Wednesday, May 27, 2009


On April 29, 1945, USS Hazelwood, a Fletcher Class Destroyer, was one of several destroyers screening aircraft carriers off the Island of Okinawa in the Pacific Theater during World War Two. The ships came under attack from kamikazes. The ship maneuvered to avoid two kamikazes but was struck by a third that came from astern. The aircraft smashed into the bridge and exploded sending flaming gasoline over the decks and bulkheads. 112 of her crew were killed including the commanding officer. 29 including my father were wounded.

This was a small piece of a very large war.  However, it was part of my father's journey through life and it left a lasting impact on him. His wounds were not severe - shrapnel in his left arm that bothered him periodically for the rest of his life. 

His service to the US Navy in large part prompted me to seek service and a commission in the navy and to serve as an officer. 

Our journeys through life are extensions of those of our parents and those who sacrificed so that we enjoy what we have. It applies to us all, to that universe of humanity we joined with that first breath of life. Honoring them for what they did for us - in their sung and unsung sacrifices is the very smallest thing we can do.


WoFat said...

You can be VERY proud of your dad.

Opus #6 said...

This is very moving. Yes, we must honor them.

Mark said...

My wife's father served aboard the USS Colhoun, which was sunk by a Japanese Horizontal bomber at Guadacanal.

My father-in-law was one of only 11 survivors. He is still alive and relatively healthy for an 86 year old man.

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