George Huss Interview
Q: When did you enter the service and what did you do when you entered the service?
A: I entered the service when I was 17 years and 10 months old. I joined the Navy Reserve. When I entered I was chosen to be a radioman. I trained in Bedford Springs, Pennsylvania for many months when graduated as a Radioman Third Class.
Q: What ship were you stationed on and what was life like on board?
A: I was stationed on the U.S.S. Mississinewa (AO 59), a fleet oil tanker in the Pacific Theater. Life on board the ship all work. The radio room operated twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. We worked in three complete shifts. We also had celebrations when we crossed the equator and the International Date Line where all the new sailors graduated to Shellbacks.
Q: What did the job of a radioman consist of?
A: As a radioman man, I was responsible for copying assigned radio frequencies coming from fleet headquarters at Pearl Harbor. We used Morse code, sending messages at 18 words per minute.
A: My ship was stationed in the South Pacific and fueled the Pacific Battle Fleet. We offloaded our gasoline and fuel oil into aircraft carriers and battleships. Also, we steamed with a line of five battleships and many aircraft carriers, destroyers, and cruisers. We were always well behind the actual battle. One day, in the early morning, our ship was in the Ulithi Atoll on the Peleliu chain ready to sail when a Japanese midget sub launched a torpedo that sank us. I remember I was on duty at 5:45AM when we got hit. I remember jumping overboard with my life preserver and getting picked up by a lifeboat.
A: After being sunk, we were picked up by a cruiser and sent home for thirty days of leave. When I returned from leave I was stationed at a radio station outside of San Francisco, California. I was then discharged in May 1946 after the surrender of Germany and Japan. I was just another American doing my civic duty and serving my country.