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  Crew 1946

  Officers Jan./46



                 --      &nbbsp;    



    Welcome aboard the USS Sumter, APA-52 web site.  Here you will find a considerable amount of information about the "Lucky Ship" Sumter.   Perhaps a few short words from a letter written by the late Pete Roche, one of the co-founders of the Sumter Reunion would be appropriate.


   "We, as young men of the early forties were united by World War II.  As sailors in the Navy, we became a part of something that had never been tried before, Amphibious Warfare.  Our particular group of the Navy Amphibious Forces manned the small boats that took the men and materials ashore on enemy held islands in the war against Japan.


    We made assault landings at places that most people today have never heard of or have long ago forgotten.  Places like Attu, Kiska, Kwajalein, Eniwetok, Anguar, Leyte, Luzon, and Iwo Jima.  We sailed the Pacific from the frigid Aleutians to steamy New Guinea.  We anchored in places with strange sounding names like Manus, in the Admiralty Islands, Ulithi, in the Carolines, Apra-Guam, in the Marriannas, Hollandia and Sansopar in New Guinea, and many more.  We were the Gypsies of the Pacific, with no mama and no papa most of the time.  The Navy Department called us “casuals,” but there was nothing casual about the task we performed, and the conditions under which we performed it.


At times we lived in the boats for days and nights, never going aboard the mother ship.  We ate cold food, when we ate at all, food that was lowered down to us on lines.  We tied up to buoys at night, sleeping when we could, with life jackets for a bed on the deck or on the engine cover.


We retook the first American soil from the Japanese at Attu in the Aleutians.  We liberated the Philippines and received a medal for it from the Philippine government.  We were there when the flag was raised atop Mount Surabachi on Iwo Jima.  Without the “Amphibs” there would have been no victory in the Pacific.  We took the war to Japan’s front door, island by bloody island.  We helped make history."



(For the complete text, hit the, Why A Reunion Tab.  This lists the complete "Why A Reunion" letter by Pete Roche" and "How the Sumter Reunions Began" by the other co-founder of the Sumter Reunions, Melvin Burks.)


If you have any questions suggestions or comments, please feel free to e-mail me.  Just hit the e-mail indicator below.