The Big Spud: The USS Idaho In World War II. A War Diary By a Member of Its VO Squadron
by William Schumann
Merriam Press World War II Memoir
eBook - ISBN 9781300445357 - $1.99
Paperback - ISBN 9781716513312 - $18.88
Hardcover not available
The decision made on September 2, 1941, was one Bill Schumann would never regret making.
War broke out a short three months later as he was acquainting himself with this mighty battleship, the USS Idaho, having mustered onboard her in Iceland on December 6, 1941, only hours before the attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese.
Bill was to remain onboard this warship, fondly referred to by its crew as "The Big Spud," throughout the entire conflict, and duly credit her and her skillful crew for bringing them safely through the most horrendous conflict the world has ever known, World War II.
The ship is no more, having been stricken from the Naval vessel register and sold to Lipsett Inc. on November 24, 1947, to be cut up for scrap.
A seemingly cruel act for such a great warship, yet today the memories live on in the hearts of those men who so many years ago did time onboard her, when she was a fighting ship in the most powerful Naval fleet the world has ever witnessed.
During his tour of duty, Bill had often wondered what was so special about the Idaho, the fact that they had traveled so far, always at great risk, and yet had so few casualties.
Bill wasn't one who believed in miracles, or for that matter a religious person, but a little known event that took place on the Idaho during the ship's commissioning twenty-two years before his tour of duty, may in some way have contributed to their safe journey.
Only three cherished friends, all members of the ship's VO-3 (aviation) squadron, had given their lives during the long conflict; strangely all were away from the protection of the ship when they died.
A mere coincidence, he thinks not—it has made a believer out of Bill.
The text is in diary form, as Bill recorded daily events on scraps of paper he brought home on each leave.
Bill also spent time at the National Archives examining the ship's logbooks and other records to provide details of the ship and its history during the war.
330 6x9-inch pages, 80 photos, 43 documents, 2 maps
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