Joel Young

Joel Young
Date of birth: May 19, 1921
Dates of service: 1943 to 1946
Hometown: Vernon County, Mo.
Theater and location of service: European
Branch: Army
Rank: T3 Staff Sergeant
Unit and specialty: Army Transport, USAT Thomas H. Barry; Radio operator
Lives in: Clovis
Veterans organizations: VFW

In his words: Serving in the Army as a radioman, Young was assigned aboard an Army transport ship that traveled through the Atlantic ocean in a convoy of 12 to 14 ships.

He vividly recalls the day their ship struck a Norwegian fishing boat that had been obscured from view by fog. The wooden fishing boat splintered on impact. “When we hit it, it just tore it apart.”

Lowering the ship’s lifeboats, the soldiers rescued as many as they could and transported them back to Boston. Approximately 20 fisherman perished in the accident.

Later when Germany surrendered, the ship was able to break radio silence for the first time. Young said they lit up the airways, communicating with other ships and celebrating the end of the war.

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