Memorial Day, 2019
The Boston was a very lucky ship. No man was lost on the receiving end of enemy fire while she was in the Pacific. There were several deaths in the line of duty, however. One such death befell pilot Lt. E.E. Grutzmacher.
I remember the time we lost Lieutenant Grutzmacher, one of the Gooney Bird pilots. He was spotting for us on one of the operations. I don’t remember if it was Iwo Jima, but it was one of the islands where we were firing our 8 inch guns.
He came back to get on board — they have cranes to pick him out of the water — anyway, the ship turns in such a way that it smoothes all the water near the stern. A big area is nice and smooth and he lands in there, motors it in close to the ship and they put the hook on and they pick him up. Well, this time he hat a ground swell and it flipped the plane upside down. He got caught in it. He didn’t have time to get out and went down. Gone. I saw it with my own eyes. he died. There’s all kinds of ways of getting killed out there. Pat Fedele.
Thanking and honoring all our soldiers killed in the line of duty.