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Recollections of Robert S. Aluni, SK2



    I came aboard the Rich in early 1944, transferred from the Navy disbursing office at 90 Church Street in New York. From there we figured the pay rolls for the DE's and went to Brooklyn Navy Yard to pay the crews. Then they closed that office and put disbursing SK's on each DE and that is when I was transferred to the Rich. I believe I was the last new face on the ship because I had the worst bunk on the ship. Farthest lower bunk in the mess hall and never had a chance to improve it.

    My gun position was on the starboard forward 20MM on the second deck. I was blown clear of the ship and came to in the water. I was picked up by our own whaleboat and recall at least one other. The next time I came to I was in the water again. From what I heard the whaleboat crew had tied up to the Rich and were helping carry survivors off and when the Rich sank so quickly it pulled the whaleboat down also. So I was in the water again.

    They sewed up the backs of my legs on some ship and after a train ride ended tip in central England (Cheltenham) for a month.

    After returning to the US, I went to Providence, RI, to form a new crew for the AE 15 Vesuvius, an ammunition ship and finished the war in the Pacific as part of Halsey's Task Force 58--Iwo Jima-Okinawa--and bombardment of Japan.

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