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York Township Honors World War II Veteran 

World War II Veteran Howard Hill and York Township Supervisor John W. Valle

World War II Veteran Howard Hill and York Township Supervisor John W. Valle

After graduating from high school at 17 years old in 1944, Howard Hill enlisted with the United States Navy.
In basic training he was sent to a special school to become a diesel mechanic. After boot camp he was sent to California to pick up his ship, the USS Chenango. When he got on board, the Navy noticed that Howard had worked for Jefferson Electric. They needed an electrician so he became one. Howard thought that this was the best job on the ship. The Aircraft Carrier USS Chenango was as long as two football fields, carried 32 airplanes, had 1,500 personnel, had 46 anti-aircraft guns and two 5 inch guns. Although normal cruising speed was 12 knots, in emergencies, the Chenango could reach a top speed of 18 knots. She carried 3,000,000 gallons of aviation fuel and fuel oil and could re-fuel smaller ships.
The Chenango spent 11 months off Okinawa shelling and bombing. She destroyed 93 Japanese planes, 47 ships and 20 enemy airfields. The Chenango lost 11 pilots and 48 planes, but none of the ship’s crew was killed in enemy action. One of her planes was the first American plane to land on Japan.
On August 6 and 9, 1945 Hiroshima and Nagasaki were atomic bombed. 150,000 persons were killed by the 2 bombs.
On September 12th the Chenango was the first U.S. ship permitted in Nagasaki. The Japanese people saluted or bowed to the crew who saw about 8 square miles of damage from the atomic bomb and a large number of dead bodies floating in the entrance channel.
In October the ship was in Tokyo for liberty. The crew discovered that the Japanese people were very honest and didn’t cheat during money transactions. They bought stamps for souvenirs, and the Tokyo newspaper cost 2/3 cent.
Howard Hill was discharged on June 6, 1946 and talked himself into going to college.
Howard says, “That was the best decision I ever made.”
Supervisor Valle added, “We are proud to honor Howard Hill in our ‘Remember When’ display. His service to our country is deeply appreciated and we wanted to let him know that.”

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