This is the story of the aphibious march across the Pacifi c from the Aleutians to Okinawa from the experiences of shipmates aboard the USS J. Franklin Bell which includes the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor and the following battles:
The Aleutian Campaign (Adak, Attu and Kiska); The Solomon Islands Campaign (Guadalcanal, Bougainville); The Coral Sea Battle (Naval Battle); The Battle of Midway (Naval Battle); The Battle for Tarawa; The Battle for Kwajalein; The Battle for Eniwetok; The Marianas Champaign (Saipan, Tinian, and Guam); The Battle for Leyte; The Battle for Iwo Jima; The Battle for Peleliu; The Battle for Okinawa.
D. Ralph Young served as a Gunners Mate on the USS J. Franklin Bell for the invasions of Saipan, Tinian, Leyte and Okinawa. He is also the author of a book titled The Power of a Mother’s Prayer, released in May 2014 Second Edition.
World War II began on December 7, 1941, a day to be remembered. I recall the date vividly and can still hear the announcer on the radio saying that the Japanese had attacked Pearl Harbor. Bill Scheuer, my best friend, and I were hitchhiking home from attending a movie in Stanford, Kentucky. The driver of the car was listening to the radio and told us that the Japanese had just bombed Pearl Harbor.
I was sixteen years old at the time. Everything pointed toward a long war, and there was little doubt that the military draft would be lowered from twenty-one to eighteen. I just knew I would be off to the war at eighteen years of age.