223 61 46 RM2c USN
Pasquale F. Perrotta (Pat) enlisted in the US Navy on December 11, 1939 just a few months after England declared war against Germany and 2 years before the US declared war against Germany (Dec. 1941).
He was just short of 18 years. He wanted to follow his uncles and his father gave permission.
At some point, he had been sent to radio school in the states. He became Radioman 2nd Class.
He initially was “loaned” to the Merchant Marines which was transporting war equipment to England/Ireland. As they traveled they listened to FDR on the radio assuring parents that their sons were nowhere near the war.
He served in the European campaign and traveled with war equipment to Murmansk, Russia in February 1943. Unfortunately, their convoy was needed elsewhere so they had to stay in Russia. They were iced in for months….low on food…under constant barrage – a total of 169 air attacks. Only in September 1943 did the War Shipping Admin. release information that the 24 ship merchant convoy had been “lost” for nearly a year. [This was well before the time of cell phones and the family had no idea where he was or if he was well.]
He served in Borneo, then the ship traveled toward Hawaii. They were warned off due to the Japanese attack and later entered amid burning ships and destruction.
He had also been aboard as they traveled to South American transporting gold.