|My Dad in the U.S. Navy in 1944|
As we honor … and remember … all who served in the U.S. Military this Veterans Day, I am remembering my dad and his time in the U.S. Navy.
Joining the Service
|My Family - Christmas 1943|
By the time the United States entered World War II, my dad was already married and father to two children. He was working for Eastman Kodak in Rochester, NY doing war work and thus was exempt from the draft. But by late 1944 his brother and 2 of his brothers-in-law were all serving in various branches of the military and he couldn't stand not being a part of the fight for his country. So one day he simply went downtown and joined the Navy ~ then went home and told my mother!
Basic Training and Beyond
|Navy PBY Flying Boat|
Dad was sent to basic training in Jacksonville, Florida and later transferred to the Naval Air Station in Hutchinson, Kansas where he was assigned as crew chief and rear turret gunner aboard the Navy's PBYs (Patrol Bomber), training in air-sea search & rescue work. These U.S. Navy PBY Catalina Units were also used as submarine hunters throughout the Pacific during World War II.
My mother, my brother & I were able to join dad after his basic training in Florida, and later be with him in Kansas. The war ended before dad ever made it overseas, but he was so proud to be in the Navy and part of the war effort.
|Me and my Dad|
I have a favorite memory of a conversation dad & I had many years ago when we were talking about that time of his life. It went like this:
“Dad, you were in the Navy, right?”
“And you worked on airplanes, right?”
“And you were stationed in Kansas, right?”
“And you were in the NAVY?”
Kansas may be a long way from the ocean, but the Navy wasn't confused. Eastern Kansas was perfect because it was mostly rural with lots of land available in the 1940s, with fairly flat terrain. It also had lots of blue skies and was away from the coast lines for security reasons. During World War II, the Navy built air stations here to train cadet pilots.
Wartime at Home
|World War II In-Service Flag|
I heard family stories about that final year of World War II when my grandmother had 3 Stars in her front window, signifying that she had 3 family members serving in the military. My dad represented one of those stars.
I'm proud of my dad and all the members of my family who served in the military. I wish to honor my dad, my family members and all the men & women who have served and are currently serving our country this Veterans Day and every day.
*Intro image is of my dad in his Navy uniform in 1944. He was SO young looking!
*Other family images are from my family albums.
*PBY Flying Boat image is found on Wikipedia Commons and is part of the Public Domain.
*World War II In-Service Flag/Banner is part of the Public Domain
+Veterans Day | +My Dad | | +U.S. Navy | +WWII | +Wednesday-Elf
(c) Article originally published 11/5/2013. Updated 11/8/2016