Honoring World War II veterans 70 years later Memories of a â€œdate which will live in infamyâ€? Local veteran recalls 13 major battles The war through the eyes of a small-town newspaper Troops trained at Fort Worden
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Outdoor Recreation 5 | Former coast artillery forts are place to explore
Arts & Entertainment 24 | Sequim Senior Singles celebrates 25th anniversary
Food & Spirits 19 | Hardy’s Market carrot cake recipe
The Living End 34 | Roots & Wings
Honoring World War II veterans 70 years later
7 | New to Fort Worden Washington National Guard troops trained in Port Townsend 9 | Port Townsend memorials Monuments honor fallen veterans and Coast Guard Vol. 11, Number 3 • Living on the Peninsula is a quarterly publication.
12 | Veterans supporting veterans VFW Post 4760 more than a dance hall 16 | Memories of Pearl Harbor World War II veteran shares stories
147 W. Washington St., Sequim WA 98382 © 2015 Sequim Gazette John Brewer, Publisher
20 | How time flies Preserving the aviation history of the Greatest Generation
Steve Perry, Advertising Director
27 | Peril in the Pacific Veteran recalls major battles with the USS Bradford
Production: Mary Field, Graphic Designer Trish Tisdale, Page Designer
30 | Small town newspaper World War II is hits home with the headlines of a small paper 32 | Home front heroes Young mother’s diary tells of sacrifices during wartime 4 LOP Fall 2015
Editorial: Patricia Morrison Coate, Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
Advertising: (360) 683-3311 • (360) 452-2345 On our cover: Don Alward, 87, plays taps at the bellringing ceremony on the last Friday of the month at the Veterans Memorial Park in Port Angeles to honor veterans who have died during the previous month. Photo by Patricia Morrison Coate
226 Adams St. Port Townsend, WA 98368 360-385-2900 Patrick Sullivan: email@example.com © 2015 Port Townsend Leader
Battery Quarles (right) is part of the main line of seacoast batteries at Fort Worden State Park.
TOUR ARTILLERY HILL – you won’t get lost
Former coast artillery forts are place to explore Story and photos by Patrick J. Sullivan
he Olympic Peninsula’s military history has left behind one of the best ways to spend an afternoon: walking the seacoast artillery batteries at Fort Worden. Locals talk about exploring the Fort Worden bunkers. Tourists ask about the bunkers. “There is actually only one true bunker at Fort Worden,” said Alfred Chiswell of Port Townsend, director of the Puget Sound Coast Artillery Museum at Fort Worden. The term “bunker” came about in World War II, he noted. In short, bunkers are for defense, emplacements are for offense. The seacoast forts of the Harbor Defenses of Puget Sound (circa 1900), led by Fort Flagler and Fort Worden in Jefferson County and Fort Casey on Whidbey Island — were built to protect the entrance to Puget Sound from enemy warships. At the time, warships represented the ultimate in firepower. Each seacoast fort is similar yet unique, due to natural terrain and technology. Some concrete is not original. Modifications were made to the 1890s design, state of the art for the times, and thanks to the airplane, mostly obsolete 40 years later.
Fort Casey has the biggest cannons and most working machinery. Fort Flagler has smaller cannons and other specialties. Fort Worden has two underground command centers opened for tours and more annual visitors. Each park has its own museum and/or registration desk with detailed maps and historical information available. A map helps and so does carrying a flashlight.
Fort Worden Tour
At Fort Worden, the nonprofit Coast Artillery Museum in Building 201 along the Parade Grounds is open daily, year-round. Saturdays, guided Artillery Hill tours start at 1 p.m. and the Harbor Entrance Command Post is open from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. There is a lot to see on Artillery Hill, from the hard-surfaced roads and trails with water view, and stairways into darkness. “I’ve been to Fort Worden a bunch of times and have been through (Battery Kinzie) on the beach, but I never knew all this stuff was up here,” said Richard P. Smith of the Seattle area. The complex has lots of places to see:
observation posts, battery commander stations, searchlight platforms, powder rooms, shell rooms, generator rooms, hoist rooms, concussion chambers, steps and stairways and numerous nooks and crannies. Never say never, but it’s impossible to become lost because there are no dead ends and there are no places that are not mapped. “We get asked about a lot of tunnels that don’t exist,” said Kevin Alexander, a CAM volunteer. There is a 150-foot pedestrian tunnel behind the main gun line. Bill Fuller, a first-time visitor from Texas with an engineering background, was impressed with the fort construction. “The quality of the concrete is remarkable,” he said. “The engineering is fascinating. It’s all basic but it works.” After learning how mule teams, ropes and manpower were used to build the emplacements, Beth Fuller said, “How astonishing and complex an arrangement, and to see the amazing amount of physical labor required, it’s something.” The concrete structures have held up well. It’s a better quality of concrete than found on East Coast fortifications — no salty beach
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sand was used here. Graffiti is a problem, nowhere nearly as bad as other places — and thanks to park rangers and city police who have caught “taggers” in recent months. The army had many of the guns cut up for scrap. Certain material was removed for use elsewhere. Since the last military presence in the 1960s, state salvage operations, metal thieves and vandals have done their damage.
