Harold Ratzlaff: I enjoyed the story about Pearl Harbor


To the editor:

I enjoyed the Pearl Harbor remembrance featuring veterans Einar Carlson and Don Seick, especially since parts of Seick's experience are close to my own. I also was at the Naval Base at Farragut, Idaho, for the naval gunnery school.

Incidentally, for Mr. Seick's information, there is no longer any sign of any of the structures that were there.

Also Buttonhook Bay is no longer a quiet little swimmin' hole.

There is a glitzy marina with a slew of fancy yachts and sailboats.

For a short time I was stationed on Guadalcanal also. Of course, Tulagi was quite visible across Iron Bottom Bay.

It is likely we were just across from each other at one time.

Like Carlson, I was also at Leyte, as well as Luzon, Mindanao, Lingayen Gulf and even Tacloban on the other side of the land mass.

I heartily agree with their thoughts on the validity of dropping the bomb on Japan.

I had just been assigned to a gunboat for the purpose of installing rocket-launchers aboard the ramps on each side of the ship.

Our mission was to drive the ship up onto the beach and fire salvos of incendiary rockets into the heart of Tokyo.

We would have been sitting ducks for any small-arms fire, as we could not move once we established our beachhead.

Prior to the invasion of Okinawa, I was a witness to the largest naval flotilla ever assembled in history. It was reported that there were more than 7,000 vessels at the Ulithi island staging area.

It would be of interest to know if there are any local veterans who were at Ulithi.

Harold Ratzlaff

Former Naval Gunner

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