My dad joined USN on Dec 8, 1941 and served much of his time on the USS Nashville including the fateful day of Dec 13th 1944 when they were hit by the jap kamikaze. 1/3rd of the crew was chared and killed by the fire. Dad got to help with clean up and picked up the burnt remains of his step brother who served on the ship with him. http://www.ussnashville.org/USS_Nashville/Photos/Pages/Kamikaze.html
He wasn't hit because he was up on the tower trying fix the shot-up radar from the previous attempt a little while before the ship was really hit.
In the couple of weeks before he passed last year, when his demtia was really severe, the nurses would ask him his name and what year is was. All that came out of his mouth was his name and December 13, 1944.