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My name is MM3/c Edward F. Tamashunas (now Tamas). I joined the Navy on 2/9/44 at the age of 16, using my brother's birth certificate having his age and my name on it. My d.o.b. is 9/4/27.I had no high school. My mom died when I was 11, and my dad became incapacitated in a coal mine accident. I went to work at the Veteran's Hospital in Coatesville, Pa. at the age of 14. They knew I was under age, but they desperately needed help so they hired me anyway. When I joined the Navy I had 3 weeks of Boot Camp and shot out to the Pacific Theater where the Navy needed all the help they could get. I was assigned to USS Circe at Tulagi where I received my amphibious training. When we were under way, my job was running the evaporators, a very complicated process of desalinitizing the sea water to make super- heated steam to run the ship's steam powered turbines. We stood 4 on and 4 off around the clock, and the extra 4 hrs. on the day watch were spent overhauling pumps, doing other work, and taking care of the engines on my LCM, which was my battle station. At Okinawa we went over the side at about 4 AM, the young Marines came down the cargo nets in full battle gear, and at 8 AM we went in on the 2nd wave at Yellow Beach One. There after we began the process of delivering the cargo from our ship to the beach. Upon leaving Okinawa we anchored off Saipan-Tinian overnight, whereupon the Captain summoned our 3- man crew to the wardroom, where all the officers were assembled, to commend us for having removed more than 50% of the cargo from our ship, thereby enabling us to retire from the battle, which we did at flank speed. Since we had 21 landing craft aboard Circe, I do not know what happened to the others. I believe only 8 came back. Our reward at the time was a drink of whiskey from the Captain's liquor locker to honor the event. That was really swell on the part of our Captain. Since it was my 1st drink of whiskey, I sort of gagged and choked up. Everyone burst out laughing, and I went back to work one happy sailor. Of our 3 man crew, I remember Sanitas, but not the third kid. We were all just kids, but we did our job in the good ole' U.S.Navy can-do tradition.
Upon leaving Saipan-Tinian we were diverted to Pearl Harbor where my boss, a MM,1st Class was transferred over the side in a Stokes basket where he died 2 days later. He was laid to rest at a place of honor at the Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific Theater of Operations, at the Punch Bowl in Hawaii. The entire Auxiliary Division and all Officers attended the burial. At Pearl in 1995, we visited his grave and said hello once again in our prayers.
At the 50th Anniversary commemorating the end of WW II, during ceremonies with the Navy Memorial Foundation at Hawaii, I was presented with a letter of Commendation from the Secretary of the Navy, the Honorable John H, Dalton, for my role in the Okinawa Campaign. It was not fully realized until later, the significance of leaving the battle area a.s.a.p., considering the ship losses resulting from the kamikaze attacks which began in earnest on the afternoon of that Sunday, the day of our departure. As we all know, the Okinawa Campaign was the costliest in all of U.S.Naval history in terms of ships sunk and damaged, planes lost, and personnel killed and wounded. I am glad that we didn't have to invade Japan and WW II ended when it did.
MM3/c Edward F. Tamashunas (Tamas)"
He was drafted into the United States Navy in 1944 and was Honorably Discharged from the Navy on November 15, 1945. Doyle was 26 when he was drafted. He was married and had two children at the time of his call to duty. He completed his basic training at Camp Peary in Virginia. He finished his training there in July 1944.
Doyle’s ship was commissioned on November 10, 1944. Doyle’s position in the Navy was a Coxswain-SV-6, USNR on the Circe AK 25 Ship. He was a Seaman Second Class. Papa Doyle would tell us the stories of when he was aboard the USS Circe. He was the gun loader. There were three men to one gun. A man would hand him the ammunition and he would load the gun. Another man would fire it. While doing this the bullet had to be loaded exactly right or the gun would jam. Doyle said that he never let it jam. He always put it in just right. He said while they were fighting the enemy—he could never look to see what was going on. If you did look up—you would see the enemy coming after you. The Circe received one battle star for World War II service. Part of his tour he was stationed in Hawaii. While in Hawaii Pop said there was a pineapple factory on the island. It was the Dole Pineapple Factory. He said you could smell pineapples for miles. He said it was the sweetest smell that you could never forget.
Glenard Justice was a shipmate on the USS Circe with Papa Doyle. He used to tell the story of how he got sea sick while on the ship and his friend Doyle Roberts would feed him crackers to ease the sickness. When Doyle’s oldest son William was growing up and Papa Doyle would take him deep sea fishing…when William would get sick—Pop would pull out the crackers.
--Submitted by Tiffany Carson
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