Story by Senior Chief Mass Communication Specialist Eric J. Harrison, Navy Public Affairs Support Element, Det. Northwest
NAVAL STATION EVERETT, Wash. — The crew of USS Ingraham hosted a tour for a World War II veteran at her homeport of Naval Station Everett, Nov. 26.
Sebastian Amato, who served in the Pacific theater during the war, was given the opportunity to see the capabilities of the frigate and also to meet with Sailors in today’s Navy.
Ingraham Commanding Officer, Cmdr. Daniel Straub, whose grandfathers served in World War II felt it is important to recognize that heritage in the Navy.
“As a grandson of two WWII veterans who fought their way from the beaches of Normandy across Europe until the end of the war, I think we should honor their memory and promote the American spirit that with determination we can accomplish anything,” said Straub.
Amato, who attained the rank of Radioman 2nd Class, entered the Navy in April, 1944 and found himself aboard a command ship in the thick of the conflicts across the Pacific, including at the Battles of Iwo Jima and the Philippines.
“Iwo Jima wasn’t so bad for us, because we had good protection from other ships around us, being the command ship,” said Amato. “But, the Philippines, that was pretty serious. The enemy gave us everything they had to try and destroy our fleet.”
Straub said it was a connecting moment having Mr. Amato aboard Ingraham to interact with the Sailors.
“It was a joy to take Mr. Amato on a tour of the “last and the finest” Frigate built for the U.S.; sitting in our wardroom and sharing coffee telling stories of ships and – a 70-year span!,” he said. “Opportunities like this are as rewarding for us as I believe it was for Mr. Amato and his family. He was very impressed with the professionalism of INGRAHAM’s Sailors and the ship…and so am I.”
Following the war, Amato returned to the States and worked several jobs, including as a grocery store clerk. Eventually he went to work for a major motion picture company, eventually ending up in the Pacific Northwest and building a life with his wife and five children.
Amato left Ingraham impressed and with great admiration of the ship and her crew, and the state of the Navy and its Sailors.
It was great, I tell you that I just feel so warm in my heart,” he said. “I think we’re in great hands; everybody I talked to was just so smart, and sharp, and they all had a good attitude. I felt that they are proud of themselves, and proud of their ship, and proud of being in the Navy.
Straub went on to say that the crew enjoyed having Mr. Amato and his family aboard, and concluded the visit by mustering the entire crew on the flight deck to bid him farewell.
Every one of us has roots to the growth of our Navy and our country. The stories Mr. Amato shared reminded us of how important our duty and service to our country is. The crew was extremely grateful for the opportunity to meet him, and they expressed it as we announced his departure and piped him ashore.