World War II Veterans reminisce during USS Alabama Crewmen's reunion

It was a day of remembrance in the Port City as five World War II crewman returned to Battleship Memorial Park. FOX10...

Posted: Apr 16, 2018 2:55 AM
Updated: Apr 16, 2018 2:55 AM

It was a day of remembrance in the Port City as five World War II crewman returned to Battleship Memorial Park. FOX10 News was there as the veterans reminisced on their time aboard the USS Alabama.

"The dispatches would come in by radio and I'd retype it and I'd send it out with a marine and a marine would take it out to the heads of the departments."

Navy Crewman Wil Rozum remembers sitting in his office aboard the USS Alabama during the height of World War II.

"I was my own boss. I didn't have anyone to work under so I liked it there," Rozum said.

Rozum recalls intense moments chasing the Japanese fleet, but his fondest memories were a little lighter.

"The best part of my life aboard that ship was diving off the bow. I used to dive off the bow and I was the only one that did that. I tried to talk the other guys into it but they didn't want to. It was about 40ft. Wasn't too bad," Rozum said.

Like Rozum, former crewman Raymond Weigand enjoyed serving on the Mighty A.

"My time on the USS Alabama was wonderful. I had some good times and I had a lot of bad times but I think the good times outnumbered the bad times," Weigand said.

Rozum and Weigand joined just three other original crewman for the ship's 75th anniversary, a number continuing to dwindle with each reunion.

"That generation is very quickly leaving us and it won't be long before they aren't around at all and this is our time to honor them," Commander of the USS Alabama Living History Crew, Tony Watson said.

Still, Rozum says he's thankful he can continue the tradition and share his story.

"A lot of guys come back from the army, the marines, and they don't want to talk about it and I can't blame them because they had some pretty rough times to go. This was more like a pleasure cruise," Rozum said.

Just because the four crewman were on board the USS Alabama together, doesn't mean they even knew each other. The ship carried up to 2500 men.

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