Sunday, May 29, 2011

Memorial Day - U.S. Navy Service WWII

(Age 19)
Kirt DeMar WOOD
U.S. Navy 7 July 1943 to 16 March 1946.
Highest rank or rating held: Pharmacist's Mate first Class.

After high school he enlisted in the navy. WWII was in full force and he spent time in Farragut, Idaho and in Seattle, Washington and he trained as a hospital corpsmen. He was sent to San Diego and went through marine training there, and was assigned to the fleet marine core. He was in the south seas during the war, assigned to an LST boat, which landed marines in the Philippine Islands. He was in the battle of Leyte Gulf, and during that battle he sustained some shrapnel wounds in his thigh and in his back when their ship was strafed by the Japanese. He survived that, of course, and came home with a purple heart. One of the interesting things that happened while he was out on that boat, was that when they crossed the equator they held a court of King Neptune on the boat, and he was accused of holding church in the sick bay. Now I think he was guilty. I suspect that he held a lot of church services where ever he could. [Kirt sign up as a sailor in the Navy, he was briefly transferred to the Marines then when given the choice returned to the Navy.]

Battle of Leyte Gulf 1944
The Battle of Leyte Gulf, also called the "Battles for Leyte Gulf", and formerly known as the "Second Battle of the Philippine Sea", is generally considered to be the largest naval battle of World War II and, by some criteria, possibly the largest naval battle in history. (Wikipedia)
U.S.Casualties and losses
~2,800 dead;
1 light carrier,
2 escort carriers,
2 destroyers,
1 destroyer escort sunk
200+ planes

Casualties and losses
~10,500 dead;
1 fleet carrier,
3 light carriers
3 battleships,
10 cruisers,
11 destroyers sunk
~500 planes

Kirt DeMar WOOD awarded Purple Heart 2 June 1945
WOOD brothers met for a brief time aboard ship in the Pacific.
(Younger brother Lex enlisted 30 Sep 1943 he was 17 years old.)

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