|The USS Indiana Bombarding Kamaishi, Japan, July 14, 1945|
|Plank Owner's Certificate for the USS Indiana|
My dad received the plank owner's certificate above on April 30, 1942 as one of the 2,109 men on board when the ship was put into commission. Plank owners didn't actually "own" a plank of the deck. It was an honorary title and part of a tradition which dates back to the time of wooden sailing vessels. The Homeport website has a list of the plank owners. My dad's name appears here.
My dad participated in 11 major battles in the Pacific Theatre. He spoke very little about the actual battles, but I do remember him talking about a major fire on the ship. When I started researching the Indiana I learned that the fire was caused by a collision between the Indiana and another ship, the USS Washington, which you can read about here.
My dad received two silver stars and two bronze stars for his service. Again, he never talked about what he did to receive his honors. While he was proud of his service he never bragged about what he had done. He didn't "trot out his glory bars" as he use to say. He was just doing his job. I did learn from someone years ago that he received one of his silver stars for throwing a live shell that had misfired off the deck and into the ocean. He was just doing his job.
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