Lost & Found
CAM volunteers always are on the lookout for artifacts — sometimes found in the hill’s thickets — and information. “Even though it’s 70 years later, we keep finding out new stuff,” Alexander said. For example, it was believed the HECP was manned continuously from 1944 into the late 1950s, but recently he learned it was empty for a few years in the 1950s. “It’s really cool when somebody comes by who was here and can tell us stuff we
don’t know,” Alexander said. During a recent Artillery Hill tour, CAM volunteers even kept the attention of a group of teenagers — a victory in itself. “The kids loved it,” said Maureen Jonas of the Tacoma area, who was staying in the park’s beach campground. “There are so many places to check out. And it’s a good hike.” Young or old, a history buff or someone who just likes a good walk, the seacoast batteries are an attraction. “I like walking around on top of the hill and seeing people intently reading the information stuff,” Alexander said. “I like to see people interested. I always tell people, when everyone loses interest, it all goes away.” n Patrick J. Sullivan is editor of the Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader newspaper and a volunteer with the Puget Sound Coast Artillery Museum.
The deep gun pits at former batteries years ago were filled with dirt as a safety precaution. One of Battery Benson’s pits has been excavated for interpretative purposes. It revealed a maintenance crawlspace that children, and thin adults, may traverse.
calendar of events SEPTEMBER Port Townsend & Jefferson County Chimacum Farmers Market, Chimacum Corner Farmstand, every Sunday through October. Port Townsend Farmers Market, Lawrence and Tyler streets, Saturdays May-December, Wednesdays June-September. Port Ludlow Farmers Market, Village Center, Fridays through September. Port Townsend Gallery Walk, first Saturday of every month. Quilcene First Saturday Art Walk. Annual Wooden Boat Festival, Point Hudson in Port Townsend, Sept. 11-13. Quilcene Fair and Parade and Classic Car Show, Quilcene/Brinnon, Sept. 19. Olympic Music Festival, 7630 Center Road, Quilcene, Ray Chen & Julio Elizalde in Recital, Sept. 5-6. Olympic Music Festival, 7630 Center Road, Quilcene, Festival Encore: Jeremy Kittel Band plays folk, Americana and bluegrass, Sept. 12-13. Jefferson County Farm Tour, map of participating farms at Chimacum Corner Farmstand, Sept. 19-20. Port Townsend Film Festival, Sept. 25-27. Quilcene Oyster Half Marathon, Sept. 26. Sequim & Dungeness Valley First Friday Art Walk and Reception, multiple venues. Sequim Farmers Market, Centennial Place, every Saturday through October. Paint the Peninsula, multiple venues, Sept. 7-13. Sequim City Band, James Center for the Performing Arts at Carrie Blake Park, Sept. 13.
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Dungeness River Festival, Railroad Bridge Park, Sept. 25-26. Port Angeles Port Angeles Farmers Market, The Gateway, 125 E. Front St., Saturday mornings. Paint the Peninsula, multiple venues, Sept. 7-13. Second Weekend Art Walk, Gallery Crawl, Sept. 12-13. The Big Hurt, multi-sport relay race, see bighurtpa. com to register, Sept. 26. National Park Free Admission Day, Sept. 26. Arts & Draughts, crafts, regional wines, beers, ciders, food and music, downtown Port Angeles, Sept. 26-27 Forks/West End Forks Open Aire Market, 1421 S. Forks Ave., Saturdays. Sekiu Salmon Derby, September, TBA. Forks Logging and Mill Tour, Wednesdays through mid-September, www.forkswa.com. West End Invitational Co-ed Softball Tournament, Tillicum Park, Sept. 12-13. Forever Twilight, Sept. 11-14, Forks. West End Thunder, Forks Airport, Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 10-13.
