Eugene William Adams


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Enlisted in the Naval Reserve July 20, 1944, Duluth, Minnesota.  Served as a Fireman First Class aboard the USS Bowie (APA 137) in the Pacific Theater.

"My dad brought me to Duluth to enlist in the Navy.  I had just turned 17 in May and did not want to be drafted into the Army - did not want to sleep on the ground...first stop Minneapolis, Minnesota where I realized I had really left home.  We rode to San Diego, California on one of the nicer trains.  We were processed in San Diego Naval Training Station.  In three months I found out what a "grinder" was, how to wash clothes, throw grenades, shoot, and respond to authority."

"I went to engineering school in Gulfport, Mississippi.  I learned about cockroaches.  Went to San Francisco, California to pick up supplies for Hawaii.  We picked up troops for invasion exercises.  Lost two boats from our ship, one from another.  Both went through the propellers and smashed.  Sent to Guam to off-load troops.  Sent back to Hawaii where we picked up troops and then to Okinawa on May 11.  I turned 18 on that day.  I saw a kamikaze shot down, and heard another hit the bridge of a battleship anchored about 1,000 yards away.  On the way to Okinawa the ship lost two bearings, we were dead in the water for about eight hours...The rest of the convoy went on from Okinawa...On the way back from Japan to the States we were almost sunk by a mine.  The mine was about 15 feet from the stern. It was blown up by the gunnery crew."

Honorably discharged June 6, 1946, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Source:  Hometown Heroes: The Saint Louis County World War II Project,  page 15.

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