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"After that, it was common knowledge, someone was always getting hurt." (Video Interview, 15:01)

   Manuel Castro Perez
Collection image
Manuel Perez [2003]
War: World War, 1939-1945
Branch: Navy
Unit: Navy Amphibious Service, 38th Task Force
Service Location: Pacific Theater
Rank: Seaman First Class
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Manuel Perez enlisted in the Navy in 1943, despite the initial reservations of his wife, and the pain of leaving his two small children. A recent immigrant to the United States, he felt a sense of duty to his new country; he chose the Navy because he wanted to see some action in the Pacific. He got his wish while working on a small Landing Craft Infantry (LCI) ship: he and his crew witnessed some of the bloodiest battles of the Pacific while patrolling the waters off Tinian, the Marshall Islands, Saipan, and Pelelieu.

Interview (Video)
»Interview Highlights  (5 clips)
»Complete Interview 
Download: video (46 min.)
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»Hispanics in Service
 Video (Interview Excerpts) (5 items)
Reasons for his decision to enlist; persuading his wife that he should join the Navy. (01:29) Where his ship traveled; seeing Japanese civilians jumping off the cliffs in Saipan; going to Tinian. (02:06) The first time his ship sustained a casualty; seeing a demolitions expert being blown up in front of him. (01:10)
Going through a typhoon while off the coast of Pelelieu; difficulty of battle on Pelelieu; his ship sent to navigate and patrol the shallow waters the large ships couldn't get to; dodging mines and coral reefs. (01:25) Limitations of facilities on a small ship; having to rinse clothes with salt water; running short of supplies; scavenging supplies; dealing with constant pressure. (01:55) 

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  The Library of Congress  >> American Folklife Center
  October 26, 2011
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