KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – In the latest Veterans Voices, WATE’s Don Dare spokes with a U.S. Navy veteran from East Tennessee who sailed the pacific during World War II for three years.
Turning the pages of Bill Adams’ scrapbook from his time in the Navy is a lesson in history. Adams, now 96 years old, enlisted in 1943 at 17 years old when he was still in high school.
One of his first duties was manning a gun aboard a troop carrier. “We’d take troops overseas to the different islands and bring wounded back,” Adams said.
He first sailed on the USNS Fred C. Ainsworth, a transport ship out steaming of San Francisco filled with about 3,000 troops. The voyage took 16 days each way.
“We had to look out for the soldiers, take care of them,” he said.
By 1945, Adams was promoted to Maintenance Machinist Mate Third Class. After the war ended, he steamed into Shanghai bringing needed supplies aboard USS LST-1059.