I have 4 brothers and a sister; we are the 6 children of Robert William McGrath, born 1/19/18. My dad was a gunman. I believe he was stationed on the right side, front of the USS Hancock. He was also on the USS Conway. He died in 1996. He is buried at the Admiral cemetary located near Jackson, NJ. My youngest brother holds his flag, as our mom was severely injured when my dad passed. My mom is still alive, at 95 years old, but has Alzheimers. There are some specifics that I will add back to this page after I speak to my 2nd oldest brother who has the most incredible memory of my dad's service time. He seems very keen witted about the details.
BELOW is a note from my brother, which is why I started being interested in this all over again.
This is a photo of Dad’s ship, Hancock, taking a hit from a Kamikaze in April 45 when you were not even a year old….Dad had just been married 3. If you look to the center right of the photo, under that deck is where Dad’s gun position was, because he told me that the kamikaze was over his right shoulder to the rear. Terry
Then another email from my brother regarding The Conway:
The USS Conway was the other ship and that was the destroyer……destroyers were often nicknamed tin cans…hence his belonging to the TIN CAN Sailors.
It was his being reassigned to the USS John Hancock in 1944 in Boston, that prompted Mom to go meet him there and spend time until the ship was ready for sailing….Dad was the 7th man to report.
FYI, a few years earlier Mom met him in Boston on one of his leaves where he was able to spend Thanksgiving with the family. I think he then boarded the Conway from Boston right after that and headed out to the Pacific. Comes home a year or so later, maybe 2, lands in SF, goes to Chicago, then goes back to Boston for the Hancock in late summer 1944.