Saturday, February 21, 2009

Watson Craft - WWII

When I was little my mother would occasionally get out pictures that she had collected of movie stars. She kept them in a thin little box with a blue lid that was about 5x7 inches. I remember Myrna Loy. They were all black and whites. She gave those pictures to my sister, Kay. I have no idea what she did with them.

Every once in a while I will come across a picture in the family and it will remind me of the style of those pictures. Watson Craft is in one of those movie star pictures.

I told him the story of my mother's pictures and how his was in that style. He told me the story of that picture.

Watson showed me a wall where his memorbillia for his time in the Navy hung. He was on a submarine. He had a map which showed where his submarine had been when he had been on it and what hits they had made of Japanese ships.

One ship they put down had been part of the attack on Pearl Harbor. The captain of the ship had taken a picture that was made from a photograph that had been taken from the periscope of four ships which were hit by them and had a painting made of it. It was all on Watson’s wall.

At one time they had run out of food and nearly starved. He got down to 85 pounds. When they got supplies they first fed them fortified jello and then solid foods. After they had gained weight back they had their pictures taken. The one I call his “movie star” picture was taken at this time.

Watson Craft, movie star

Watson was a quartermaster on the ship. One of the jobs would be for three people to be on watch. One watched the front half ninety degrees to the east and five degrees past the center of the ship west, another the other half west and five degrees past the center east. The third watch was of the back 180 degrees sky and sea. They were near Japan and got word to head south at full speed. Watson was on duty and had the front and offered to help the fellow in the back watch telling him to choose either the water or the sky and he would help him with the other. They saw a bright light that was brighter than anything they had ever seen in their lives. They were about sixty miles from Nagasaki. They reported what they had seen, but it was two days before they realized what it was. They had seen the bombing of Nagasaki.

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