Leroy J. Knurr - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Leroy J. Knurr




Leroy enlisted in the United States Navy and was assigned to Mobile Hospital #2. "Came out of my tent and did not think of anything. A Seaman 2nd class, who was in the China campaign said to get down in the valley and stay there until the attack was over, then we came up and saw what was happening at Pearl Harbor." "We started to put up metal buildings as fast as we could. The units were 24 feet wide and 32 feet long. A 4x8 sheet of plywood would be placed on the middle the long way, and 2 4x8 sheets would be placed on both sides. As soon as the plywood would become done, a bed, mattress, and sheet would be put on plywood and an injured person would be put on the bed. We put up 13 buildings that day." "After the attack was over a Marine came up in a cab to see his brother. His brother was killed at our place." "We had built work buildings for carpenter shops, kitchens, and mess halls. I stayed in the carpenter shop for 4 years. I wanted no part of going to Washington D.C. so I wanted to go on a ship. Sent back to the states, I was assigned to a unit called Beach Party. We trained at Camp Pendleton Marine Base for amphibious training in boats where the front portion of the boat…on the shore. We then went to Astoria, Oregon to go on a ship USS Grimes APA 172. Battle zone areas were Enievetok, Ulithi, and Ieshina. The big one was Okinawa. Set up smoke screens so the ship couldn't be seen. We arrived there in August of 1945, and left there October 21, 1945."

"I arrived at Iwo Jima December 11, 1945, and left December 17 to take the Marines back to Oahu for rest and whatever will happen to them. We picked up Marine recruiters to take them back to Iwo Jima for duty." "Back after Iwo Jima with 800 Marine's on board we went to Tokyo. They had white billboards on the side of the entrance to Tokyo for 3 or 4 days. When the USS Missouri went into the bay, we followed it in and put 700 Marines on the airfield. We then put fuel on board and went to Nagasaki. That was a ship building city, as ships were following in the harbor, we sank them. I was left in the Philipines. Back to the states and was sent to Guam. I was in charge of the carpenter shop and had 25 Guam men working for me along with 7 Japanese prisoners of war.

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