William Peter Chaldekas

"I'm Greek and I'm stubborn and I'll tackle anything."


 


Video Interview


Name: 
William Peter Chaldekas
Date of Birth:  11/17/14
Branch of Service:  Army
Dates of Service:  February 1941 to July 1945
Location of Military Service:  South Pacific
 
Mr. Chaldekas served in the 37th Division of Ohio in the United States Army.  He was drafted in 1941 and was sent to camp Shelby, Mississippi for basic training.  He had graduated from college and was a diesel engineer at the time.  He was assigned to serve in the Pacific and boarded the ship "Texas".  While going overseas, the ship had mechanical problems and was disabled at sea.  The convoy protecting the ship had to go on so it was left with 4 PT Boats to protect it from the Japanese. It took 28 days to reach their destination.  They landed at Tonga Dabu Island near Fiji.  He was in the quartermaster group and since he was a diesel engineer, he was made responsible for setting up the refrigeration units for the distribution of food to the troops.  He was also sent to the Near Hebrides Islands as a temporary replacement.  There, he serviced 30,000 to 60,000 troops twice a week.  He had at his disposal 1million cubic feet of refrigeration and 4 staple warehouses.  He had 7 non commissioned under him and 50 loaders and unloaders.  One of the highlights of his time in the military was when he volunteered to go on a bombing mission as a 20 M.M. Gunner.  He also went to Bougainville to set up operations there.  He was wounded with shrapnel in his shoulder while manning a machine gun for 12 hours to hold off the Japanese there.