World War II
Soldier Remembers the USS Mount Hood Explosion

Paul Hackett was a Storekeeper 2nd class on the USS Mindanao when the ammunition ship USS Mount Hood exploded on November 10, 1944. All crew members aboard the USS Mount Hood that day were killed in the explosion. The Mindanao was only 350 yards away from Mount Hood at the time of the blast. Recalls Hackett: “It was a beautiful day and we were getting ready for the weekly captain’s inspection of the ship. At approximately 8:50 there was a terrible explosion. I thought we’d been torpedoed.” Of seeing the damage, Hackett says: “The Mount Hood was a 14,000 ton cargo ship which was taken and assumed by the navy sometime around July 1st of ’44, and it was carrying somewhere in the neighborhood of four thousand tons of various explosives, ammunition. And when the dust covered the ship had just completely disintegrated and the pieces they found out of it, the largest was a 10′x16′ sheet of steel.”

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Submitted by: Ilana Faber
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