Segment 5

Annotation

They went to the South Pacific to the Solomons [Annotator's Note: Solomon Islands]. The ship was pretty crowded.At Mare Island they were having work done on their ship. They saw the Southampton [Annotator's Note: Baptiste means the USS Northampton (CA-26)] that was a heavily fortified heavy cruiser. It was scheduled to go to Shanghai, China. It was sunk by the Japanese [Annotator's Note: The USS Northampton (CA-26) was sunk during the Battle of Tassafaronga in the early morning hours of 1 December 1942, almost a year to the day after the attack on Pearl Harbor].Baptiste returned to the United States with Dorie Miller [Annotator's Note: US Navy Cross recipient Ship's Cook 3rd class Doris "Dorie" Miller] to serve on new construction ships after they had served in the Solomon Islands.Baptiste served in the Solomons in the areas of Kolombangara and Savo, which is between Guadalcanal and Tulagi. He was down there with President RooseveltÂ’s son [Annotator's Note: President Roosevelt had a son, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jr. who served in the USNR and another named James Roosevelt who served in the USMCR with the Raiders during WWII].Baptiste has heard people complain that rich men don't go to war but he served aboard ships with 5 or 6 millionaires and tells people that that isn't true.After the Pacific, Baptiste ended up as the head steward aboard the Mescoma (AO-83). The Chandler, Southard, Hovey, and Long were numbers 206, 207, 208, and 209 [Annotator's Note: DD-206, DD-207, DD-208. and DD-209]. He used to remember his serial number but doesn't anymore.At Pearl Harbor, Baptiste was aboard the Perry when the harbor was bombed but his flagship was (DMS-13) USS Hopkins. At Guadalcanal he was aboard the Hopkins.At one time he was aboard the Honolea [Annotator's Note: spelling unknown; cannot verify ship name], a Coast Guard ship that took part in taking the Marines off of Guadalcanal.After the attack on Pearl Harbor, Baptiste's family thought that he was missing in action.When he left Hawaii for the Solomon Islands they had 20 millimeter antiaircraft guns. They didn't have 40 millimeter which is what Dorie Miller was killed on while he was serving aboard a converted carrier [Annotator's Note: Miller was serving aboard the USS Liscome Bay (CVE-56), a purpose built escort carrier, not a converted liberty ship]. Baptiste knew Miller. He claims that the people would turn the city over to them because Miller was a hero. Miller was a hero but he didn't know it.

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