LAUREL, MS. (WDAM) - Jimmy Bass is a Laurel native known to many in the community because of his longtime career as a photographer and volunteer at the Laurel Veterans Memorial Museum.
The museum is a cause Bass is passionate about because he is a World War II veteran. Bass enlisted in the Navy at the young age of seventeen, and was assigned to the USS Harding Naval Destroyer.
Towards the end of war, Bass's ship was struck by a fleet of kamikazes, or Japanese pilots bent on suicide missions.
After surviving that attack, Bass was sent to Pearl Harbor to get some more clothes, but by then the U.S. had dropped the first atomic bomb on Japan, signaling the eventual end of the war.
Bass's two older brothers also fought in World War II. Middle brother, Asco Bass, was a Marine medic in the Pacific while their oldest brother, Julius, was a B-17 fighter pilot in the Atlantic Theater.
According to Bass, "We had a pretty good family representation. And thank God we all made it through it. My oldest brother was shot down and survived his plane being shot down, but we all made it."
On Tuesday, July 12th, we'll feature the story of Jimmy Bass's big brother, Julius. After his plane was shot down over France, he was taken prisoner by the Germans.
Following the war, Julius Bass struck up a lifelong friendship with one of the German soldiers that captured him.