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Grandfathers recollections of his service on the USS Colorado


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#1 IntIron

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Posted 22 August 2009 - 01:35 AM

(I posted this else where as well, but I thought it would be appropriate in here)

Hi,

I have a story to tell about my grandfather. When the war started, he was living in Cheyenne, Wyoming. At this point in his life he was delivering coal to homes(coal fired still being the method of warmth in most homes). My Grandfather was eventually drafted, first to the army. He did not pass the physical due to his small size (5'5" and 92 pounds soaking wet), the marines likewise rejected him. He COULD have shirked his duty, but he insisted that he be allowed to serve, so he went into the navy. After completing basic training he was assigned to the USS Colorado(BB-45, I have the cruise book, its quite treasured). His position was that of Lookout and fire-control. (Mostly lookout though). My grandfather was with the Colorado throughout its entire tour. He told me about all of the island operations. Some were far more dramatic and intense than others. I was young at the time(7 to 12 is when I spent the most time with him), and he'd give me the non-censored version of events(maybe to impart the horror of war).

One story that he shared with me:

They were supporting the landings as Tinian, and the Colorado pulled in Close to shore to pour on the fire. The Colorado was pumping 16" shells, 5" shells, 40mm, and 20mm onto the beach in front of the Marines as fast as the ship could fire. The Colorado was doing this in order to destroy the defending units and help the Marines. All of a sudden a hidden shore battery(5" to 8") found their range and started to hit the Colorado. The Captain sent word out that they would not pull away from shore because of this, they simply would not leave their friends in the lurch. My grandfather said it would be impossible to describe the terror of having a shell hit the ship and take out an entire 20mm tub(There were 3 or 4 20mms grouped together). They stuck it out, found out where the battery was and as my granddad said, 'were repaid in kind'. The Colorado was hit 22 times. My grandfather and many others helped pick up the remains of the men in those positions.

I have many more stories that he shared with me. If you'd like to hear them I'll try to post one a week.


Yours,

Bill
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#2 Slipdigit

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Posted 22 August 2009 - 02:19 AM

Sounds good, keep em coming.

Best Regards,  
JW :slipdigit:

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#3 syscom3

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Posted 22 August 2009 - 02:41 AM

O'm intrigued by his cruise book.

Think you can post it for us?

#4 IntIron

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Posted 06 September 2009 - 01:39 PM

3. Lingayen Gulf - January 9, 1945 hit by shellfire


This is what is states in the cruise book, rather impersonal and it does not seem to serious. But, as my grandfather would explain it was serious...

The Colorado, like all naval ships operated in shifts, my grandfather was just getting off his. He greeted his replacement, gave him a status report and made his way down the look-out tower to the main deck(inside the ship), from there he'd make his way down to the barracks of the ship... But, as so often happened during the war, general quarters sounded. Enemy planes had been spotted. My grandfather changed course and started to make his way back up to his look-out post when the Colorado was hit. They hit the Look-out tower that my grandfather had just left, not 2 minutes ago... The man he had greeted to replace him had been killed. My grandfather said that there was nothing left of him but a piece of his calf and his feet and shoes.

Two minutes more and it could have been my grandfather killed.


Yours,

Bill

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#5 James Cox

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Posted 06 September 2009 - 04:29 PM

Great stories. I'll look forward to your weekly posts. Do you have any photos you could share as well?

Thanks
“The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his.” Patton

#6 LRusso216

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Posted 06 September 2009 - 05:38 PM

Nice work. Keep it coming.

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Lou


#7 rebel1222

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Posted 17 September 2009 - 02:18 PM

Very interesting. Please keep the stories coming.

#8 IntIron

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Posted 18 September 2009 - 03:11 AM

I do have some photos, I will have to dig them out though. Once I do, I will scan them and post them!

Yours,

Bill
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#9 505Dan

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 02:21 PM

Nice story , thanx for sharing , cant wait for the next one !

Dan
"As it was their duty to defend our freedom, so it becomes our duty to honor their memory."

