Malcolm C. Akey
Malcolm C. Akey
Volunteered for U.S. Navy. He was sworn in at New Customs Building in Denver, Colorado on September 7, 1943. He was sent home to Wray, Colorado for six days. On September 13 left Denver on train, arrived at Boot Camp in Farragut, Idaho on September 15, 1943. Six weeks training and then home for 2 weeks leave. Returned to Farragut to pick up orders for West Coast sound School. He spent three days riding in a boxcar to San Diego. December 13, 1943 entered Sonar School. He graduated (top of class) on January 15, 1944. He was transferred to Mare Island for duty assignment. He was a plank owner of USS Crowley DE 303, which was commissioned on March 25, 1944. He trained in Pearl Harbor for two months then on to Solomon Islands in the South Pacific. They escorted troop ships from Russell Islands to invasion of Peleliu and Angar and patrolled off shore until November 11, 1944. They escorted one ship with wounded Marines to Hollandia, New Guinea. They joined Task Force 38 as Escort Ship to take troops and supplies to Leyte Gulf. During the air raid, they laid smoke screen to hide the troop ships from the Jap bombers. On December 17, 18, 19, 1944, they spent 72 hours in the eye of Typhoon Cobra (also known as Halsey's Typhoon). Two of the five escort ships in their screen turned over and sank. Waves reached 90' high. The USS Hull and the USS Monaghan disappeared from our screen 30.8. The USS Spence was with another screening group in Task Force 38. It also capsized and sank. These three ships had 790 men lost at sea (Hull: 202, Monaghan: 256, Spence: 317). Following the typhoon, we returned to Ulithi for repair and supplies. They shelled off the coast of Luzon, Indonesia, China and Formosa 1/3/1945 to 1/16/1945. Patrolled Iwo Jima and screened a large battlewagon that was shelling Mount Suribachi from 1/18/1945 to 3/3/1945. Invaded Okinawa 3/23/1945 to 6/15/1945. They were off the coast of Japan from 6/15/1945 to 8/15/1945. It was during this time the atomic bombs were dropped on 8/6 and 8/9 if 1945. While in Tokyo Bay, he took liberty on September 14, 1945 in Yokasuka. They left Tokyo Bay September 16, 1945. They stopped at Eniwetok and Pearl Harbor. He arrived in San Francisco on October 9, 1945. He had six weeks leave at home. He spent Thanksgiving 1945 at Treasure Island. He then did office work reviewing records of returning sailors at Camp Shoemaker, California until March 19, 1946. He was discharged March 22, 1946. Then HOME! He spent 18 months never setting foot on dry land or seeing lights except in the below deck compartment. They traveled 150,000 knots from Hawaii to China coast to the southern tip of Solomon Islands to northern tip of Japan and all the islands in-between.