He was a Navy Seabee, having enlisted from High School in late 1942, trained for six months in North Carolina and San Diego, before shipping out on the USS Tyler in 1943. He spent the entire war in the Pacific, first in Hawaii, then Okinawa, Saipan and other Marshall Islands.
Mike was part of the Naval ground support for the bombing of Japan and Tokyo. He recalls how the B-29 bombers would depart around 6 pm and fly to drop their bombs then fly back to Okinawa around 9 am the following morning, after flying all night. He also was in Saipan during the Battle of Saipan when a thousands civilians committed mass suicide. He also remembers seeing the kamikaze pilots come in close to American forces.
Mike was a talented athlete, particularly basketball and when working in the CCC camps in MN while in high school, his coach came to the Camp commander and demanded that Mike come back to school, which he did, and lead the team to a district championship in 1942.