To provide role models of brave Americans I’m introducing weekly World War II Veteran Moments. Each week I’ll present one veteran who served this country during war and the book where his/her story is profiled. Thanks to every veteran reading this for your service!
Name: Sam Hayward
Born: Charleston, SC 1925
Branch: United States Navy
Theater of Operation: Pacific
Assigned to the aircraft carrier, USS Yorktown CV-10. The ship, 872 feet in length, carried a crew of approximately 2,800.
As an African-American, Hayward’s duties were different from white seamen as he served as a steward. “We colored people were taught to set tables and serve food to officers three times a day,” he said. “Those were our general duties aboard ship.”
At general quarters Hayward’s assigned location was below the flight deck. In March 1945, when the Yorktown was attacked by three Japanese dive-bombers, he passed ammunition to the big gun handlers. The ship and crew survived that and further attacks and continued battle engagements until May 1945 when it settled at the island of Ulithi for maintenance.