Profile: Jack Myers
Months before the Japanese navy attacked Pearl Harbor, and America was propelled into the war, radio operator Jack Myers was already cruising the Atlantic seas.
At the time, the heavy cruiser he served on, the USS Vincennes, was anchored out of New York and was helping patrol the East Coast as part of then-President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s “Neutrality Patrols.”
Though Myers ended up spending an entire career in the Navy, the first six months of 1942 were arguably the most traumatic.
In March of that year, Myers’ ship was reassigned to the Pacific fleet, but its first job wasn’t an easy one. His ship was assigned to the task group to help in the famous Doolittle Raids, the first bombing of Tokyo in April 1942.
The ship later aided in the Battle of Midway in June, but it was sunk during the Battle of Guadalcanal two months after that.
The hardest part of Myers’ story was in the water near Savo Island, where he, members of his crew and those of several other ships bobbed in the water for a day, waiting to be rescued.
Hundreds died, how many in the battle or the sharks that followed, Myers doesn’t know.