After months of encouragement from his father, Ronald Day Hicks followed his brother into the Navy, where he trained to be a machinist and was later assigned to the USS. Portland. On the ship, his battle station was in the number one turret, and his job was to run the hoist and send the powder bags up the turret.
Hicks lived through several kamikaze attacks while serving aboard the USS. Portland. During one of these attacks, a friend asked him to look out the hatch and he saw that one had landed in the water right outside of where they were standing. He also remembers the helpless feeling of floating in the ocean while another Japanese plane circled, bombing them from above, and the feeling that the ship would never get away quick enough.
Hicks was discharged in 1945. After serving, Hicks got married and started a family; his two sons later joined the Navy.
Ronald Day Hicks died in 2016.
More of his story can be found online at: http://memory.loc.gov/diglib/vhp/story/loc.natlib.afc2001001.77499/.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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/.
Editor: Jennifer Ford
Fact Checker: Garek Stanley
Graphic artist: Kimber Garland