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"185 people died on that ship…" (Video interview, 19:43)

   Jesus R. Soto
Collection image
Jesus Soto [detail from video]
War: World War, 1939-1945
Branch: Navy
Unit: USS New Orleans (CA 32)
Service Location: Kodiak, Alaska; Pacific Theater; Hawaii
Rank: Sergeant
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Fresh out of the Civilian Conservation Corps, Jesus Soto was moved to enlist in the Navy by a recruiter’s promise of worldwide travel. Assigned to the USS New Orleans, he was shining his shoes and getting ready for church on the morning of December 7, 1941. After surviving the attack on Pearl Harbor, he went on to take part in the Battles of Coral Sea and Midway. Reaching Guadalcanal, he was wounded when the New Orleans was torpedoed and badly damaged on November 30, 1942, during the Battle of Tassafaronga. In his oral history interview, he recalls both the tight bonds of friendship and good times he had with buddies aboard ship, and the sadness of losing so many of them at Guadalcanal.

Interview (Video)
»Interview Highlights  (5 clips)
» Part 1 
Download: video (43 min.)
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»Guadalcanal: 75 Years Later
 Video (Interview Excerpts) (5 items)
Asking to be assigned to the USS New Orleans; appeal of the ship’s name. (00:41) Experiences on December 7, 1941. (02:09) Battle of Midway; losing the USS Yorktown; Battle of Guadalcanal; USS New Orleans torpedoed; loss of life. (00:50)
Battle on November 30, 1942; standing at his battle station; hit in the back of the head; injury sustained. (01:57) Best friend enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1940; sent to Corregidor; became a prisoner of war; came home a broken man. (01:35) 

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