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Recollections of Harvey H. Seigfried

    The following history was written by Mary Seigfried as our shipmate Harvey is now disabled and unable to write his recollections of his Navy duty. She reread 268 letters that Harvey had written to her to obtain this information.

    Harvey entered the Navy May 28, 1943, and received his basic training at Sampson, NY. He was then sent to Norfolk, VA., to Fireman School. He was then transferred to New Orleans and was a plank owner at the commissioning of the USS Rich, DE 695, on October 1, 1943.

    Harvey does not remember a whole lot about the invasion and I can only tell you the way he told it to me. For a long time he wouldn't talk about it but as time went by he told me a few things. Harvey was down in the engine room most of the time. He said the first explosion knocked most everything apart down below. Soon the second blast came and I think he said they were told to abandon ship. They started up the ladder to the topside and one of the guys decided to go back down for something and Harvey went after him. He does not remember the third mine going off and woke up in a field hospital in Plymouth, England. He was told that he was picked out of the water by a PT boat. He had severe wounds to his legs and back.

    The last letter I received prior to the invasion was dated May 10, 1944, from Brooklyn, NY. Then I received a V-mail letter from the hospital in Plymouth, England. He came home on a 30 day survivors leave on July 18, 1944. October, 1944, he was transferred to san Pedro. California, to duty on the USS Colusa, APD 74. He met two sailors in San Pedro that were on the USS Rich. One was a Seaman 2/C and the other was a Machinist Mate 1/C, but he does not remember their names.

    In July, 1945, Harvey came back to San Francisco and called me and asked me to come out to see him. Harvey's sister and I traveled five days and five nights on a bus to get to California. Harvey and I were married in San Francisco on July 19, 1945. We stayed until he had to go back to sea duty, then we came home. He went to many islands in the Pacific and was at Iwo Jima to pick up wounded servicemen. On January 19, 1946, he was discharged from the Navy at Bainbridge, MD.

    Harvey had a major stroke in 1977. He had three aneurysms in his brain that caused him to be paralyzed on his entire left side. Even so, he is looking forward to the reunion to meet with his shipmates from the Rich!

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Last update: Sunday, May 16, 2010