Signalman 3rd Class Petty Officer Robert Hugh Rainey
Reflections on this veteran's military service
Submitted by Kathleen Rainey Sampson
Robert H. Rainey was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1925. He joined the Navy in 1943 and served on the Battleship USS Idaho as a Signalman. He went through Signalman training at the University of Chicago. The Idaho (The Big Spud) was called to serve in the South Pacific. She bombarded island caves, where the enemy soldiers were hiding, three or four days before troops landed for eight invasions. The ship was hit by a Kamikaze pilot on 12 April 1945, the same day President Roosevelt died. They witnessed the American flag raised on Iwo Jima. The Idaho was in Tokyo Bay when Japan signed the surrender aboard the USS Missouri 2 September 1945. On 11 November 1945, Bob was honorably discharged from the US Navy with the rank of Signalman 3rd Class.
Resident of Lakewood since 1982 after moving from Pittsburgh, PA, with his family. Still resides in Lakewood at the age of 92.