Rogers, Paul H., MoMM3c

Deceased
 
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Life Member
 
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Last Rank
Petty Officer Third Class
Last Primary NEC
MO-0000-Motor Machinist/Oiler
Last Rating/NEC Group
Motor Machinistmate/Oiler
Primary Unit
1945-1945, MO-0000, USS Wichita (CA-45)
Service Years
1943 - 1945
MoMM - Motor Machinistmate/Oiler

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

278 kb

Home State
Missouri
Missouri
Year of Birth
1917
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by the Site Administrator to remember Rogers, Paul H., MoMM3c.
 
Contact Info
Home Town
Terre Haute, IN.
Last Address
Not Specified

Date of Passing
Aug 24, 2011
 
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

WW II Honorable Discharge Pin


 Unofficial Badges 

Order of the Shellback Order of the Golden Shellback Order of the Emerald Shellback




 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Retired United States Postal Worker. Sorted mail onboard the mail car of a passenger train for 32 years from 1946 until I retired in 1978.

Born:           10-28-1917

Deceased:     8-24-2011
(Age 93)
   
Other Comments:
I enlisted in early 1943, and stood in line in a room with several other young men. There were recruiters from all military branches, and I selected the one who represented the U.S. Navy. I was sent to basic training at Great Lakes Naval Base in Chicago, IL., where I graduated from Basic Training on June 29, 1943 in the recriut Co. 640. (R.E. Davies-Cox, Co. Commander) After that, I was sent to Detroit for Deisel School. 

After I completed  deisel school, I was assigned to a new class of special Amphibious ship called an LCI, (which stood for Landing Craft Infantry), with a rating of Motor Machinist Mate 3rd class. (MMOM3) I stayed at that rating until I was discharged in December of 1945.

Before reporting to my Ship, I received word that my Mother had passed away, and I was granted a 30 day leave so I could go home and attend her funeral. So, I went home to visit my wife Margarite, at our home in Terre Haute, Indiana. After mother's burial cerimony, I said my goodbye's to my wife, and my friends and boarded a train for New Jersey. I arrived at Perth-Amboy, New Jersey the next day, and reported for duty onboard USS LCI(L)-549.  

Built in nearby Barber N.J. in February of 1943, the LCI(L)549 was only 158 ft long and 24 feet wide. We left port for the first time to train in beach landing operations, and shake down the small ship. During these operations, off Solomons, MD. we struck the gun turret of an old army tank that had fallen off of a larger LST during its own training excersises. The tank was considered "NOT TIME WORTHY TO SALVAGE" and was left there just under the surface. We had to go into dry dock for repairs after that little mis-hap. It was only after we hit the tank that the Army went out there and recovered it.

When the repairs were finished, we sailed south into the Florida Keys, making dock at the Key West Naval Submarine Base for fuel and stores. While there, some officers approched some of us and offered us the "opportunity" to serve onboard a submarine. Some of the guys from other ships took that offer, but I said  "No Thank You". No one from my ship wanted any part of that life.  However; since I turnred down the offer to serve on a sub back in 1943, I have sometimes wondered over the years, if I would have liked that life or not. 

Recently, in July of 2008, my question was answered when my Grandson, Dan; drove me to Muskegon, Michigan, where there are two museum ships. One of them is USS LST-393, which is one of only 2 remaining LST's left from the D-Day invasion of 6, June 1944. The other is a Gato Class WWII Submarine, the USS Silversides (SSN236). We toured through the sub for about 45 minutes, and while it was a facinating experience, I have to report that I made the right decision when I said "NO" so many years ago. I think I would have gone bananas onboard one of those things.

With only 3 other newly commissioned LCI's, we headed for the Panama Canal, where we locked through all 4 LCIs together in each lock.
 
During the locking process, the ships cook managed to catch a small shark, which some of the crew had for dinner that evening. I declined and ate the regular chow.

Once in the Pacific Ocean, we headed for Pearl Harbor, on our way to the old Volcano top, turned Navy Base; called ENIWETOK, to prepare for action. We served in that area of the Pacific for some time. Near the wars end in 1945, we headed for Okinawa to assault the beach and invade the island. There, we disembarked troops on the beach and provided cover fire for them until they reached safety before we withdrew. This action earned us our 1st of 2 Battle Stars.

While in Okinawa, we were ordered to lay a smoke screen, in order to protect a large navy cargo ship that was at anchore and had fallen under attack by a Japanese Fighter/Bomber. I operated the smoke machine. While laying the screen down, the smoke machine caught fire. This caused the Japanese pilot to fix in on the flames from the fire on the 549 and it swooped in real close. Suddenly, the pilot pulled up and re-engaged the cargo ship. 

