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"I told a buddy sitting beside me, 'My God, they're killing them all.'" (Video Interview, Part 2, 25:16)

   Hoyt B. Condra
Collection image
Hoyt Condra, 2003
War: World War, 1939-1945; Korean War, 1950-1953
Branch: Navy; Navy
Unit: USS Tarbell (DD 142); USS Charleston (PG 51); USS John W. Weeks (DD 701); USS Indiana (BB 58)
Service Location: Norfolk, Virginia; Atlantic Ocean; North Africa; Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; Bermuda; Pacific; Saipan (Northern Mariana Islands); Philippines; Iwo Jima; Okinawa Island (Ryukyu Islands); Japan; also: South Carolina
Rank: Petty Officer Second Class
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Hoyt Condra was 16 when he joined the Navy in September 1941, getting a buddy to sign for him as his father. He began by serving on an escort protecting convoys of merchant ships across the Atlantic. As a gunner, he had a front-row seat for several of the Pacific island invasions, including Iwo Jima, when he watched in horror as the Marines suffered their worst single day of casualties. Japanese planes attacked his ship with strafing and torpedoes, and he was involved in the rescue operation when a sister ship was hit by the deadliest kamikaze attack of the war.

Interview (Video)
»Interview Highlights  (2 clips)
»Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 
Download: video(1) | 
Download: video(2) | 
Download: video(3) (84 min.)
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»The War
 Video (Interview Excerpts) (2 items)
Shelling Iwo Jima for three weeks to prepare for the invasion; watching helplessly on the first day as Marines are mowed down on the beach (07:25) [First clip continues] witnessing kamikaze attack in March 1945 on the USS Franklin (02:55) 

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  October 26, 2011
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