By Kyle R.
Grade 5, Maryland

The person I choose to interview was C.R. Smith. He is my grandfather and was born on November 28, 1924 in Washington D.C. My grandfather was 15 years old when the war began in 1939. Before my grandfather signed up to go to war he worked for Capitol Airlines at Reagon National Airport (it was called National Airport then) and he played drums and bugle in the American Legion Band.

My grandfather was 18 years old when he entered the service and was in the service for 2 1/2 years. He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps. His rank was Field Music Corporal and his duties were ship bugler and anti-aircraft gunner. This experience was exciting and educational. My grandfather got his training to go to war in boot camp, music school and sea school. He trained on the M1 rifle, the 45 mm handgun and 20 mm anti-aircraft gun.

My grandfather spent 18 months on board an Aircraft Carrier called the CV-20 USS Bennington. He slept in a bunk bed just under the hangar deck and sometimes on a steel deck at the gun site. When he wasn't in a battle, he worked in shifts of 8 hours on and 8 hours off. If there was a battle, he stayed on duty until the battle was over which could be for 24 hours straight.

My grandfather won ribbons for Iwo Jima, Okinawa and the first carrier attacks on the Japanese main lands. His only contact from home was received by U.S. Mail. For fun, he used to drink beer and try to date girls when he was in port. My grandfather developed friendships with men that he still stays in contact with after 50 years. Those were the things my grandfather did in the war.

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