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"We looked back and on the engine room was this round indentation, which had been the head of a torpedo that had hit the engine room and it hadn’t exploded. Now, if it had, with all our gasoline it would have just ‘fwwip’ like that, there would have been nothing left." (Video Interview, 26:46)

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   James Alvin Jolly
Image of James Alvin Jolly
James Jolly in uniform
War: World War, 1939-1945
Branch: Merchant Marine
Unit: MT Edmond J. Moran [Tugboat]
Service Location: Gallups Island, Boston Harbor, Massachusetts; Alaska
Rank: Ensign
Place of Birth: CA
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James Jolly had completed one year at the junior college of the College of the Pacific in Stockton, California, when he was selected for a United States Maritime Service program on Gallop’s Island in Boston Harbor, where he started training in September 1940. When Pearl Harbor was attacked in December 1941, Mr. Jolly’s graduation was expedited by three months. His first assignment was as a Radio Officer aboard the tugboat Edmund J. Moran. Mr. Jolly was aboard the tug when it was sent to be part of the invasion of Kiska in the Aleutian Islands, where he earned the Merchant Marine Combat bar. While at sea, Mr. Jolly had numerous close encounters with submarines, including once being hit, while on a tugboat carrying drums of aviation fuel, by a torpedo that turned out to be a dud.

Interview (Video)
»Interview Highlights  (4 clips)
»Complete Interview  (40 min.)
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  Photos
»Photo Album (6 photos)
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 Video (Interview Excerpts) (4 items)
Rescuing torpedoed British ship, ship was torpedoed again while being tugged back Miami, submarines could identify ships by the speed of the engine. (02:30) Encountering a German submarine in the Windward Channel, sub clipped tug while trying to avoid depth charges, eventually destroyed by depth charges. (02:41) Invasion of Kiska Island in the Aleutians. (03:14)
Being struck by a unexploded torpedo during a trip, but not realizing it until reaching port many days later. (03:26)  
  
 
Home » James Alvin Jolly
  The Library of Congress  >> American Folklife Center
  October 26, 2011
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