Thursday, April 9, 2009

Heroes of the U.S.S. Colhoun DD-801

-Perhaps our country has lost it's respect because we have forgotten the cost of sacrifice-

Our family had the rare opportunity of being able to honor the brave men of the U.S.S. Colhoun DD-801, which was instrumental on several of the island invasions in the Pacific Fleet, the last being the invasion of Okinawa.
The Colhoun was of the Fletcher Class, outfitted with modern radar. It was stationed second of fifteen in the fleet pickett line of defenses.
Only one other ship, The U.S.S. Bush (also a Fletcher Class Destroyer), stood between the Colhoun, the Japanese Armada and the 800 suicide planes, known as the kamikaze's, which were reported by U.S. Intelligence, to attack the fleet on April 6th. This information happened to be very accurate.
The fleet had been harassed day and night by smaller bands of suicide missions, which had been taking their toll on the fleet, but the brave men of the U.S. Navy did not cower from such a demonic foe.
On April 6, 1945, the USS Colhoun received a distress call from the USS Bush that they were under heavy attack and needed assistance. When the Colhoun arrived the Bush was dead in the water with a Twin-Engine Bomber sticking out of it's side. With many other swarms of enemy aircraft heading their way, they fought valiantly through the day until their ship was also dead in the water, but even still they continued to fight into the night until the skies were clear of enemy planes.
We give thanks to the brave men of the U.S.S. Colhoun( DD-801).
It was an incredible blessing to be able to spend time with these heroes.

We caught up with the survivors at "Fantasy of Flight." Living history that these men have seen and lived.

Reunion at "The Victory Ship" in Tampa.

"It's just good to be here."
Our hope is that these young men will learn from history and be prepared
as history does repeat itself.
"They were flying at us in 4 different directions, or was it 5?"

It was wonderful to hear from eyewitnesses and not a fabrication
from a news reporter or someone that wasn't actually there.

"One day I'm gonna be on a big ship like this."

Thank you, Lord, for their lives.
Tommy gave thanks to the Lord in prayer and remembering the past.(Uncle Jim's sons, James and Vance.)
After the names were called and the bell rang for each of the 35 men that gave their life....
a ceremonial wreath was thrown into the water to honor their lives, one more time. We do remember and thank them.

The survivors with our family.

Uncle Jim with his family.

End to a wonderful reunion.
May we never forget the sacrifice that so many gave for our freedom.
Posted by: Ben