My name is Delwin (Del) Moore.I wasn't on the Indy when she left Oakland in 1945, but one of the survivors, John Ashford, ART 3/c and I were at Alameda Naval Air Station fresh out of Radio Secondary School at Ward Island, NATTC, Corpus Christi, Tex.
We graduated from the same class in April 1945 and we were the only two who were assigned to NAS Alameda, Ca. The Indianapolis sent word that they wanted one ART (Aviation Radio Technician) and John and I flipped a coin to see who would get the berth.John won, and I was very disappointed.However, in a few days, I was assigned to the USS Cabot, CVL 28, a light aircraft carrier built on an Indianapolis class cruiser hull.We left the states about the same time as the Indy.We had been in drydock in Oakland and did a shakedown cruise on the way to Pearl.August, 1945 found the Cabot (and me) at Okinawa at Buckner Bay.When I heard the Indianapolis was sunk, I didn't believe it.After all, I had just left John a few months earlier.
But it was true, and I never found out what happened to John until the middle 1980's when the first book came out that listed the survivors.John was listed among them.They had his rate as RT 3/c, so I guess it was changed since the Indy probably didn't have many airplanes.I presume they had to catapault them and recover them with a crane.
I tried to locate John or news or him.I knew he was from Lubbock, Tx, but there were no Ashfords there.I finally found out about him when there was a special on TV that featured the Pres. of the Indy Association.He told me that John had died in 1983.
We were both bored to death in Alameda NAS.It was as though the radio shack there was strictly for show-no work at all.We went to the flight line in the morning, watched the planes take off about 10 AM, and return about 3 PM.We would have done anything to get out of there, but had we known what was in store for the Indianapolis, we wouldn't have been so eager.
Don't know whether you had kin on the Indy or not, but I missed going on her by losing a coin flip.
Delwin Moore 221 Browning Carthage, Tx 75633 903-693-5687 firstname.lastname@example.org