A real tragedy.
I still couldn’t get over it myself. I mean, Siwash was senior to most of the other quartermasters—probably the smartest, too—but he was not an officer. He was an enlisted man—a petty officer, second class––the same as me. I saw nothing unusual when the first fighter plane came in. The airdales [sailors on an aircraft carrier whose job involves working with aircraft] towed it forward; the pilot was still in the cockpit when the next plane approached the stern.
After working in a Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camp in Idaho, Ray Daves enlisted in the Navy in the spring of 1938 and reported for basic training the following year. He was at Pearl Harbor, serving at Pacific Fleet Headquarters as a radioman, when the Japanese attacked; he was wounded in the hand. Afterward, he requested sea duty on a warship and was assigned to the submarine Dolphin (SS-169), on which he served one war patrol before being reassigned as a radioman second class aboard the aircraft carrier Yorktown (CV-5).
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WNU Editor: A riveting war story.