Joe Cobb served in the Navy during World War II on the USS Maryland battleship. En route to Japan, the war was declared over. He shares his Christmas memory from 1945.
The USS Maryland (BB-46), also known as "Old Mary" or "Fighting Mary" to her crewmates, was a Colorado-class battleship during World War II. She was commissioned in 1920 and, serving as the flagship of the fleet, cruised to Australia, New Zealand and Brazil. She is most notable for her service in World War II. She was present on Battleship Row during the Attack on Pearl Harbor, and was lightly damaged by Japanese bombs. Returning to duty in 1942, she saw service in the Pacific War, first supporting the rest of the fleet at the Battle of Midway, and then patrolling the Fiji Islands to guard against Japanese incursion. Next, she went on the offensive, commencing shore bombardments in the Battle of Tarawa and later in the Battle of Kwajalein. During the Battle of Saipan she took torpedo damage to her bow, necessitating repairs and refits. She then participated in the Battle of Leyte Gulf where she was hit by a kamikaze. She took another kamikaze hit at the Battle of Okinawa, and was in for repairs at the end of WWII. After service in Operation Magic Carpet, she was decommissioned in 1947. She received seven battle stars for WWII service.