James H. Watson Interview
Watson, James H.
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SubjectNavy; Pearl Harbor; Underwater Demolition Teams; UDT; atomic bombs;decommissioning; destroyer escort; island hopping
James H. Watson, interviewed on December 2, 2013 by Shane Benz, Rachel Brown, and Michael Buckley, left the University of California Berkley in 1941 to volunteer in the U. S. Navy, were he would serve until the end of World War I. After completing an accelerated Navy officer training program, Watson was assigned to a team of destroyer escorts whose primary job was anti-submarine warfare. He also served on a series of Underwater Demolition Teams (UDT). Watson recalls a number of personal accounts including his rescue of a young Japanese girl and getting caught on a coral reef that his UDT was clearing with explosives. At the end of the war, Watson left the U. S. Navy and returned to California to finish his college degree.