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Our task force put to sea in early January 1942, to attack the Japanese in the Marshall and Gilbert islands, but the mission was called off on the eve of the attack.
On December 5, 1941, Chicago led a task force built around the carrier Lexington to Midway Island, at the western end of the Hawaiian Islands, about 1,000 miles from Pearl Harbor.
My observations of Japanese naval fighting men, their abilities and equipment led me to believe that they gave a better account of themselves than we did.
My assignment was in the communications office, where I typed out dispatches.
Lexington did launch its air group when a Japanese carrier was reported.
In basic training we had been told to watch out for Japanese spies.
I was assigned to the heavy cruiser Chicago.
I passed a typing test and became a member of the staff of Rear Adm. Newton.
Everybody knew that I could type pretty well.
Chicago's buoy was a couple of hundred yards astern of Arizona, and I was saddened to look at her.
Another nice thing was that I would type out letters home for the admiral's stewards. They would then feed me the same food the admiral ate.
After the Battle of Midway there was a week in a rest camp at Pearl Harbor.
A chief petty officer taught me shorthand, which got me promoted to yeoman first class.
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