Gulf. Log
- It was at the Lingayen Gulf conflict that Bill saw a number of kamikaze
attacks on American battleships. The following is a video clip of Bill
describing one of the kamikaze attacks he witnessed:
- Here is a picture of the Japanese suicide boat the Bill described in
the kamikaze video clip.
- This picture was taken aboard the USS Wassatch after the war.
The soldiers were allowed to have a party and one of Bill's shipmates
asked their captain if they could invite these American women
aboard. The women were Americans who had been in Japan before
the war and had to stay there throughout it. One of the women (in the back right, next to
Bill) is Bill's cousin.
- Bill was aboard the USS Blue Ridge from November of 1945 until May 1946
when Bill was finished with his two year service. The West Virginia
took him to
areas such as Shanghai and Japan. One of the ship's assignments was to transport Chinese soldiers fighting communism in northern
China. As Bill recalls "it was very cold at the time and I did
not want to be in those soldiers shoes."
- In the following video clip Bill describes an interesting encounter he had
after the war with a former Japanese soldier.
After his service in the Navy Bill returned to Davidson to
The text, video, audio, and website are the result of interviews conducted byJeff Libersat,
Davidson College Class of 2002, in the Fall of 2001.
© 2009 Kristi S. Multhaup, Ph.D. | Davidson College | Davidson, NC 28035 | Phone: 704.894.2008
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