Xavier F. Mattei

Xavier F. Mattei of Duluth, Minnesota was a Fireman 1st Class in the Navy from Oct. 1943 through April 1946.

He was aboard the destroyer, Aaron Ward (D.M. 34) during the Okinawa Campaign in World War II. He tells of the night the Aaron Ward was attacked:

“I was in the after fire room when a suicide plane with a bomb attached crashed into the side of the ship. This flooded both the engine room and the fire room forcing us to abandon the areas, after securing all oil and steam lines going into the boilers. I was burned from the explosion, but helped fight fires and care for my wounded shipmates until it was over.

"I was then sent to a hospital in Tinian to heal my burns. I rejoined the ship in Guam after it was temporarily repaired. The ship was later decommissioned and scraped in the Brooklyn Navy Yards.”

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