Segment 4


Baptiste had a janitorial service. One of his clients was a doctor who stayed on Corregidor [Annotator's Note: Corregidor Island, Philippines] as a child.Baptiste got to know a lot of people in San Diego. Balboa Park was terrific; from there he went to Hawaii.In 1939 they went on fleet maneuvers. They went through the Panama Canal. They were broken up. They went into the Atlantic. They went into the Caribbean where they stayed at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. They had the fleet finals for boxing there.After going into the Atlantic they went all the way to Dakar, Africa. The other part of the fleet was closer to the States. They were to attack each other. They met somewhere in the Atlantic. This was the 1939 fleet maneuvers.In 1939 the Germans invaded the lower countries of France. Baptiste's ship received orders to return to the Pacific to guard against an attack by the Japanese. At that time they knew something was up. The torpedo tubes were taken off of the ship and the 4 inch guns were removed. A larger fuel capacity was added. The 12 ships in Baptiste's squadron were converted into mine sweepers. The antiaircraft guns were added after the attack on Pearl Harbor. After they returned from fleet maneuvers in the Atlantic they were assigned to guard California.There were rough seas doing to Hawaii. Enroute to Hawaii they held maneuvers. Eight or 10 sailors were lost during storms. Baptiste lost a set of dog chains [Annotator's Note: dog tags].After the ships were converted almost another 100 men were added to the crew of Baptiste's ship.


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 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