The SCROLL of Phi Delta Theta for January, 1943
side of the ship. Since the torpedoes themselves
were far ahead of their visible wakes, they found
their mark before the sound of the voices
reached the bridge.
"I was in the ready room just one deck below
the flight deck on the same side the torpedoes
hit. Many pilots were playing cards and chess
while remaining in a ready condition in case
our scouts found a target. I was asleep in my
combination seat and flight gear locker.
"It was a terrible awakening, much the same
as a super-super earthquake, and as a second
fish hit a split second after the first, I remember
holding on to the seat to avoid being thrown
into the air so far again.
"All the lights were out and smoke was pouring into the room.
"It didn't take us long to put on our flight
jackets and get to the flight deck. By this time
the bombs in the storage compartments below
were going off; the aviation gasoline tanks had
exploded and were burning with flames higher
than the ship. Small gun ammunition was exploding and whizzing over our heads and the
large five inch stuff was going off and exploding
in the water about us.
"The oiplosion had caused the landing gear
to collapse on all the planes on the flight deck
and we kept pretty busy pushing them over the
side to avoid more fire, for the gasoline was
draining from many of them.
"Captain Sherman maneuvered the ship perfectly.
"He had stopped the vessel in with the wind
coming over the stem and blowing the fire and
smoke forward away from what seemed to be the
best remaining part of the ship. When it was
apparent the fire could not be controlled, the
word was passed to abandon ship.
"By this time many had been forced to jump
over because of bad fires and explosions.
"There were many hundred men on the
flight deck at this time and going down lines
or jury ladders would take a long time.
stern was at that time probably 70 or 80 feet
above the water with the ship down by the
"Regardless of this and not knowing the actual
damage below deck nor how soon the whole
thing might go up from our own torpedoes, I
dived off the stern.
"Another sailor who had probably been a
great swimmer, stood beside me and did the
most beautiful swan dive I have ever seen. When
he peeled off his clothes, he looked for all the
world like Tarzan. I later saw him on the after
turret of a destroyer I missed as it steamed past
avoiding more torpedoes.
"I guess he was my inspiration for after turning the feat over in ray shattered mind. tried
to duplicate it. On the way down I seem to
remember thinking that such a poor athlete
as I always have been and learning to swim in
one of the driest parts of Nebraska, I was stretching my luck a bit.
"I was right. Even though the water had been
well beaten up before I got there, it was plenty
hard. My left arm was thrown back over my
head and I received a dislocated, or wrenched
"We spent from 30 minutes to three hours in
the water, depending on how many the destroyers could pick before having to leave to
avoid being hit themselves. I was one of the
unluckiest in this respect.
"A 20 knot wind kicks up quite a sea and
just paddling or drifting was as satisfactory as
clinging to the life rafts which were already
terribly crowded with badly injured men. There
was plenty of fuel oil and it was hard to avoid
taking in some in a sea like that. Many men
were vomiting and a few sharks were shot by
the boat officers.
"I helped one fellow with a broken arm get
clear of the ship and into a raft. In doing so
I nearly exhausted myself and probably would
have drowned if Lieutenant Commander Nieberle hadn't helped me into a kapok mattress
for a rest.
"After we went aboard the destroyer, I wish
I could give you its name, we found a xrew ot
100 per cent Americans. I'll never forget that
fine ship and the fine crew.
"Later that evening the destroyer I was on
launched five old torpedoes at the already badly
burning Wasp, It sank about that night. The
first Jap torpedo hit the ship a little before
in the afternoon."
Lieutenant Brown is now training advanced
aviators for duties on carriers at San Diego.
ROBERT LINCOLN TRESCHER, Pennsylvania
a Lieutenant (j.g.) with the Air Force of the
United States Navy. When last reporting he was
somewhere on the Pacific coast. Many convention goers of recent years will remember Brother
Trescher as president of Gamma Province. He
left his law practice last spring after a number
of years with the firm of Montgomery, McCracken, Walker and Rhoads of Philadelphia.
JOSEPH NOH, Nebraska '23, resigned his position as vice president ot McKesson Robbins,
Inc., and general manager of the Merrell-St.
Louis Division of the company to enter service
December 16. Enlisting on November 2, he went
to work immediately as a civilian in order to aid
in the emergency existing in the procurement of
drugs and chemicals for the Army and LendLease.
Brother Noh was officially inducted into the
U. S. Army with the grade of major and immediately assumed the duties of division manager in the Medical Department Procurement
He is well qualified tor his new duties, both