OCTOBER Port Townsend & Jefferson County Chimacum Corner Farmstand, open Mon-Sat. Chimacum Farmers Market, every Sunday, through October.
Port Townsend Farmers Market, 650 Tyler St. through October. Port Townsend Gallery Walk, first Saturday each month. Quilcene First Saturday Art Walk. Kinetic Skulpture Race, Port Townsend, Oct. 3-4. Protection Island Fall Bird Migration Cruises, 360-385-5582, Ext. 104, Oct. 7-11. Port Townsend Ukelele Fest, Oct. 14-18. Sequim & Dungeness Valley Sequim Farmers Market, Centennial Place, every Saturday through October. First Friday Art Walk and Reception, multiple venues. North Olympic Fiber Arts Festival, Oct. 2-4. Clallam County Harvest Tour, Oct. 3 Sequim City Band Concert, Sequim High School, Oct. 25. Port Angeles Port Angeles Farmers Market, The Gateway, 125 E. Front St., Saturday mornings. Dungeness Crab and Seafood Festival, at City Pier, Oct. 9-11. Great Downtown Crab Hunt, Oct. 9-11. Forks/West End LaPush Last Chance Salmon Derby, Oct. 3-4 Forks Open Aire Market, 1421 S. Forks Ave., Saturdays. Hickory Shirt/Heritage Days, Forks, Oct. 7-10 Fish n Brew, 110 Industrial Park, Forks, Oct. 10
New to Fort Worden Washington National Guard troops trained, prewar, in Port Townsend Port Townsend resident Edward Carr started his military service with a Washington National Guard unit in Tacoma that trained at Fort Worden. The 248th Regiment was called to federal service Sept. 1, 1940. Carr made the trip to Port Townsend for Coast Artillery Corps service, where he served until a promotion and transfer into the Army Air Corps. Carr went on to complete 35 bombing missions in a B-17 over Europe. The following is an excerpt from his book, “On Active Duty,” that details his experiences in Port Townsend. By Edward C. Carr It took a few days after Monday, Sept. 16, 1940, to get organized for the move to Fort Worden. Everyone was required to pass a physical examination. Of the enlisted personnel, 12 percent failed the examination and were discharged. The armory in Tacoma could not house the 248th Coast Artillery Regiment overnight. At 6 p.m. we were allowed to return home for the night, but were required to report for reveille at 6 a.m. We were issued clothing and equipment, and then we polished and cleaned the equipment and our small arms. We drilled, we policed the area around the armory, we went to classes and we pulled guard duty. Married and underage enlisted personnel were discharged, requiring increased recruiting efforts to bring the batteries to full strength. Searchlight Battery and parts of Headquarters Battery were scheduled to be the first 248th units to leave Tacoma. Trucks from Fort Lewis formed our convoy on Friday, Sept. 20, 1940. At Fort Worden we moved into our tent city on the parade grounds. The permanent barracks were occupied by the regular army’s 14th Coast Artillery Regiment. Planned barracks for the 248th Coast Artillery were not yet under construction so the regiment pitched pyramidal tents. Later, at Fort Worden, Searchlight Battery was redesignated as G Battery. Rows of the pyramidal tents near the west end of the parade ground formed battery streets. Across the street on the north side of the parade ground and facing our rows of tents were the warm comfortable barracks of the 14th Coast Artillery. Peacetime garrison life at the fort must have been quite easy for the men of the 14th. They were in a beautiful country and for diversion could easily travel by boat to Seattle for the
The U.S. Army’s 14th Coast Artillery Corps Regiment served at Fort Worden from 1924 until it was disbanded in 1944. Leading this group is Ed Carr’s father, who had two sons serving at Fort Worden with him. Photo courtesy Edward Carr bright lights. Then here comes this National Guard outfit, uninvited to join their country club. Initially one could see the contempt in the eyes of some of the regular army troops. We had invaded their territory. But, under the joint overall command of Colonel (later General) Cunningham, we learned in time to coexist at the fort. With the autumn rains it didn’t take long for the grass of our battery street to turn to mud. The pyramidal tents were equipped with wood floors and interior plywood side walls about four feet high and kept us dry most of the time. The only heat in the tent was provided by the cone shaped Sibley stove. It was difficult to keep the stove burning through the night. Some inventive fellows rigged up a system to drip oil into the stove to keep it hot all night. This dangerous devise was probably the cause of a fire that destroyed one tent. The tents were to be our home until well into the winter of 1941. All military units have their pranksters, jokers who pull tricks on others to relieve the boredom. It took considerable planning to drop a large pyramidal tent in the middle of the night on six or eight sleeping men. Those in on the prank would quietly and simultaneously loosen the clamps on the outside ropes supporting the
