Charles Joseph Brucks
F Division
USS West Virginia

Assigned to the West Virginia on Nov. 17, 1943. I was in the F Division

    There were four of us who started in Boot came in Great Lakes. Jan 43, went to fire control school on Treasure Island San Francisco in April, then to a new Antiaircraft school between San Diego and LaJolla.  We planted grass seed and hauled truck loads of dried human waste from camp Pendelton to fertilize the seed.  The seed came up with many tomato plants from the marines Pendelton. We fired 20, 40, and 90mm as well as 5inch at sleeves towed along the coast line. We trained English sailors on the 20 and 40mm before they pick up some mine sweepers to sail back to Briton.
    We were transferred to Whidbey  Island at the new navel station. The first few weeks we harvested Potatoes and Pears which farmers had planted and left when the navy took over the land. We worked in small craft retrieving torpedoes that were dropped by TBFs at a target ship in Puget sound. We had fast speed boats to chase the torpedoes and hook them as they rose to the surface at the end of their run, they would sink if not hook soon enough. We transferred them to small barges and when the barge had four it would return them to the base. We were then transferred to the Wee Vee On Nov. 17.43
    There were members of the crew that was on the ship at Pearl and told many stories of that day and of the work done bringing the ship up and to Bremerton. For six months we worked aboard the ship doing many things but the last month we were able to work along side ship yard workers wiring up the fire control equipment.
    Common dates July 4,44 Underway in Puget Sound -- July 17, left for Long Beach for shakedown and training. --Sept 7 left for Pearl --Sept 24 left for the South Pacific -- Oct. 4 crossed the Equator --Oct.19 started our war effort by bombarding Leyte.  I left the ship in January 46 to be discharged  at Great Lakes

Charles Joseph Brucks

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