An uncle and his nephew, part of the greatest generation.
Fighting for their country and witnessing history.
Bud Medlin is Bill Medlin’s uncle, but Bill is two years older than Bud.
“How did that work out,” I asked.
“I’m not going to tell ya. You might want to try it,” Bud Medlin replied.
Both served in the Navy during World War II.
Bill was a Machinist Mate Second Class.
“My first engagement was Iwo Jima. I was on a landing craft, the USS Mellette the APA 156 and I was in evaporators and I made water. 40,000 gallons a day,” said Bill Medlin.
Bill witnessed one of the most famous events of WWII, the raising of the flag at Iwo Jima
“I though they were all going to get shot so I didn’t think it was very smart,” Bill Medlin said.
Despite his initial reaction, for Bill, it was a patriotic and symbolic moment.
“The feeling when they raised the flag was that we were there to stay and that was very important. Very good morale builder for the people that were there. When you make water, you don’t feel too important but when you think you were there when they raised the flag, then you feel a lot more important,” Bill Medlin said.
Uncle Bud was a Machinist Mate Third Class.
“I was on a cruiser CA 24 Pensacola. I also made fresh water from sea water,” said Bud Medlin.
He was also present in the Bikini Islands and witnessed the hydrogen bomb testing.
“They dropped one bomb and the other one was under water. Spectacular. It’s really hard to explain, you just don’t have enough time,” Bud Medlin said.
Bud’s ship was rocked during the testing.
“Everything we had aboard ship there, the captains gig, his airplane, it was all blown away. We had metal on there, animals on there, never was found,” Bud Medlin said.
The adventures of an uncle and his nephew in the midst of history.
“You know it’s something that we’re going to cherish for the rest of our days,” Bill Medlin said.
“Of course we don’t have too many days left,” Bud Medlin joked.
“The biggest thing we’ve ever done together,” Bill Medlin said.
“Right, that’s for sure,” Bud Medlin said.