William R. Schumacher

USS West Virginia

My dad was first assigned to the West Virginia in May of 1941. He was a seaman 2nd class, deck division. He was first loader on a 5 inch 25 anti aircraft gun. He bunked midships on the port side, that's the side that had liberty 12/7/41. My dad was shaving at the time of the attack. He went topside and went to his gun battery, but after a few rounds it went dead because the power to the ship died. Then he assisted on a 50 cal. When abandon ship was called he jumped off the fantail of the West Virginia, swam between it and the Arizona in order to reach Ford Island. His hair and eyebrows were burned off in the swim. The day after the attack my Dad was assigned onboard the USS Dewey, a destroyer.

Mark Schumacher


William Schumacher passed away on March 26, 2004 after a lengthy illness.

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