JAMES VERDOLINI (480-1988)
United States Navy, Carriers
|Just a 17-year-old kid out of Philadelphia, JIM joined the United States Navy and was posted to aircraft carriers. His first assignment was USS GUADALCANAL, the Flagship of a hunter-killer task group. He was a radioman aboard USS GUADALCANAL when they sank U-515 under Werner Henke in April 1944 and was again aboard this ‘bird farm‘ when they captured U-505 on 4 June 1944. He took the white cap off the cook and donated it to Sharkhunters …not the Skipper’s white top, but the cooks usually wore a white version of the cloth cap the crew wore and that is what he took.
JIM was soon transferred to the Pacific where he served aboard USS RANDOLPH, again as a radioman. He was heading through the hangar deck going to his compartment to get some sleep but the movie they were showing on the hangar deck caught his attention, so he grabbed a chair and sat down to watch the film. It saved his life! Soon after he sat down, the ship shook under a violent explosion. A Japanese Kamikaze plane had slammed into the ship and exploded – exactly in the radio compartment where JIM had been heading when the movie caught his attention. Everyone in the radio compartment was killed.