Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Navy Veteran Duane D. Iossi. Duane served during World War II.
Born and raised in Nebraska, Duane was drafted into the United States Navy in 1943. He attended boot camp at Lake Pend Oreille, Idaho and additional training in Tacoma, Washington. After completing boot camp, Duane was assigned to the aircraft carrier, USS Fanshaw Bay and deployed to the Pacific.
While not in combat, Duane fulfilled several roles on board, including loading cargo, rigging lines and maintaining life rafts. For the ships maiden mission, Duane and his crew transported a load of P-38 fighters to Australia.
In June 1944, Duane and his crew participated in their first combat operation, the Second Battle of the Philippine Sea. In October 1944, Duane and the USS Fanshaw Bay participated in their second combat operation, the Battle of Leyte Gulf, the largest naval combat operation in history. During the battle, U.S. forces sought to take back the Philippines from Japanese forces.
For four days, Duane and his fellow crewmen came under attack from 18 inch artillery guns, Japanese bombers and suicide attacks. During their heaviest engagement, Duane served as a gunner, defending the ship from a 90 strong squadron of Japanese aircraft. In the course of the engagement, Duane’s ship was struck once by a Japanese bomb, resulting in 17 casualties. After two and a half hours of combat, the crew of the USS Fanshaw Bay were successful in forcing the Japanese to retreat.
Duane was discharged in December 1945 in St. Louis, Missouri. From St. Louis, Duane returned home to Nebraska, where he got a job and helped to take care of his mother before starting a family.
Duane passed away in 2006 at the age of 81.
We honor his service.
Nominate a Veteran for #VeteranOfTheDay
Do you want to light up the face of a special Veteran? Have you been wondering how to tell your Veteran they are special to you? VA’s #VeteranOfTheDay social media feature is an opportunity to highlight your Veteran and his/her service.
It’s easy to nominate a Veteran. All it takes is an email to email@example.com with as much information as you can put together, along with some good photos. Visit our blog post about nominating to learn how to create the best submission.
Veterans History Project
This #VeteranOfTheDay profile was created with interviews submitted to the Veterans History Project. The project collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war Veterans so that future generations may hear directly from Veterans and better understand the realities of war. Find out more at http://www.loc.gov/vets/.
Graphic designer: Kimber Garland
Fact checker: Jordan Gossett
Editor: Leah Comins