Robert J. Andler
6th Division
USS West Virginia

I was born April 30, 1926 in Chicago, Illinois.  February 1944 I was a senior at Lane Technical School in Chicago.  I left school; had my mother sign my enlistment papers and rode a train to Farragut, Idaho to begin basic training.  A few days after basic was over, I was on the muster list to serve on the USS West Virginia.  I worked in the post office and was in the 6th Gunnery Division on the 5 inch guns.
     We bombarded shore emplacements at Leyte, sunk a battleship in the Surigao Straits, was at Luzon, Iwo Jima, Okinawa and Japan.  We took a kamikaze hit on April 1, 1945, Easter Sunday - four sailors were killed and 23 injured.  The plane hit on the port side above the 5 inch gun mount.  That day I will never forget!
     I was discharged in May of 1946 and returned to Chicago.  I worked 50 years in the printing industry until I finally retired at the age of 70.
     Moved out of Chicago 44 years ago and have lived in Wisconsin ever since.  I'm married, have eight children and 17 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren.    

Robert J. Andler

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