Biography of William H. Hoey

PFC,  Co H, 165th Inf Rgt, 27th Inf Div (also attached 3rd, 4th Marine Divs), U.S.A.

    Joined up Oct. 15th. 1940 in NYC with the 165th Inf, {The Fighting 69th} "Had seen the movie." wanted to get my year of " Selective Service" over with. Went to Ft McClellan Alabama to the greatest mess in the world. The mess was out in the open no cover at all. No stoves in the tents, the showers were also open from the roof to six feet from the floor. When you took a shower you had to stand fully dressed to the guy taking onethen strip fast to get .'the warm water. We didn't have weapons except for some ww two rifles everything was pretend, machine guns, morters etc. we even had the old ww 2 helmets.When they hit Pearl Harbor I was in the movies in Anniston. In a short time we were on our way to California, We guarded the Douglas Plant in Long Beach, digging machine gun positions around the plant, The workers were swell . they would bring us food and drinks at all hours of the day or night.From there we headed for the island of Kauai Hawaii where we cleared fields of fire in case of an invasion.

     We were there for about a year. I really moved around in the Regiment. My rank was PFC. I started in H Company. Got an audition with special service doing a Show Called "Hey Mac" which we toured the islands with, it was headed by Capt. Maurice Evans a famous english actor who did a lot of Shakespeare.

     When my outfit when to Makin island (Gilbert Islands) in the invasion we hit the beach in LSVP's but had to wade in under crossfire. I have a picture showing us wading in. It took a few days but we finally got all the japs at one end and in the morning we were attacked by about 250 of them but we had heavy thirtys from one side of the island to the other about 20 yds apart and as they screamed Banzai they went down in piles one on top of the other. Our Col. Conroy was killed on the beach during the landing by a sniper in a palm tree. We counted about 250 dead japs.

     Next we invaded Saipan (Mariana Islands). On Saipan I was driving a Lt. with two radio operators who were shore fire control, we were spoting Jap targets and radioing there positions to the navy ships.

     We went back to Honolulu, Hawaii between battles. There I transfered back to Company H. Then, before the invasion of Okinawa we went to Espiritu Santos in the New Hebrides for R and R.

     Then it was on to Okinawa were I was on the 81 Mil. mortars, graves registration picking up bodies, and 30 cal machine guns. Picked up a Purple Heart just before we headed for home.

    After we secured OKI, we were sent home in September of 45 after being overseas for about three and a half years. Jackson Heights never looked so good.

----- William H, Hoey 165th Inf.



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