Graham Smith; U.S. Navy

Graham Smith US Navy

Veteran Smith retired from the US Navy with 22 years of service. He first enlisted in 1944 while still in high school...he says he would rather have enlisted in the Navy then be drafted into the Army. After training he was stationed on the USS Kinser (sp) an APD...a high speed transport built on a destroyer hull and could carry about 90 troops. In the Pacific they carried Marine recon groups. Smith was at the Battle of Okinawa..they off loaded the Marines on the smaller islands around Okinawa, the marines would complete their recon mission, Smiths group would pick them up for report back to fleet command. A most notable memory was when the were anchored in Buckner Bay when a kamikazi pilot attacked the USS New Mexico. The plane hit 4 gunmounts and destroyed it all. Having survived Okinawa he returned to the States for refitting for attacks on Japan when the war ended. Veteran Smith then deployed to Manila and French VietNam. Meeting 8 other troop transports on arrival they loaded up Chinese nationalist troops...due to cholera outbreaks they stayed offshore. Smith remember watching ships pull out of formation for burial at sea of the Chinese troops who succumbed to the cholera. Thank you Graham for your service.


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