Marshall Ralph Doak Chief Pharmacist's Mate United States Navy
I went aboard the Enterprise, "the Big E", the aircraft carrier that survived the whole war. I was on for transportation back to the states and they were gonna take me as far as Pearl Harbor. On board the Enterprise I was on top side, being a Chief, as I had no duties. They gave me a berth in sick bay which was air conditioned. I'd never been aboard an air conditioned ship before. The planes were takin' off and practice landing and all, and I happened to make a comment one day that I'd love to have the chance to take off and land on a carrier some day. Someone heard me and asked if I wanted to do it. They said, "We've got a group going over to a by-passed Japanese island called Yap and we're just gonna do a practice run so we don't need gunners and you can ride as a gunner." I said, "Let me think about it." I'd always dreamed that if I was gonna get it, it was gonna be in an airplane. As much as I wanted to go, I chickened out. I regret it to this day.
The Enterprise also encountered a typhoon . All of the sudden we moved into an absolute quiet area. Not a piece of wind, nothing. Nothing stirring. I went up on the bridge and said, "What's goin' on? We just got outta hell." They said that we were in the eye of the typhoon and that we were gonna be out of it in another half hour or so. Everything was absolutely still. You couldn't see any disturbance, it was absolute quiet with not a ripple on the water. It was something remarkable to experience.