Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum Archives

Wesley Hays Oral History Edit

Summary

Identifier
OHP 095

Dates

  • April 28, 2016 (Creation)

Extents

  • 15 Files (Part)
  • 38 Sheets (Part)

Agent Links

Subjects

Notes

  • Scope and Contents

    Wesley Hays began his interview by providing an overview of his time on board Intrepid. He also briefly discussed his childhood and how he developed an interest in flight. The interview then transitioned to a discussion on flight training, and Hays described the stages of flight training and the aircraft he flew. He also explained how he was assigned to VBF-10 and provided a detailed description of the Corsair, the aircraft the squadron would be flying. Hays then discussed ground support school in New York and carrier training on Lake Michigan, before noting his assignment to Intrepid. The interview then transitioned back to Hays’ life before coming on board Intrepid. He explained how he met his wife, June, and stated that they were married in Pensacola at the Naval Air Station Chapel. When the interview shifted back to his time on board Intrepid, Hays described his first combat mission, which was a strike on Usa, Japan. He also discussed his experience during the attack on the battleship Yamato. While discussing this mission, Hays described scoring a direct hit on a cruiser, being hit by antiaircraft fire, and seeing the Yamato explode. He then discussed a variety of other topics, including: losing pilots, life on board Intrepid, the officers’ wardroom, writing letters to his wife, and dropping supplies to POWs. After covering his wartime experiences, Hays recalled his trip home and life after the war ended, noting that many men were unsure of what they would do once they returned home. Before the interview ended, Hays provided a few additional stories, describing a rescue mission to pick up pilots, as well as one particularly long return trip back to Intrepid. Hays ended his interview by stating how he felt about Intrepid living on as a museum.

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