USS BISMARCK SEA (CV-95)

EDWARD MILOTA 04/26/2009 SURVIVOR STORY DCA - America First
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EDWARD MILOTA 04/26/2009 SURVIVOR STORY

April 2, 2009

Dear Derek,

I have about a three paragraph story about Ed Milota, that he wrote about the dark days in February. We were married nearly 25 years before he passed away in 2001 of Leukemia. Would you like me to send it to you? I tried several ways to "get to you" but unsuccessful. Trying this. Sincerely Natalie Harthorn Milota.


April 6, 2009

Dear Natalie,

Thank you for your email regarding your husband and USS Bismarck Sea Survivor Ed Milota. It would be an honor to transcribe for the USS BISMARCK SEA website Ed's survivor story. Please feel free to send his story to me.

Best regards,

Derek


April 26, 2009

Dear Natalie,

I returned to Lake Tahoe finally from business and received your letter. I have transcribed the letter as requested regarding Edward and posted it on the USS BISMARCK SEA website. Thank you for providing us a Hero's point of view regarding those dark days in February.

Best regards,

Derek


EDWARD J. MILOTA (Seaman 1st Class, Deceased March 26, 2002) was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and attended public schools there.

Entered Navy January 1944 and went through boot camp in Farragut, Idaho. Was assigned to U.S.S. Bismarck Sea CVE 95 - Comissioned in Astoria, Oregon, after shake down, went into action at Leyte and Lingayen in the Philippines. Went through one of the worst hurricanes Dec 18, 1944.

Prior to the invasion of Iwo Jima, the Bismarck Sea and squadron VC 86 helped with pre bombing on D-3 day. At dusk, the Bismarck Sea was hit by two kamikaze planes and set on fire.

Exploding torpedos and amunition destroyed back half of the ship. We abandoned at dusk in 12' to 20' waves. After an hour did manage to hang on to a 2 man raft with 16 other shipmates. we were strafed by Japanese planes.

After 3-1/2 hrs. in cold water, everybody suffered hypothermia. Our group was picked up by the U.S.S. Edmonds DE 406. Suffering from exposure, it was difficult to board a rolling destroyer with cargo nets over the side, men from the Edmonds went into the water to get us aboard.

While going up the cargo net, the man above slipped, knocking me back into the water. As the destroyer started pulling ahead, I snagged a jacobs ladder hanging off the stern, next to the propellers. I was like a yo-yo in the water and out as the destroyer rolled. Two men aboard the Edmonds pulled me up, ladder and all, spent some time in Farragut Naval hospital and Sun Valley Naval hospital.

Returned to active duty, served on U.S.S. Y.M.S. 333, U.S.S. LST 1064 and Mount Katmai (A.E. 16.) Discharged at Bremerton Naval Base.

Retired from Southern California Edison Company. Had a Treasure Hunting business called Search and Recover Enterprises. Married to the former Natalie Harthorn, Ventura, California.

  • Asiatic Pacific Medal     3 stars
  • Philippines Liberation Medal     2 stars
  • American Campaign Medal
  • Victory Medal

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