William R. Schumacher
USS West Virginia
My dad was first assigned to
the West Virginia in May of 1941. He was a seaman 2nd class, deck
division. He was first loader on a 5 inch 25 anti aircraft gun. He bunked
midships on the port side, that's the side that had liberty 12/7/41. My
dad was shaving at the time of the attack. He went topside and went to his
gun battery, but after a few rounds it went dead because the power to the
ship died. Then he assisted on a 50 cal. When abandon ship was called he
jumped off the fantail of the West Virginia, swam between it and the
Arizona in order to reach Ford Island. His hair and eyebrows were burned
off in the swim. The day after the attack my Dad was assigned onboard the
USS Dewey, a destroyer.
William Schumacher passed away on March 26, 2004 after a lengthy illness.
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