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  • By Ray Merriam
    Dec 25, 2011
    The decision made on September 2, 1941, was one Bill Schumann would never regret making. War broke out a short three months later as he was acquainting himself with this mighty battleship, the USS Idaho, having mustered onboard her in Iceland on December 6, 1941, only hours before the attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese. Bill was to remain onboard this warship, fondly referred to by its crew as "The Big Spud," throughout the entire conflict, and duly credit her and her skillful crew for bringing them safely through the most horrendous conflict the world has ever known, World War II. The ship is no more, having been stricken from the Naval vessel register and sold to Lipsett Inc. on November 24, 1947, to be cut up for scrap. A seemingly cruel act for such a great warship, yet today the memories live on in the hearts of those men who so many years ago did time onboard her, when she was a fighting ship in the most powerful Naval fleet the world has ever witnessed. During his... More > tour of duty, Bill had often wondered what was so special about the Idaho, the fact that they had traveled so far, always at great risk, and yet had so few casualties. Bill wasn't one who believed in miracles, or for that matter a religious person, but a little known event that took place on the Idaho during the ship's commissioning twenty-two years before his tour of duty, may in some way have contributed to their safe journey. Only three cherished friends, all members of the ship's VO-3 (aviation) squadron, had given their lives during the long conflict; strangely all were away from the protection of the ship when they died. A mere coincidence, he thinks not—it has made a believer out of Bill. Contents Acknowledgments Glossary Introduction Boot Camp and the North Atlantic Force Duty West Coast and Hawaii Aleutian Islands Campaign Gilbert Islands Campaign Marshall Islands Campaign New Hebrides and Kavieng The Mural and Beautiful Sydney Mariana Islands Campaign Palau Islands Campaign Iwo Jima (Kazan Retto) Okinawa Philippines and Home Appendices Roster of "V" Division Personnel, 1942-45 "Kingfisher" OS2U-3/OS2N-1 Information Aircraft Assigned to VO-3 Squadron, USS Idaho (BB-42), 1941-45 Battleship VO Squadrons, World War II The Author The author, Bill Schumann, is pictured recently as a senior volunteer at the Kent State University Airport. As a volunteer at the airport, he does a bit of everything, from washing planes to painting buildings. He had a purpose for his volunteer work at the airport—he talked them into some flight time with the student pilots and enjoys the return to flying once more in small aircraft. [A recent photograph of the author can be seen by clicking on the View More Images link just underneath the book cover image at the top of the page.] Reviews and Testimonials My father recently purchased your book The Big Spud, about the USS Idaho in WWII. He was a member of the crew from 1942 to 1945, and I can't tell you how much the book has meant to him. Keep up the good work! Steve Rodgers (via email) I'm a sister of Carlos Ezekiel McGlone, MM, who went on the USS Idaho in the Aleutian Islands. He informed me that a pilot on board was writing a book about the ship, which he planned to name Salt. I've been looking for the book for years, just under the wrong title. All efforts failed until recently, when I asked my nephew Vincent if his dad had shared the possibility of a book. He hadn't heard about it, but typed in USS Idaho. How exciting after years of questioning anyone I thought would know! My library found the book on Intra-Library loan, which I received and read immediately. I will return it soon and enjoy my own copy from Amazon, with one for Vincent. The Big Spud covers many things which were somewhat familiar to me, and many that weren't. I'm overjoyed that was able to read, and eventually own my copy. I still have my brown bracelet of cat eye shells. What memories I have! They mean so much more now. The Big Spud is a Super Account of the USS Idaho. Several friends have asked to borrow. Congratulations, Mr Schumann! Betty M. Kibbey, Trenton Ohio (via mail)< Less
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Product Details

Third Edition
Merriam Press
August 27, 2008
Hardcover (dust-jacket)
Interior Ink
Black & white
1.29 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
6 wide x 9 tall
Product ID
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