Segment 7


After Baptiste left the Solomons he was sent to new construction. He was sent to the hospital because he lost his hearing and was suffering from combat fatigue. He has hearing aids now.Baptiste still has nightmares. He recently lost his wife of 61 years and is getting to be a lonely old man. He wouldn't take anything for it.It was mid day [AnnotatorÂ’s Note: during the attack on Pearl Harbor]. They were in the harbor when 25 big Japanese bombers came in at them. They came in skimming the water. Baptiste's group shot some of them down. They also had P-38's [Annotator's Note: Lockheed P-38 "Lightning" fighter aircraft]. The Marines defended Henderson Field. They were some tough fighters.During Thanksgiving 1942 they brought food, ammunition, and fuel from their tin can [Annotator's Note: tin can is slang for a destroyer] to the beach. Baptiste's ship was supposed to sweep mines in the channel but the water there was too deep for the Japanese to set mines in.He feels that they were in a suicidal situation at the beach.Baptiste served all around Guadalcanal, Tulagi, Espirito Santo, and New Caledonia, which was under the Vichy French [Annotator's Note: It was under the Free French.].He was based at Espirito Santo. The king and queen were killed in Oakland [Annotator's Note: unsure of what he is talking about].Everything that went to Guadalcanal came from Espirito Santo.The Marines fought hard for Guadalcanal and Tulagi. Carlson's Raiders were there.James Roosevelt and a tall Marine brought a Japanese soldier or marine who had been taken prisoner aboard Baptiste's ship. The prisoner was treated royally.65000 more Americans were killed than Japanese in the Solomons [Annotator's Note: ursure how Baptiste arrived at this number. This is very incorrect.]. The British bombed palm trees and had to pay for every one they cut down [Annotator's Note: unsure about this either]. They would fire for days to soften it up. The battleships, heavy cruisers, light cruisers, and destroyers were firing. They were in the front with everyone firing over their head. The battleships fired something the size of a Volkswagen so if a round fell short that would have been it for them.


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