The gunners on the 549 fired on the plane but also had to repell rifle fire from a small squad of Japanese troops on the shore who were trying to stop our attempt to down the Japanese plane. We didn't take that plane out but we did damage it. Unfortunately, the pilot of the damaged plane was still able to launch his torpedo. The torpedo struck the cargo ship just below the water line at the bow, and the ship slowly began to sink. A larger Navy Tug with lots of heavy and powerful pumps happened to be in port with us, and she went to the aid of the cargo ship by pumping the sea water out of her so her crew could repair the damage done by the blast of the torpedo.  The cargo ship was saved and was able to finish off-loading her critical supplies for our troops on the island. I was also able to fix the smoke machine on the 549. There were no casualties onboard the 549, but there were some men killed and injured onboard the cargo ship. That squad of Japanese troops that were shooting at us from the shore was also "neutralized". This action also earned us the 2nd of 2 Battle Stars.
 
Not long after that, we recieved word that the war had ended, and we got orders to head north to assist in mine sweeping operations, in order to make the shipping lanes friendly again. The Mine Sweepers would cut the mooring chains and let the mines float to the surface, where some of the crew on the 549, and several other LCIs; would shoot them with rifles, causing them to explode.  Man, you aught to hear what that sounds like from under the water line in the engine room. KA-BOOM!

Dispite our efforts to destroy the mines in the mid 1940's, there are still some mines which remain out there today. And sometimes a merchant ship will report seeing one, and although it is unclear if the mines are still exploding when hit, there are also still reports of one being struck from time to time in parts of the Pacific, and this is also a large problem today in the North Sea as well. You'd think that they would all have been found and taken care of after all these years.

After a few months "Shooting Dinosaur Eggs", I was informed that I had enough points to go home. So, I got off of the 549 in Sasabo, Japan, where I boarded the USS Witchita (CA45). The Witchita was a Heavy Cruiser and she took me from Japan to California with no stops. (At about half speed) From California, I took a train to Great Lakes Naval Base, where I was officially honorably separated from service, and I took another train back home. 

I arrived in Terre Haute, Indiana on December 8th, 1945. It was late, so I walked home from the train station. I walked through my front door at around 1:30 a.m. and was introduced for the first time to my 16 month old daughter, Rita Louise Rogers. 

In 1946, I went to work for the United States Postal Service, sorting mail on a railroad mail car that ran between Missourri and Pennsylvania. That was my job for 32 years until I retired in 1978.

Rita is my only child, She married and has three sons of her own,  Jerry, David, and Dan Snow, who all live in Michigan. My wife, Margarite; lost her battle with cancer, and passed away in 1973 during my marriage to my second wife, Diana; who I lived with in Terre Haute, Indiana until her death in 2003. I now live here in Michigan with my daughter Rita, where I enjoy 5 generations of my family. My daughter, my 3 grand children, my great-grandson, 3 great-grand daughters, my great-great-grandson, and of course, me. 

Life is good, and I am surrounded by loved ones and good times. I remember my time in the Navy, during WWII, and I look back on it with pride and satisfaction in having done my part. 

Two of my three grandchildren also have served in the Military. In the 1980's, David was in the Army, and Jerry was in the Navy, serving as an AB1 on two different aircraft carriers. The USS Kitty Hawk, and the USS Constellation. At last I am aware, his last job on the "Connie" was as a "WAIST CAT" supervisor, launching aircraft from the deck.

Although he looks back on it with regret, Dan never joined Navy. But he did sail for many years as a United States Merchant Marine, serving his country as an Oiler/Boiler fireman onboard USNS ships for the Military Sealift Command. From what I understand, his job as a civillian would have been the same rating as a BT1 in todays Navy, or exactly the same job I did as a Motor Machinist's Mate in the navy back in the 1940's. Dan eventually worked his way up the ladder as a Merchant Mariner, becoming an engineering officer. After years of this, he took exams and was licensed as a Mate, and then a low-tonage Captain on the Great Lakes. 

I am proud to have served my country, and I am proud that my Grandsons all did as well.

God bless you, and thank you for your service too, in ANY capacity; military or civillian.
   
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 Enlisted/Officer Basic Training
  1943, Recruit Training (Great Lakes, IL), 640
 Duty Stations
Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training (Faculty Staff)/Naval Air Technical Training Command (Faculty Staff)US Navy
  1943-1943, Naval Air Technical Training Command (Faculty Staff)/NATTC (Faculty Staff) Chicago IL
  1943-1945, MO-0000, USS LCI (L)-549
  1945-1945, MO-0000, USS Wichita (CA-45)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1943-1943 Central Pacific Campaign (1941-43)/Marshall Islands Operation
  1944-1944 New Guinea Campaign (1943-44)/Battle of Morotai
  1945-1945 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Okinawa Gunto Operation
  1945-1945 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Okinawa Gunto Operation
  1945-1945 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Surrender of Japan, End of WWII
 Other News, Events and Photographs
 
  Margarite and I5
  All 5 Generations of my family8
  Margarite and I1
  My Grandson Jerry's Ship, USS Constellation CV-643
  Some of my Grandson Dan's Merchant Ships8
  Aug 29, 1949, THE FINAL DISPOSITION OF MY SHIP
  Jul 20, 2008, My trip to visit the WWII Submarine USS Silversides SSN2367
  Jul 20, 2008, My trip to Muskegon, Mi. to visit the USS LST-393 Museum Ship.8
  Aug 24, 2011, The Death of Paul Henry Rogers
  Jul 25, 2012, General Photos
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