Charles McClelland USN USS Helena

Program is at the Carnigie Branch Library at 244 W. Michigan ave. Jackson Mi.  Saturday Aug 3rd. at 10 am.  come early to view WW II memoribilia.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Charles was aboard the cruiser USS Helena when the attack on Pearl Harbor occurred.   Charles doe’s not talk much about the attack because the Helena was the first ship that was struck  that “Day of Infamy”. Charles was thrown into the air coming down on the steel deck breaking his leg so he did not see  much of the attack.  What Charles talks about were the horrific Naval battles that he was involved in around Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands.  The Helena was  escorting the USS Juneau away from the battle.   The Juneau had been bombed in the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal on Nov. 13th  she was the ship that the five Sullivan brothers died on when the Juneau was sunk in about 12 seconds with the loss  of all but 10 of her crew including the Sullivan brothers.  The Helena was in Charles word close enough to the Juneau that he could have thrown a potato at the Juneau.  Charles worst time was when the Helena was sunk on July 5th 1943 in the Solomon’s.  He was in the water for several days before being washed up on a Japanese held island.  The natives of the island rescued many survivors.  Charles also said that one half of his recruit class at Great Lakes was sent to the  Arizona about 35 men, only two survived the sinking that Charles knows of.   He also went aboard the Arizona a few weeks before the attack to have dinner with some of his friends.

Where: Carnigie Library

Leave a Reply

Please fill the required box or you can’t comment at all. Please use kind words. Your e-mail address will not be published.

Gravatar is supported.

You can use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>