My dad, Robert Alwin, was Chief Petty officer (signalman) on the USS Melette during WWII—the men called him “Tiny” as his 6’3” height back in the mid-1940s was quite tall.  He is the only one not named.

He told me some things about his time on the ship.  He said he once saved the ship from a collision with another ship by quickly running to wake up the captain.  He shared the taking on of wounded and his almost getting aboard the USS Missouri for the Japanese surrender in Tokyo Bay—knew signalman aboard Missouri but couldn’t get transport as higher ranking offices filled all boats. 

He mentioned that a young David Susskind, who became a famous Hollywood producer and TV host, was communications officer on the ship and put out the ship’s newspaper. 

The Captain, F.H. Spring, really liked my dad, perhaps because they were the two oldest onboard—he was 30 in 1944 and most of the crew were in their late teens.  One of the crew members I spoke with on the phone years ago said they never would have made it without their older captain and my dad.  Not sure why, but my dad never wanted to go to a ship reunion even when I volunteered to take him.

John Alwin