Copyright © 2013 National World War II Museum. All rights reserved.
During the night the Japanese must have started a push because the ship [AnnotatorÂ’s Note: the destroyer USS Evans] began to rapid fire. They were not moving, just staying steady in the water to keep the broadside to the island. The next morning they ran out of ammunition. The chief sent Monpat up to see what was going on. There were cruisers and battleships farther out shooting over their heads. Their ship was in so close he could see what was happening on the beach. Monpat did not see any of the big 14 inch shells flying over head but he heard them.Another destroyer was sent to relieve them and they went back to screening carriers. The first thing they did was go to an ammunition ship. They took on their ammunition then they brought ammunition to the aircraft carriers for the airplanes.Shortly after Iwo was Okinawa. They were with aircraft carriers so they arrived before the invasion so the planes could go in and bombard the shore. They were there about a week before the invasion and stayed with the carriers.The invasion was on 1 April [Annotator's Note: 1 April 1945]. For all of April and the beginning of May they stayed with the same group of carriers. They developed a bad steam leak in the after engine room. They were given availability at an island that had been taken. After they were repaired they figured that they would go back to their carriers.All the while that they were with the carriers they were getting reports of destroyers being sunk and damaged out on picket duty and they did not want any part of that. After they got their steam leak fixed they went alongside an ammunition ship, transferred their ammunition, got a new type of ammunition, and went out on radar picket duty. Of all the places to pick they were sent to radar station 15 in the northwest quadrant, right in the direct line from Japan. They did not last very long. They got there on the 10th, around 4:00 o'clock in the afternoon, and relieved the other 2 destroyers that were there.Right around dusk one plane came in and they shot it down. All night long they [Annotator's Note: Japanese aircraft] would come in close enough to be picked up on radar so the ship stayed at general quarters all night.Right before the invasion Monpat transferred from the after engine room to the forward engine room because he had bitched about being in charge of men who over rated [Annotator's Note: out ranked] him. He wanted out of there. It was a lot of responsibility. He transferred to the forward engine room where he had a chief over him. The chief insisted that Monpat have his battle station in the after engine room where the chiefs was. This is the same chief that took a liking to him.Monpat was on the 8 to 12 watch [Annotator's Note: on 10 May 1945]. When the first class he relieved in the forward engine room went to get his morning chow the after guns started firing. The order was given to cease firing because the plane was believed to be friendly but it was not and the gun crew knew it and kept firing. Finally they sounded general quarters.The man returned so Monpat could get to his battle station in the after engine room. The guy [Annotator's Note: the Japanese pilot] was coming in on the port side with his engine off, gliding in. One of the 5 inch shells got him. It was one big blast and that was the end of him.Monpat went down into the after engine room. After that, they started coming in 2 and 3 at a time. It was just katy bar the door for the next hour. Like one guy said Â“it was like it was raining airplanes.Â”They were credited with 19 [Annotator's Note: shooting down 19 Japanese planes] with assists from the USS Hadley [Annotator's Note: USS Hugh W. Hadley (DD-774)] which was the other destroyer that was with them, plus the 4 that hit them. In total, the Evans was credited with 26 Japanese planes, 2 shore bombardments, and 5 battle stars for the five engagements they were in.
All oral histories featured on this site are available to license. The videos will be delivered via mail as Hi Definition video on DVD/DVDs or via file transfer. You will be purchasing the oral history in its entirety but will be free to use only specific clips. Please contact the Museum at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in licensing this content. Please allow up to two weeks for file delivery or delivery of the DVD to your postal address. See more information at http://ww2online.org/faqs.