LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - A retired Lake Charles businessman was part of the supply effort during the waning days of World War II. Phayo "Bud" Grindol was just 17 years old when he signed up for the Navy during World War II. Today at the age of 93, he still has the pants from his sailor outfit.
“When I went into the service I weighed 118 pounds,” recalled Grindol. “When I came out, I weighed 138. Now I weigh 148 and I think that’s pretty good.”
Bud’s LST vessel 601 was based in Palermo Sicily.
“We were hauling equipment and men north because the Germans had not been run out of France yet.”
“We were behind them bringing more troops and supplies. We hauled back German prisoners.”
Grindol says he was popular on board the ship, since he didn’t smoke.
“There’s not too many who can say they went through war without smoking packs, cartons of cigarettes. We were given cigarettes on the ship. We got a carton a week. I traded my cigarettes for candy bars. I had a waiting line for my cigarettes.”
Grindol was in his hometown of Battle Creek, Michigan, when the war ended. He was thankful that he didn’t have to go to the Pacific to invade Japan.