During WW II, Joe Zablotny sailed on the destroyer, USS Newcomb (DD-586)–said to be the most attacked ship in the Pacific. Once they were hit by seven Kamikaze planes–four striking the 376 foot destroyer at the same time. ”We took one hell of a beating,” Joe says of the Japanese attack on the Newcomb. They were out to get the Newcomb–payback for sinking an Imperial battleship. During the air attack, Joe’s torpedo training was useless against the Japanese. But he used his damage control training to keep the stern alfoat–a critical response that helped save the ship. Today at age 90, Joe is one of four surviving members of the Newcomb.
This interview is a production of the Veteran Voices of Pittsburgh Oral History Initiative, in partnership with the nonprofit Veterans Breakfast Club. It was recorded June 3, 2013 at Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
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