Huerfano County, Colorado

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Ray F. Snider, Jr.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

In the Fall of 1942 (my Freshman year in college), the various Military Service Branches of the US, came to Bakersfield Junior College to recruit young men for then WWII.

After checking with the US Air Force and the US Navy services, I decided to enlist in the US Navy. I never considered the Army, Marines or Coast Guard. I chose the Navy because I felt it was the elite of all the services; that was a youthful, uneducated choice. I was terrified of ever being made to abandon ship far out to sea, but chose the Navy in spite of that fear. I enlisted Sept 29, 1942, in what was called the V-12 program, an officer training program; the Navy was emphatic about Officers being College Educated. I was told that as long as I maintained a C+ grade average, I would be allowed to continue my College Education.

Toward the end of my second year of college, in 1943, I received orders to active duty. I left Bakersfield, June 23, 1942 and reported to active duty June 25, 1943, at Westminster College, Fulton, MO, a small private College that had been taken over by the Navy for training prospective Officers in the Navy. I completed my Junior year of College in February, 1944; then proceeded to Navy Indoctrination, Naval Supply Depot, Mechanicsburg, PA, near Harrisburg, PA for 9 weeks. From there I was ordered to Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA, Midshipman School, for 19 weeks. I was commissioned Ensign, US Navy, September 13, 1944, with orders to The USS Comet, AP-166, in the South Pacific.

After traveling aboard transport ship to Hawaii, then New Guinea, then finally to the Soloman Islands, I reported for duty to the USS Comet, AP-166, December 21, 1944.

On board the Comet, I first served as Disbursing & Ships Store Officer, then ultimately as Supply Officer, Head of Department. When I was made Head of Department, I was promoted to Lt, JG, since my billet called for a Lt Commander to head the department.

During my duty aboard the USS Comet, we were engaged in the Philippine Liberation, occupation of Sasebo, Japan, then supplies and troops to Tsingtao, China. Finally troops and supplies to Alaska, including Attu & Kodiak Islands, as well as into the Beaufort Sea, at Point Barrow.

In addition to the above, during my time aboard the Comet, the ships log records the Comet at Guadalcanal, Lingayen Gulf & Luzon, P.I., Leyte Gulf, Hollandia Bay, Dutch New Guinea, Ulithia Atoll, Pearl Harbor, Eniwetok Atoll, Guam, Okinawa. The ships log further records that the Comet transported 2,180 Marines, 10,170 Army, 7,861 Navy personnel into combat service; we participated in vast Navy Invasion Armadas, that encompassed ships from horizon to horizon of every type---Troop, Material ships such as the Comet, plus Carriers, Battle Ships, Destroyers, Mine Sweepers, Tank Landing Ships, etc.

After Japan surrendered, many of us aboard the Comet, traveled by train from Sasebo to Nagasaki, Japan, to see what the Atomic Bomb had done to Nagasaki. There remained only rubble; it was a barren waste land.   
Contributed by Ray F. Snider Jr..

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