22 Months on the USS Enterprise- Albert Fred Blumer
I joined the navy in July 1941 and trained in San Diego before joining the fleet to sail to Pearl Harbor. I was assigned to the USS Enterprise for 22 months. We knew the Japanese would be attacking Pearl Harbor and were on our way there but the storms prevented our arriving before the attack. When we got there, we could see the ships burning in the harbor.
The Dinuba Sentinel published the following account on November 11, 1944:
“On that fateful morning of December 7, 1941, He (Albert Fred Blumer) was on one of the navy’s largest aircraft carriers, the U. S. S. Enterprise. His ship was due in Pearl Harbor that day but was delayed by storms at sea. This was not only fortunate for Blumer but his country as well because the Enterprise was an important factor in turning the tide of no less than ten major sea and air battles. He saw action as a gunner’s mate at Midway and fights in the Solomon’s. In the Battle of Santa Cruz, 83 Jap planes came over the Enterprise and dropped bombs. When bombs hit close the entire ship shook. The ship was hit several times during engagements with the enemy. When there was time, a little patching up would be done, and the ship kept on the job. One of the historic missions of the big flat top was accompanying the aircraft carrier, Hornet to within a few hundred miles of Tokyo to send Gen. Doolittle and his fliers over Tokyo in a daring raid. He was home for his first leave in 22 months in August 1943….”
Participating in nearly every major carrier engagement in the first year of the war, the Enterprise and her Air Group, exclusive of her far-flung destruction of hostile shore installations throughout the battle area, did sink of damage on her own, a total of 35 Japanese vessels and shoot down a total of 185 Japanese aircraft. Her aggressive fighting spirit and superb combat efficiency are fitting tribute to the officers and men who so gallantly established her as a solid bulwark in defense of the American Nation: Gilbert and Marshall Island raid, Feb. 1, 1942; Wake Island raid Feb. 24, 1942; Marcus Island raid, March 4, 1942; Battle of Midway, June 4-6, 1942; Occupation of Guadalcanal, August 7,8, 1942; Battle of Santa Cruz Islands, October 26, 1942; Battle of Solomon Islands November 14, 15, 1942.
Before coming home on thirty days’ leave, Blumer was made a gunner’s mate third class. After his leave he was transferred to San Pedro to train on a crash boat for three months. He was then sent to the Hawaiian Islands for several months. From there, he was transferred to the Marshall Islands, where he was stationed as a gunner’s mate second class in August 1944. His term of enlistment was up on his twenty-first birthday, August 6, 1944.