In December 1943 with World War II well under way, Hopkinton's Roy Stratton joined the U.S. Navy and began his four-year career by attending boot camp at Great Lakes Naval Training Center in Illinois.
From there, he went to the Brooklyn Navy Yard where the USS Appalachian was being converted to naval service as an amphibious flagship.
Several months later the Appalachian sailed to Norfolk, VA, and from there to San Diego on the opposite coast, then to Hawaii.
After all the training exercises, the crew of the Appalachian was ready to begin a series of battles against Japan. They sailed to Guadalcanal, a tropical island in the Southwest Pacific.
Their battles included one in the Marianas, one in Guam and two in the Philippines. The Appalachian provided fire support during those battles' all bombardments and invasions.
Shortly after the last battle, WWII ended and Stratton and his shipmates set out for occupation duty in Japan. They disembarked troops at different points throughout the country.
Stratton returned home in March 1946.