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Historical

I Looked The Kamikaze Pilot Right In The Eyes: WWII Vet Recalls His Close Encounter With Death

World War II Veteran Marvin Shields describes a day during the war. While on the deck of the U.S Navy vessel he was on, heading to his gun, a Kamikaze Pilot made eye contact with him and waved right before crashing into a nearby U.S Navy vessel.

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"This plane come past us and the Jap looked at us and went on and he crashed into another ship over there. I looked at him, he looked at me."

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Photo Credits : (GettyImages)
Keystone Hulton Archive
TRANSCRIPT This transcript was generated by AudioBurst technologies

What would you say was your closest call? The closest you came to not coming home? - I had a picture. I was going from duty to my gun and there's a Jap plane over the, we hung our bedding on the rails so we wouldn't get a lot of flak - Hmm - So this plane come past us and the Jap looked at us and went on and he crashed into another ship over there. I looked at him, he looked at me. - You're on the deck, on the way to your gun. There's a Kamikaze pilot within range of your ship.  - Well he's a, when I was was coming out the door he looked at me and I looked at him over top of top of these bedding's hanging on the rails, and he kinda waved like that and then smashed. - He knew he was about to die. - Oh he was meant to die then. - But his decision could have cost you your life had he gone into your ship. - Oh yeah. - But he went into another ship. I guess that's close enough. - Yeah, that's a couple seconds apart.