By Kayla Carter
Eddie Shirley, 81, was an integral part of his and his fellow shipmates’ survival while they were at sea.
“We made the steam that ran the ship,” said Shirley, who served as a boiler tender. “We made the steam for the laundry, kitchen and to run the hot water.”
Shirley said he took one tour of duty in Korea.
“We were traveling up and down the coast lines of North Korea firing guns into where they were fighting,” he said. “We were blowing up where the enemy had dug into the mountains.”
Shirley’s ship, the USS Wisconsin, took a hit from a shore battery that narrowly missed where his crew was working.
“It hit right above us,” Shirley said. “It had to come through four decks to get to us. It only went into the second deck.”