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Shipmate Memories - Kamikase Attacks

by Ford "Whitey" Richardson

I was one of the "Skeleton Crew" of Combat Veterans that put the Gregory in Commission and "broke in" the new men. (I had nine Battle Stars from duty on the USS Farenholt (DD-491), and I "earned" two more aboard the Gregory, (Iwo Jima and Okinawa).

George Allis and I fired the No. 5 40mm. My gun was the only one still firing when the fifth Kamikase came in. Just as I began scoring solid hits on him, the gun went into the "Stops" and quit firing. At the last split second, he tilted sideways and passed between the number two stack and the number three 5-inch. If he hadn't tilted, his wing would have cut Allis and me in half. And, of course, since we had already been hit on the port side by one Kamikase this one would have broken the keel, and we would have gone down. I give more credit to my prayer than to my shooting.