Date of Interview
Floyd Caverly was born 1 Mar 1917 in Shovel Lake, Minnesota, a lumbering town located south of Hill City, Minnesota. He was one of four children. Floyd's father was a blacksmith; his mother died in the influenza pandemic of 1918. Floyd attended country school and two years of high school, then worked several jobs until enlisting in the US Navy in 1940. In the Navy, Floyd volunteered for the submarine service. Trained as an electronics technician (radar), he then joined the crew of USS Tang (SS-306) and served on five war patrols in the Pacific, from January - October 1944. On 24 October 1944, on this fifth war patrol, Tang was sunk as one of her own torpedoes went off course and struck the boat. Of the seventy-eight-man crew, just nine survived. Floyd and the other eight men were picked out of the water by a Japanese naval vessel, and taken to a military prison on Formosa (currently known as Taiwan). Floyd was subsequently transported to Japan, and spent time at Ofuna Naval Interrogation Center (until April 1945) and then Camp Omori. He was liberated from this camp by American forces in August 1945, following the surrender of Japan. Floyd spent many months recovering from his time as a POW, in medical facilities in the United States. Floyd spent a career in the US Navy, retiring in 1960 with twenty years of service. He then worked many years in the defense industry.
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Saylor, Thomas, "Oral History Project World War II Years, 1941-1946 - Floyd Caverly" (2004). Oral History Project: World War II Years, 1941-1946. 15.