The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports


November 10, 2012

Funny military memories


The wreck that we had to tow that day was in about the middle of the bay. Once we got under way it did not take us long to get there. It was one of the biggest wrecks that we had had to tow so far. Myself and four other sailors were put on board the wreck. I was there because I was the radioman and was in charge of operations the portable radio that we used to keep in touch with the mothership. The rest of the men were there to secure the tow line to the wreck and to make sure that everything was in order for the towing. 

We were soon under way and things were going as planned. The mothership was slowly towing the wreck with us aboard. We were on our way out of the bay between Corregidor and Bataan out to the China Sea. All was going well for our four- to five-hour trip. 

About one hour into the trip, the wreck seemed to be creaking and groaning and seemed to be listing a little on the starboard side. It didn’t seem to bother us too much because that happens many times under these conditions. Later, about four hours into the trip, things really started to happen. The wreck was really creaking and leaning more to the starboard then we cared to have happening, so I got on my radio and called the mothership and told them what was happening and that we thought it would be best if they took us off the wreck. They told us not to worry about it because we were getting close to our destination and they would get us off the wreck before it sunk. That was good news because if they waited much longer we could just step off the wreck because we could almost touch the water by now. 

Oh, by the way, we threw the tow line over the side and they finally took us off the wreck in our small boat and before we got the mothership the wreck started to sink. Before we go on board the mother ship the wreck was probably on the bottom of the China Sea. 

Tony Mongillo

of Oneonta

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