Personal Experience>Albany CA 122

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I was a midshipman 3/c joining my first ship on my youngster cruise in 1955. I had joined the NROTC unit at Iowa State Unversity in the fall of 1954 fresh off a farm in Southwest Iowa. Going to a great naval ship was a really big deal.

 Personal Experiences

USS Albany CA-122


Sailor=Tom Jetton
RName=Katherine Emblom

My father used to tell when he was aboard ship just prior to
the U.S. entering WWII. I remember his telling us that he and his buddies were out in the Pacific when they saw a Japanese plane flying in the air.
Their question: What was a Zero doing way out there? A day later, they heard about Pearl Harbor. They realized they'd seen the advance party.

Dad died September 10, 2001--an accident, not old age. I miss those stories. He let me read his ship diary. Just before the Battle of Cape Esperance, he, like many of the young men, were itching to fight. At last, the Reluctant Dragon would see action. The day after, all he could write
was that a lot of good men died.

Dad worked in Fire Control. In the battle of Cape Esperance, he led some
people to get life jackets. They ducked behind the ship's metal, trying to
dodge the fire. In retrospect, he said that the steel wouldn't have done a
darn thing to stop them from getting hit.


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I joined Albany in mid-June. She was in port in Norfolk and the mids joined her to participate in the International Naval Review in Hampton Roads that year. Our cruise was to Norway and Sweden returning by way of Guantanamo and participating in a shoot off Culebra.
All in all, What an experience for a fresh of the farm kid.