four sides of the tent. With the tension released from the single large center pole supporting the tent it was possible for one or two men to enter the tent, grasp the bottom of the pole and run out of the tent with the pole, collapsing the tent on the sleeping occupants. What a pain it was to crawl around on hands and knees in the pitch dark trying to find the tent flap door. To identify the pranksters was almost impossible. During those first months at Fort Worden our commanders decided that we needed to prepare for attack from land as well as from the sea. The historic coast artillery mission was to defend harbors from attacks by naval vessels. G Battery, with its searchlights, was also to help with anti-aircraft defenses. Without infantry troops to protect the rear of the coastal defenses, we needed to also become foot soldiers. Our CO knew that we needed to be toughened up. As part of our training we were ordered out for day-long marches with full field packs. Sometimes the entire regiment would head out of the fort on these marches. A full field pack included bedding roll, army blanket, shelter half and mess kit. We wore a wide web belt with ammunition pouches and an attached canteen, and canvas leggins, plus the World War I type steel helmet. A Springfield rifle was carried,
Fall 2015 LOP 7
Above left: By the 1930s, the Harbor Defense of Puget Sound, headquartered at Fort Worden in 1904, included sound detection devices intended to pick up the engine noise of approaching aircraft. Photo courtesy Puget Sound Coast Artillery Museum Above right: Jefferson County’s back roads became part of the conditioning for Washington National Guard coast artillery troops called up to Fort Worden for regular summer encampments and for prewar mobilization. This scene is looking west along Cook Avenue in rural Port Townsend. Photo courtesy Puget Sound Coast Artillery Museum slung over a shoulder by its strap. We covered many miles on some dusty back roads of Jefferson County. As an 18-yearold private first class, I was in good shape for the marches and rather enjoyed the physical challenge, however, some of the older and overweight noncoms were dragging their feet by the time we returned to the fort. When each battery reached the fort’s gate returning from a day’s march they tried, as a matter of pride, not to show fatigue. Each unit of the regiment would pick up the cadence, stand up straighter and lengthen strides as they reached the gate. In these efforts to display “esprit de corps” G Battery had a distinct advantage. We had Sherman Pethley. Even though he was just a private when G Battery was activated in 1940, it was obvious that Pethley was an experienced soldier. He never explained why he had enlisted in the National Guard. Maybe he just wanted to join a U.S. military unit. A rumor (never denied by Sherman) was that he had served in the Canadian Army and another was that he had been with the Seaforth Highlanders. He could stand at attention in a military brace like one of the Queen’s Guards, ramrod straight, but showing no strain. Pethley become a respected sergeant, but most will remember him playing the bagpipes. As our battery approached the fort after a long day’s march, Sherman Pethley would stride to the front of the column with his bagpipes and strike up a lively Scottish tune, piping us through the gate. A head taller than most of
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"When each battery reached the fort's gate returning from a day's march they tried, as a matter of pride, not to show fatigue. Each unit of the regiment would pick up the cadence, stand up straighter and lengthen strides as they reached the gate." – Edward Carr National Guard soldier at Fort Worden, 1940 the troops, he was a striking figure. Because of Sherman, G Battery always marched with more energy and swagger than other 248th batteries and we knew it. G Battery lived in the parade ground tents into the winter, until February of 1941 when the construction of our two-story wood barracks was finished. They were located behind and north of the permanent 14th Coast Artillery barracks. What a luxury to be in a heated dry building with our own inside latrine and showers. The new quarters for batteries of the 248th were not as luxurious as the permanent barracks occupied by the regular army’s 14th Coast Artillery; however, they were a great improvement over our canvas tents. They were drier, warmer and cleaner. No more putting on wet wool and damp shoes in the morning. A little “sack time” could be logged on a cot
