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HELOTES — Seventy-eight years ago this week, Bill Lozano was aboard the battleship USS Washington, part of a vast fleet supporting the Allied invasion of Saipan.
When he wasn’t serving as a radarman, he was in the ship’s crow’s nest with other sailors, scanning the sky for Japanese Zeros, fast, nimble fighter aircraft.
Lozano, who elevates modesty to an art form, says it wasn’t all that exciting.
“I wasn’t manning a gun or anything like that,” said the retired lawyer, now 96. “I was just doing a job that had to be done on the ship, and I was lucky to be on the Washington. We were never hit by the kamikazes. They came close to us many times, but never hit us.”
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1of9Russell Minor, left, speaks with World War II veterans Bob Masters, 96, and Bill Lozano, 96, at a Jim’s Restaurant in Helotes. Lozano served aboard the battleship USS Washington during the assault on Iwo Jima and other major battles in the Pacific.
2of9San Antonio native Bill Lozano, 96, right, speaks with fellow World War II veteran Bob Masters, 96 at a Jim’s Restaurant in Helotes. Lozano served aboard the battleship USS Washington during the assault on Iwo Jima and other major battles in the Pacific.