Library of Congress
Vets Web Site
War: World War II|
Branch: United States Navy
Highest Rank: Lieutenant
Birth Year: July 2, 1920
Citations: American Theater, European Theater
Place of Birth: Ypsilanti, Michigan
SEE VIDEO BELOW
|Atwood McAndrew Jr. was born on July 2, 1920 in Ypsilanti, Michigan. In his senior year of college, Atwood enlisted in January, 1942 and was allowed to graduate in May. He was sent to Notre Dame, Indiana for indoctrination and then to Tower Hall in Chicago, Illinois for three months and came out as a line officer. Atwood was allowed home for Christmas and after New Years Day was sent down to Miami for training in anti-submarine tactics. He was then taken to Quebec to commission the U.S.S. Haste as a stores officer. Progress was delayed because the St. Lawrence River was frozen, but they set out for Boston after two months. Atwood returned to Miami, Florida for more schooling and after two months was sent to Norfolk, Virginia to become an anti-submarine and gunnery officer on the DE48 U.S.S. Doppler. The Doppler's job was to escort convoys made up of Liberty ships across the Atlantic to North Africa and the Mediterranean. It usually took three weeks to cross due to the speed of the Liberty ships.|
Atwood remembers that on their first trip they watched the film "Casablanca" and then landed in Casablanca in North Africa. Other ports in which the Doppler docked included: Tangier, Oran, Algiers, Tunis, Bizerte, Gibraltar and Palermo. The Doppler's convoys never lost a ship and it is distinguished as escorting the first convoy not to lose a ship in the Mediterranean.
One event that stuck out in Atwood's memory is when the Doppler was attacked near southern France by torpedo bombers in which they were able to shoot one down. The Doppler also served as a submarine target ship in New London, Connecticut for two months. The Doppler was decommissioned at the Brooklyn Ship Yard at the end of the war.
Atwood was transferred as a lieutenant serving as executive officer to the DE102 U.S.S. Thomas which served as a mother ship to a captured German U-Boat. The Thomas was involved in the Seventh Bond Tour that sailed from Norfolk, Virginia to Key West, Florida to the coast of Texas. The Thomas was decommissioned in Green Cove Springs, Florida. Atwood was mustered up to Chicago, Illinois where he was transferred to the Naval Reserve on April 13, 1946, ending his service.