I was contacted today via email about linking to www.MesotheliomaSymptoms.com. I am very aware of the health issues Veterans have to deal with, Agent Orange, PTSD, various cancers, diabetes…the list could go on for pages. (Please see the MesotheliomaSymptoms.com site for more information about Mesothelioma (asbestos) cancer.) Link to follow…
That Tin Can was The USS Hyman DD-732 . The Hyman with Dad, went to Iwo Jima and proceeded to blast the hell out of that piece of the Pacific, with her 5″ guns, for 4 days before the Marines landed. Dad and the Hyman crew fought off days of air and endless kamikaze attacks. They went on to Okinawa and fought off more air attacks. A kamikaze hit her on the main deck near the torpedo tubes and exploded. While Dad and his boys were putting out the fires and doing the damage control, the Hyman took the liberty of sending a couple kamikazes to Davy Jones. I talked with one of Dad’s shipmates at a reunion back in the 70’s and he told me about my Dad going over the side to pull one of his boys, that got blown off the deck, back onto the Hyman. Under enemy fire. Dad never told me that. I met the man that he saved. He told me that Dad was a Hero. My Dad lost a dozen of his Brothers that day.
The Hyman went in for repairs and then back to San Francisco for a brief time and again sailed off to Pearl Harbor. Getting there just in time for the Japanese surrender on August 15, 1945. Neither the Hyman or Dad were through…they went on to receive the Japanese surrender at Kusaie and then for Japanese surrender at Pohnpei Island. The Hyman and Dad held Pohnpei until the island’s people were safe on their own.
Dad went back to Pearl Harbor, Guam and Pohnpei for the 50th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor. He went with a bunch of his crew from the Hyman. Dad came home a changed man. It took 50 years, but he forgave Japan. Dad passed away in 2008, 83 years old. He was a Hero that survived Pearl Harbor and survived multiple kamikaze attacks to die of Mesothelioma.
RiP Dad, (aka John (Jack) Henry Neas, Jr. USN) I’ll never forget you. You were and will always be a Hero to me…and many others.
And to all of America’s Finest, Thank you.