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Patterson helped rescue pilot, survived typhoon and saw kamikaze

MADISON – A World War II veteran, Arlin ‘Pat’ Patterson served in the U.S. Navy from 1944 to 1946. At the time of his discharge, he had reached the rank of Signalman 3rd Class.

“My training included Signalman School at Samson, N.Y.,” Patterson said. “Upon graduation, I served on the USS Amsterdam on its maiden voyage following its commissioning. I also served on the USS Flynt under two Commodores as their personal communications signalman.”

While on the USS Amsterdam, Patterson served in the South Pacific and participated in the shelling of four sites in Japan — Tokyo, Honshu, Muroran and Hokkaido.

“Memorable moments for me were participating in the rescue of a downed Navy pilot, hiding in the signalmen storage bin during a typhoon, and running up on deck to see a Kamikaze plane!” Patterson said. In addition, planes of the fleet were involved in the aerial bombardment of Honshu, Japan.

The USS Amsterdam arrived in Tokyo Bay on Sept. 2, 1945 and was berthed next to the USS Missouri, on which the surrender of Japan had occurred the day before. “What a great way to end the war for me! I remained on active duty until my discharge in May of 1946,” Patterson said.

Patterson and his wife Joyce moved to the Hampton Cove area in 2016 to live closer to their daughter. “We moved from Memphis, Tenn., where we had lived for 69 years,” he said.

Pat Patterson attended college at Memphis State University and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. “I owned my own business, Business Products Inc., which specialized in printing, office supplies and office furniture,” he said.

Pat and Joyce Patterson were married for 70 years. “Joyce was a homemaker, and she died in 2017 leaving me with many happy memories,” he said.

Their two daughters are Linda Crowell of Daphne and Marcia Crouch of Hampton Cove. “Linda and Marcia and their husbands had five sons, and I now have 11 great-grandchildren,” Pat said.

While in Memphis, Pat was very active in The Exchange Club, Forever Young Senior Veterans and Children’s Health Center. “Since moving to Alabama, I have participated in the Forever Young Senior Veterans chapter here. I attend Huntsville First United Methodist Church and am active in my Sunday school class,” Pat said.

“Even at 92, I enjoy playing golf and being with my family,” Pat said.

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