Segment 1


The Laffey [Annotator's Note: US Navy destroyer USS Laffey, DD-724] had new radar and sonar equipment and that put the ship in demand when it got to the Pacific. The Laffey steamed with aircraft carriers, bombardment groups, landing craft, support troops, and even covered Underwater Demolition Teams [Annotator's Note: Underwater Demolition Teams or UDTs went on to become the US Navy Seals] when they were preparing for a landing.When the Laffey covered a landing, the ship would steam up and down the coast of an island taking radar fixes. Then at night the fleet would fall back to give it some maneuvering room and the Laffey would stay in to pick likely targets.On the same day the Laffey was hit and had several kamikazes on her screen [Annotator's Note: on the ship's radar screen], there were 3 other ships that were hit as well. The McDermut [Annotator's Note: US Navy destroyer, DD-677], the Bowers [Annotator's Note: US Navy destroyer escort USS Bowers, DE-637], the Bryant [Annotator's Note: US Navy destroyer USS Bryant, DD-665], and the Laffey were all hit on the same day. All together there were 196 men wounded and 114 dead aboard the those 4 ships [Annotator's Note: according to the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships these 4 destroyers were hit on 3 different days. The USS Laffey was hit on 15 April 1945, the USS Bryant and McDermut were hit on 16 April, and the USS Bowers was hit on 17 April. This confusion is more than likely a result of the battles taking place across the International Date Line]. Delewski states that over 300 destroyers were built during World War II.Delewski was born and raised in Reading, Pennsylvania. He believes in guardian angels. His first remembrance of a guardian angel was in 5th grade. His father had lost everything in the Great Depression so Delewski was transferred from his church school to a public school. Most of his older brothers had to quit school in order to work. They made sure that he stayed in school. Delewski was a standout football player for Reading High School. His school played against teams from all over the state.When he found out about Pearl Harbor he was having dinner with the captain of the cheerleading team and her family.


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