Segment 1


Bishop was born in New Haven, Connecticut in November of 1920. The depression years were what Bishop calls “sketchy”. His mother was divorced and worked hard to raise him.After graduating from New Haven High School in 1937 he took the exam to get into the Naval Academy. He got an appointment and went in with the class of 1942.Bishop's Naval Academy class was advanced and he graduated just a few weeks after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.Bishop was in Annapolis at a movie with a girl whose father was a Commander in the Navy. When they left the theater they heard about the Pearl Harbor attack. His date's father was stationed at Pearl Harbor at that time and she was shocked by the news.The midshipmen at the Naval Academy knew that they would be graduating early and were excited to get out.Bishop knew ahead of time that he would be going aboard the destroyer USS Cummings (DD-365). Aboard the Cummings Bishop was the assistant gunnery officer and torpedo officer. The Cummings had 3 quadruple torpedo tubes which could do a lot of damage.The first thing they did was to escort a troopship out to Honolulu then returned to San Francisco. They made several trips back and forth between Hawaii and the mainland.In March or April they took a convoy to the South Pacific to Fiji and the New Hebrides.The trip was exciting because they knew that the Japanese had attacked the Philippines and Wake Island and they didn't know where the Japanese would strike next.The first time they went to the New Hebrides they escorted a troopship to Efate. When they arrived there was no pilot vessel to bring them into the harbor. This was not a good thing because they were just sitting out in the open.The chief quartermaster spotted a periscope and the Cummings dropped depth charges on what they believed to be an enemy submarine. After the depth charge attack they did soundings with the ship's sonar but never got a return that would indicate a submarine.The Cummings spent much of the time on escort duty protecting troopships and ammunition ships. They escorted a convoy to Guadalcanal.On one trip they were loading up ammunition to bring back up to Guadalcanal. After loading up they steamed out at top speed. They were steaming at night and the wind out of the west got very strong. Bishop was tasked with walking the ship to check all of the lookouts to assure that none of them had been washed or blown overboard. The ship rolled and Bishop had to grab hold to a torpedo arming wire to keep from going over the side. He was pleased with the sailors putting the arming wires on good and tight. 


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