Claude Diehl YMC 3rd C (living in Portland, Oregon) Thursday, June 19, 2003
Sinking of the USS Pringle
I REMEMBER ........... April 16,1945 Okinawa.
(Also 4 days after my birthday and the death of President Roosevelt)
I remember the morning the suicide planes attacked the Pringle. One dived into mid ship and the explosion knocked me backwards as I was just handing off a powder shell for the 5-inch gun......... Somehow I crawled thru a hole out to the deck, and quickly realized this was worse than the suicide plane hit we got at Mindoro in the Philippines. At that moment I felt the ship starting to break in two. Not having a lifebelt, since the canvas wraparound seemed inadequate, I gave up carrying it around. At that moment, I spied a rope cargo net fastened to the rail above me. The problem was it had been painted over so many times my knife wouldn't cut it loose. Then fortunately another crew member saw me and rushed up to help cut it loose and we got it overboard. We started swimming away from the middle of the ship pulling the net as fast as we could swim.