J. L. "Roy" DuBosque

Gun Striker, 6th Division, USS St. Louis / USS Philadelphia / HMS Dido, USN, Pearl Harbor

    My father in law J.L."Roy " DuBosque joined the Navy in late 39 at the age of 16. He lied about his age, however he was 3 lbs. too light so the navy Doctor told him to go to the market and eat 3lbs. of bananas. He was in, as a new boot he joined the crew of the ST LOUIS in time for her first cruise. He was put to work in the mess. Later he joined the deck force. After the ships passage into the Pacific he became part of the crew that catapulted the SOC1 biplanes off of the stern. He enjoyed seeing the world at that time and was due to be mustered out in Oct.1941. By that time he had made gun striker and was a pointer in the third 5in 38 starboard, mount, 6th division.

       FDR had other ideas and he found himself running to his mount at about 8:05 Sunday morning Dec 7, 1941. His other job was bow hook on the captain's gig and he crewed the ships racing sail boat. J.L. lost most of his gear and uniforms as they were on the gig which was moored along side. He saw the Arizona blow up and after that a lot of smoke. His ship the ST LOUIS was in for overhaul and to get radar. No phones no power the crew had to fight the ship by hand. The gun captain would kick him in the back when he was to close the triggers. The gun crew fired some rounds with out setting the fuses Dad says he thinks some of their shells landed in Honolulu because thats the direction the turret was pointing. During the lull in the attack the "Lucky LOU" fired off her cold boilers, he was later told by a friend of his in the black gang that they fired them off and then sent the water in to get steam up fast. She followed the NAVADA out passing her as she beached herself. He closed the triggers as they had the miget sub in their sights he saw a chunk of the conning tower fly off as she sank. ST LOUIS sailed out look for the Jap ships and as luck would have it they didn't find them!

       Just to make the rest of a long story short Dad went to Midway & up to Alaska. Then Treasure Island, no leave yet in 42! {discovered a scam} was told he just had leave and was going to Auckland NZ. So pay some guy called Moe $3 for blank leave papers & took the train home to NJ. After 3 days turned himself in at navy yard. Captains mast and then on to USS Philadelphia and the Med, N Africa, Malta, Sicily, Anzio and Southern France. Was an exchange gunner on HMS Dido for 2 weeks ended up a month plus. As the Philly was laid up in Malta, air raids kept Dido from catching up with Philadelphia. He didn't like the grog they served on the English ships.

     After VE day back to the Pacific on the Winged Arrow to the Phillipines. Then as he puts it "Uncle Harry"dropped the bomb and had enough points to go HOME on 1st transport out!

     Thats his story. He is alive and well in S.Jersey in National Park across from the navy yard.

----- Robin Fisher

        timsafordtin@goes.com

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