The Library of Congress has a fascinating resource online for history buffs. Through the Veterans History Project, a number of different people intereviewed veterans from America’s wars from World War I to the present. In some cases, the audio file is available, a transcript of the interview, or a scrapbook. Last night, I was looking at some of the interviews with World War I veterans. I found one interview done in 2005 with a World War I naval veteran, Lloyd Brown, who enlisted when he was 16 and served on the battleship New Hampshire. Here, he describes the action that he saw:
We were on the lookout for submarines. And on two or three occasions we — I was under gun crew at the time but they receive — we received messages from the — from the lookout people in the watch tower and they — and the lookout — the mast of the ship and lookout, he communicates with the — with the pilot of the ship and so forth and tells everybody what he sees, and for us to be on the lookout for so and so. And we fired at what we thought was — supposed to be submarines. And the whole submarine wasn’t visible, just the part of the tower. And of course as soon as we fired they ducked down to go under water. So we’re not sure if we — we’re not sure if we sunk one or not, but we were — we were shooting at it. Got on my — other ships too. We tried to keep the English Channel open for ships to go back and forth with troops and supplies. And that was — that was my Navy duty during the war, was to keep the shipping lanes open, clear of submarines. In fact we captured one submarine, brought it in to — German submarine — brought it into Philadelphia Navy yard. I went aboard it just to look it over along with a lot of other people. But it was — it was — it attracted quit a lot of attention, the German sub. I remember that part.