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Wiley grew up during the Great Depression and he joined the Navy in 1940 just shortly after he graduated from high school partly because there were no jobs at this time. His 2 older brothers joined the CCC [Annotator's Note: Civilian Conservation Corps].Wiley says he joined the Navy because he would always have a dry bed and something to eat. He wanted to stay out of the trenches and always have a job. After boot camp, he was assigned to the USS Yorktown [Annotator's Note: USS Yorktown, CV-5] which was in Pearl Harbor. He went aboard a destroyer to Pearl Harbor to join the Yorktown. He was amazed when he first saw the Yorktown, he could see her behind a 2-story building.Wiley was assigned to Torpedo Squadron 5 [Annotator's Note: VT-5], but much to his disappointment, his first assignment was to do typing in the office. Wiley states that he always wanted to fly even as a young boy. Wiley wanted to be a radioman because of his interest in electronics and radiomen got to fly. He eventually became a radioman and started flying. Wiley's initial rating was Radioman 3rd class. This allowed him to fly in the Douglas TBD "Devastator" torpedo bomber.Wiley explains that his first flight was in a TBD when he hitched a ride and flew over Oahu. His first flight as a radioman was about a year later. Wiley explains the Yorktown's role in the Marshall Islands Raid and the Coral Sea battle. Wiley was sitting under the flight deck during Coral Sea and explains that he was scared during Coral Sea knowing that the Japanese would be aiming for the flight deck in the battle. Yorktown was hit twice and had several near misses.After Coral Sea the Yorktown headed back to Pearl Harbor to be repaired. She pulled into Ford Island and was repaired for action in 72 hours. The repair supplies were manhandled aboard, hand to hand into the ship.
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