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Hilliard Kilinski

Hilliard Kilinski

United States Navy
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Hilliard John Kilinski born May 7, 1923 in Amsterdam, N.Y. was a son of John and Leokadia Jaraczkilinski. He served our country during WW2. He enlisted at age 17 on January 7, 1941 and served in the U.S. Navy through May 21, 1946 and then in the U.S. Naval Reserves from January 22, 1947 to January 21, 1952. He served on the USS North Carolina Battleship BB-55 from its commissioning date 4-9-1941 to 4-23-1944 and on the USS Cabildo Dock Landing Ship (LSD-16) from it's commissioning date 3-15-1945 to 4-12-1946. He was a Plank Owner on both ships, an individual who was a crew member when that ship was placed in commission. He entered the Navy as an Apprentice Seaman (AS) and was discharged with the rank of Electrician's Mate First Class (EM1C) The USS North Carolina was the first new ship to arrive in Pearl Harbor, after the bombing on December 7, 1941. While aboard, Hilliard Kilinski participated in the Island Hopping for Victory in the Solomon Islands Campaign. The ship traveled to, just to name a few places, Guadalcanal, Tulagi and guarded the aircraft carriers USS Enterprise and USS Saratoga. It participated in its first real battle, which would become known as the Battle of the Eastern Solomons. On September 15, 1942 the USS North Carolina was torpedoed but within minutes the crew had her underway stationed to protect the USS Hornet, aircraft carrier again. It took 3 months to repair and upgrade the ship from the torpedo attack. While serving on the USS Cabildo , the crew departed Pearl Harbor and went to Guam, where they were tasked to repairing small crafts. They participated in the Gilbert Islands Campaign. In August 1945, Little Boy & Fat Man were deployed on Hiroshima & Nagasaki. The USS Cabildo went to Sasebo (a special city in Nagasaki) in October 1945 to act as a repair-ship, until April 1946 when it returned to the West Coast of the USA. While anchored at Sasebo, the crew was able to view the destruction of Nagasaki, as close as authorities would allow just 2 1/2 months after the bomb was dropped. Hilliard Kilinski was honorably discharged. His Family remains ever proud of his service to our country.