SURVIVORS OF THE USS LEXINGTON PULLED ABOARD (probably USS Minneapolis) Photo: National Archives

By Pat VerSteeg — It was 1940 and Jake Mangold was a fresh faced 18 year old who had just graduated from Durham High School. His mother, a school teacher, told him that there was going to be war soon, and if he enlisted now he could pick his branch of service. Jake had a cousin that was serving on the USS Lexington, and he decided that was where he’d like to be. “Back then you had to weigh 130 lbs. to get in. The doctor giving me the physical said I only weighed 128 lbs. I told I sure wanted to get in real bad. The doctor then gave me a dime and told me to buy as many bananas as I could and eat as much as I could. When I came back he said I made weight, just barely!” said Mangold.

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