#10 riorebel

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Posted 19 November 2009 - 05:26 AM

My father was aboard the USS Cleveland and was with the Colorado and the Norman Scott when they were attacked by the hidden Jap guns at Tinian, July 24, 1944. Both the Colorado and the Norman Scott were hit. The Cleveland was straddled but never hit. The Norman Scott was dead in the water and the Cleveland got between it and the shore gun. The Cleveland then shot out the Jap guns. He was a radioman and was on the battle phones and heard all radio chatter. According the him, the Colorado never got a shot off and sailed out of range. They had been hit 22 times and I'm sure survival was their first priority.

The three ships were steaming close ashore in battle formation. The Norman Scott, a destroyer led, followed by the Cleveland (Light crusier) and the Colorado. Dad said they were told that the island was secure and they were not at GQ. He was on the front deck sunning when he saw the Jap gun pop out and start firing. Everyone was running to their battle station before GQ sounded. Their guns also opened fire before GQ sounded. He was on the ship for 3 years and earned 9 battle stars. He said he never heard the guns fire so fast and furiously. They were enveloped in the smoke from their own guns, leading other ships to say that the Cleveland had also been hit.

#11 SFinn1499

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Posted 20 November 2009 - 03:44 AM

I am trying to find out some information about my Grandfather who served in WWII. I know that he served in the Pacific somewhere from a 5th Grade paper i wrote about him, but other than that i do not remember any details about his service. I have looked up his Army serial number which is #
32212439. His name is Homer F. Patterson. I am hoping that someone can lead me in the right direction. I do not have much family around to give me any clues about him. Thanks for any help that everyone can provide me.
Scott Finn
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#12 OpanaPointer

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Posted 20 November 2009 - 11:28 AM

Here's a start, perhaps:

Memorials for USS Colorado

"One of our King Tigers could take five of your Shermans, but you always had six of them."


WWII Resources. Primary sources.
The Myths of Pearl Harbor. Demythologizing the attack.
Hyperwar. Hypertext history of the Second World War.
Pearl Harbor Attack Message Board
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#13 Lpotts

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Posted 05 December 2010 - 01:39 AM

Hi, My great uncle was a Marine on the USS Colorado. He was killed January 9/10, 1945, during a battle when the Colorado was hit by a shell from one of our ships as they tried to shoot down Japanese planes. He was standing guard outside the Sky Control Tower.

Did your grandfather have any photos of himself and friends on the ship?
Linda


(I posted this else where as well, but I thought it would be appropriate in here)

Hi,

I have a story to tell about my grandfather. When the war started, he was living in Cheyenne, Wyoming. At this point in his life he was delivering coal to homes(coal fired still being the method of warmth in most homes). My Grandfather was eventually drafted, first to the army. He did not pass the physical due to his small size (5'5" and 92 pounds soaking wet), the marines likewise rejected him. He COULD have shirked his duty, but he insisted that he be allowed to serve, so he went into the navy. After completing basic training he was assigned to the USS Colorado(BB-45, I have the cruise book, its quite treasured). His position was that of Lookout and fire-control. (Mostly lookout though). My grandfather was with the Colorado throughout its entire tour. He told me about all of the island operations. Some were far more dramatic and intense than others. I was young at the time(7 to 12 is when I spent the most time with him), and he'd give me the non-censored version of events(maybe to impart the horror of war).

One story that he shared with me:

They were supporting the landings as Tinian, and the Colorado pulled in Close to shore to pour on the fire. The Colorado was pumping 16" shells, 5" shells, 40mm, and 20mm onto the beach in front of the Marines as fast as the ship could fire. The Colorado was doing this in order to destroy the defending units and help the Marines. All of a sudden a hidden shore battery(5" to 8") found their range and started to hit the Colorado. The Captain sent word out that they would not pull away from shore because of this, they simply would not leave their friends in the lurch. My grandfather said it would be impossible to describe the terror of having a shell hit the ship and take out an entire 20mm tub(There were 3 or 4 20mms grouped together). They stuck it out, found out where the battery was and as my granddad said, 'were repaid in kind'. The Colorado was hit 22 times. My grandfather and many others helped pick up the remains of the men in those positions.

I have many more stories that he shared with me. If you'd like to hear them I'll try to post one a week.


Yours,

Bill






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