Freedom Fighters: Edmon McCaa - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

08/08/08 - Freedom Fighters

Freedom Fighters: Edmon McCaa

When Ed McCaa went into the Navy at the age of 17, little did he dream that by the time he reached his 21st birthday, he would have survived some of the major battles of the Pacific and the sinking of his ship. McCaa's ship the aircraft carraier The U.S.Princeton was involved in the victorious First Battle of The Philippine Sea, AKA "The Marianas Turkey Shoot". On October 24th, the Princeton was not to be so lucky.

A lone enemy dive bomber hit the ship that morning setting off a chain reaction that was to destroy the ship, heavily damage four ships along side the Princeton fighting its fires, and kill 108 men on the Princeton and 85 on the Birmingham, also wounding 300 aboard the Birmingham.

McCaa escaped his burning ship by climbing down a rope and dropping into the sea. His most frightening moment came when he was sucked back under the ship close to its churning engines. After swimming from under the ship he had to dodge burning timbers from the deck which were falling into the water. He was picked up by a rescue ship two hours later. At the age of 83 Ed McCaa looks back at his service on one of the most decorated shps of World War Two with pride.

Joan Hallmark, Reporting joanhallmark@kltv.com

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