Andrew J. Kosmitis
Baker 3rd Class
U. S. Navy
WWII US Military
Dates of Service: 03/18/1944 - 06/06/1946
Baker , USS Bingham

Born in Patras, Greece, Andrew sailed as an infant to America with his parents. He grew up in East Chicago, Indiana, as the son of a haberdasher and shoemaker. He recalls attending White Sox games and seeing Babe Ruth play. By age seventeen he was working in a steel mill. He joined the U.S. Navy. "I love the water, and I didn't want to go into the Army," he says of entering service on March 18, 1944, on his eighteenth birthday. Trained as a baker, he was eventually sent to Camp Elliott, a Marine and Navy base in California for combat training. Late in 1944 he sailed on the USS Bingham (APA-225) from Seattle to Kwajalein, and then to Okinawa, a fifty-seven-day odyssey. Andrew served aboard the ship as a baker during naval campaigns, including the invasion of Okinawa. He survived a typhoon that hit the island, and recalls volunteer crews picking up bodies on the coral rock and beach. In his kitchen work, Andrew served "three, four thousand" personnel. During off hours, he toured Okinawa after hostilities ceased, once finding a Japanese flag in a cave. He returned to America and was discharged June 6, 1946, as a baker, third-class. Andrew attended Indiana University for a year. He joined Sears & Roebuck Company, and spent thirty-two years with the department store, much of that time in Shreveport.