Leyte, Philippines, New Guinea, Coast Artillery antiaircraft
I'll provide some information on my father to see if anything rings a bell with anyone out there. My father, Efrain E. Ramirez, enlisted in the Army on Nov. 12, 1941, in New York, he went to boot camp in Fort Dix, NJ. He speaks of being involved in a top secret campaign coded "California", (I'm going to try and ask him more about this and see if he remembers) which he learned of when he was sent to Langley Field (which I now know was an Army Air Field) in 1941. He shipped out on the Queen Mary to Sydney, Australia, via Rio and Freemantle. I believe the details of that specific Queen Mary journey are as follows: "The 12th voyage was from 2-16-42 to 3-28-42 and went from Boston via Key West/Rio/Cape Town/Freemantle to Sydney, when the American troops disembarked. The Queen Mary sailed alone, not in convoy."
My dad says he was in the 64th coast artillery antiaircraft, but keeps specifically mentioning radar. He says they used to aim the radar equipment on things to watch them ignite for fun (I guess when they weren't getting shot at :) He served in the Philippines, specifically Leyte, Luzon, & built underground radar monitoring stations in Hollandia, New Guinea, and says he was there during the Liberation of the Philippines, and was in the Battle of Leyte Gulf. My dad was a sergeant in the Army. He was on the Antoine Saugrain (a Liberty ship), when it was sunk by an aerial torpedo, on Dec. 6, 1944 in the Surigas Strait. The ship was also damaged the day before in Leyte Gulf.
He is 85 now, and an invalid. His speech is degrading more and more due to Parkinsons, but still remembers his Army serial number (it's correct too, I checked)! Anyone out there who remembers?
Michele R. Smith