My Father was both a hero, and also a very lucky young man. He never really appreciated just how lucky he truly was until well into his 70’s, and he still shrugs off the very idea of being considered a hero. He was just doing his duty like millions of other sailors, soldiers, marines and airmen & women who served their country during World War II.
But Dad was very, very lucky, and as a sailor in the U.S. Navy from 1943 to 1946, another outstanding representative of America’s greatest generation.
This is his story - in his words - while aboard the U.S.S. Remey, a Fletcher-class destroyer, from the end of May 1944 to October 1945. During this time, the Remey participated in many campaigns as U.S. forces island-hopped across the South Pacific towards an inevitable showdown on the Japanese mainland. Dad is most proud of his and the Remey’s participation in the largest naval battle in all of history, the Battle of Leyte Gulf - involving 282 ships, a quarter of a million servicemen and covering over 100,000 square miles.
And doing his part was Mr. Lucky, aboard the 'Lucky Lady of Leyte Gulf" - the USS Remey (DD-688).