“TWINS who served…”

“Sir:

As per requested…following is some information regarding me and my twin brother Alfons. We have served aboard three (3) combat ships in the Pacific and they were the USS Henderson, USS Gambier Bay and the USS Intrepid. We were assigned to the Intrepid on December 8, 1944 at Hunters Point, CA and served aboard her until December 31, 1945. When aboard the Gambier Bay we survived when she was sunk during the surface battle in the Battle of Leyte Gulf on October 25, 1944. We were awarded 30 days Survivor’s Leave and our Leave Papers read…”Report to the U.S.S. Intrepid (CV-11) at Hunters Point, CA”.

Ed Krzemecki, Former Intrepid Crewman”

 Newspaper Notice:

“Twins Serve Together” – U.S.S. INTREPID (CV 11): Alfons Krezemecki, shipfitter 2/c and his twin, Edward, shipfitter 2/c served aboard the a/c carrier where planes took part battering Okinawa prior to Marine and Army landings. Both Al and Ed were never separated during their service in the Navy, even in combat, since they enlisted together in the Navy.”

Forced to abandon ship from the USS Gambier Bay, they lashed themselves together before going over the side. The Gambier Bay was one of the two (2) U.S. CVSs sunk after the heroic stand against – at that time – a Jap battle fleet of superior speed and gunpower.

 Much of the history of the Intrepid belongs to the tale of repairing battle damage, and is a tribute to the repair party training program and to the valiant efforts of the men who risked their lives to fight fires and rescue trapped personnel.

Few experiences of naval life could exceed the havoc and the terror of a major conflagration. Planes burn fiercely and ammunition explodes – all within a slippery, slanting space made black as night by the heavy smoke. Yet these men knew they must do – and did it. The ship lived and salvage work began.

Does anyone remember Intrepid’s mascot dog that had one black eye? His name was “Pooch”?

 A PATHETIC AFTERMATH of the battle was the plight of the survivors of U.S. sunken ships off Samar. The men from the Gambier Bay, the Saint Lo, the Johnston, Hoel and Roberts, were left in the water, hanging onto rafts, nets, and wreckage, suffering from thirst, sunburn, and attacks by sharks, for two days before rescue ships arrived to take them onboard. This failure was a disgrace to the Seventh Fleet authorities charged with responsibility for the rescue of personnel.

Many died from thirst, wounds and exhaustion. Two men were known to have perished from the attacks of sharks, Those still alive were picked up on the morning of October 27th by sub-chasers and LCI’s from Leyte Gulf.

Let Us Not Forget Those Who Have Gone Before Us

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2 Comments

  1. When I was on board the Intrepid, She was classified as CVA. The A is for “Attack”, She was latter classified as a CVE…’Escort’. Then a CVS…’Support’. I was on board from May 1955 to OCT. 1957.

    Reply
    • Dean, thanks for your comments and support of my Blog. – John Simonetti, AMS3, V6 Div., ’61-’62. Past President, USS Intrepid Association, Inc ’03-’05

      Reply

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