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Perrett was born on 17 September 1925 in New Orleans, Louisiana. He was on his way home from church with his parents when they heard on the radio about the attack on Pearl Harbor.Sensing an imminent conflict, about a month before the attack on Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt took the Coast Guard out from under control of the treasury department and placed it under the control of the navy.There was a lot going on in New Orleans at the time of the Pearl Harbor attack, 7 December 1941. By May 1942 German submarines were prowling the Gulf of Mexico. In time, 116 ships were attacked of which 58 to 60 were sunk by enemy subs.Perrett had a feeling that at some point enemy soldiers would be walking the streets of New Orleans so he decided to enlist. His father was a veteran of the First World War and had been wounded in France by the Germans and refused to sign so that Perrett could enlist at age 17. Therefore Perrett enlisted at age 18 and on 16 September 1943 he went to the navy recruiter. He wanted to serve aboard a battleship or cruiser.Perrett was told by the navy recruiter that they had filled their quota and that he should check with the Coast Guard. He was sworn in that same day and was given orders to be at the L&N railroad for transport to Saint Augustine, Florida for six weeks of boot camp training.Perrett's boot camp training was extensive. During his time there he was warned by some of the chiefs not to mess up or he would be sent to landing barge school. Most of the recruits he was with didn't know what the chiefs were talking about but, being from New Orleans and having seen the landing craft being built by Higgins Industries and going on maneuvers on Lake Pontchartrain, Perrett knew exactly what they meant.After six weeks of boot camp Perrett and 149 others were put aboard a train bound for the Marine amphibious training base at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina for training with landing craft. He then spent the next six weeks training with the Marines.
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