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Arnold H. (Arnie) Sawatske

Memorial Location

COLUMN:   ROW: 45

  • 3rd Class Electrician Mate
  • Served: August 1944 to June 23, 1946
  • World War II
  • Victory Medal – American Area Campaign Medal; Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal

Mr. Sawatske was born in Milwaukee, WI on August 12, 1926. He graduated from Pulaski High School in 1944 and enlisted in the US Navy on August 5, 1944. He received his basic training at Great Lakes Naval Base, Illinois then trained at the Naval Training School (Electric), St. Louis, Missouri. Transferred to IEA Naval Barracks, Honolulu, Hawaii, then assigned to USS Alamance AKA 75. USS Alamance (AKA-75) was a Tolland-class attack cargo ship of the United States Navy named after Alamance County, North Carolina. Like all AKAs, Alamance was designed to carry military cargo and landing craft, and to use the latter to land weapons, supplies, and soldiers or Marines on enemy shores during amphibious operations.

Arnie was part the transportation of US Marines to the island of Tinian at the time the Enola Gay undertook her mission to Hiroshima.

Tinian is located approximately 1,500 miles from mainland Japan and was suitable to become a staging base for continuous heavy bomber attacks on the Japanese Islands. Immediately after the island’s seizure by the United States, construction work began on the largest airbase of World War II, which covered the entire island, excepting its three highland areas. The base was a 40,000-personnel installation, and the Navy Seabees  laid out the base in a pattern of city streets resembling New York City’s Manhattan Island, and named the streets accordingly.

After the bombings, the AKA-75 was part of the convoy transporting first troops to Sasebo, Japan.

When the USS Alamance returned to the US for discharge, Arnold was assigned to YMS 361 for mine sweeping the area around Sasebo because he did not have enough points for discharge.

Upon return to the US, he helped prepare the USS Bogue for decommissioning. The War was over, and Arnold received an Honorable Discharge on June 23, 1946.

He became employed by AT &T; married and had three children. He and his wife Pauline retired to Presque Isle, WI in 1990.

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