without heaping layers of coats for warmth. The biggest plus was the inside plumbing; a latrine of our own. It was located at the end of the lower level, not far from a coal-burning furnace that heated our barracks. To house the expanding army, these standard two-story wood frame barracks buildings we called home were being built at a furious pace at bases across the country. With dimension of 30 by 80 feet they provided space for an entire company (or battery) of enlisted troops, with partitioned rooms for noncommissioned officer. At large Army bases, Fort Lewis for example, rows of hundreds of these barracks spread across many acres. Being intended as temporary structures, to last just for the war’s duration, most of the barracks, including those at Fort Worden, were dismantled after the war. But, after 65 years, a few of these “temporary barracks” are still standing. Renovated, but little changed, World War II barracks can still be seen at Seattle Pacific University’s Camp Casey (part of old Fort Casey) on Whidbey Island. There, next to the parade ground, they house mainland school kids attending the renowned Northwest Soccer Camp, other sport camps, student retreats or conferences. n World War II veteran Edward C. Carr is a resident of Port Townsend. Two books by Carr are on sale as a fundraiser at the Puget Sound Coast Artillery Museum at Fort Worden and the Port Townsend Aero Museum at Jefferson County International Airport.
Fallen veterans, Coast Guard honored with monuments in Port Townsend MILITARY SERVICE MEMORIALS IN PORT TOWNSEND INCLUDE THESE SITES:
1947-1948: Jefferson County Memorial Athletic Field in downtown Port Townsend is opened in 1947 and dedicated in 1948 to the county residents who lost their lives during military service in World War I (12 men) and World War II (38 men). The first high school football game is played here Oct. 10, 1947.
1925: A monument is dedicated at the Jefferson County Courthouse in Port Townsend to the 12 men who died during the “Great War” — which later became known as World War I. 1941: The building at the corner of Water and Monroe streets in downtown Port Townsend opened in 1941 as a USO Club for military personnel at Fort Worden, Fort Flagler and related posts. It was an active social center during World War II. The USO Club closed in 1946. In 1947, the federal government, through the city, sold the property to the American Legion. It's been the Legion Hall ever since. 1945: The new child care center opened in Port Townsend's uptown district is dedicated "as a living memorial to the veterans of World War II." The Port Townsend School District, a project sponsor along with the Federal Works Agency, expects the facility to eventually become a community center.
1967: Memorial Day ceremonies are used to dedicate the new swimming pool located on the Port Townsend Junior High campus as Memorial Pool, honoring "the valiant men who gave their lives in the Vietnam War." 1968: A flagpole and monument honoring U.S. Navy Seabee Marvin G. Shields is dedicated along the Sims Way “S” curve hill entering Port Townsend. The project is sponsored by the Daughters of the American Revolution. Shields, a Discovery Bay area native and 1958 Port Townsend High School graduate, enlisted in the Navy in 1962 and became a member of the construction battalion “Seabees.” He volunteered for duty in South Vietnam, where he died June 6, 1965, from multiple wounds while defending his unit's remote compound under attack by enemy forces. Shields' bravery during combat
you r t ime to re n e w
led in 1966 to the Medal of Honor. Shields remains the only Navy Seabee so honored. 1998: American Legion Post 26 in downtown Port Townsend is renamed to honor Marvin G. Shields. The post has a flagpole and outdoor monument to Shields, who is buried at Gardiner Cemetery. The Seabees still conduct tributes at his gravesite. 2000: A flagpole and two monuments are dedicated in front of the Cupola House at Point Hudson, which was built in the 1930s as a U.S. Coast Guard training facility. One monument is to the Coast Guard, which has served out of Port Townsend since 1954; the other monument honors the four Jefferson County military men who lost their lives in the Korean War. Point Hudson was a U.S. Army station during the Korean War. 2002: Port Townsend Elks Lodge 317 leads the effort that results in a flagpole inside Jefferson County Memorial Athletic Field and a monument dedicated to the six Jefferson County men who lost their lives during military service in the Vietnam War. — Patrick J. Sullivan
Memorial Athletic Field in downtown Port Townsend was dedicated in 1948 to honor the Jefferson County men who died during military service in both of the “world wars.” In 2002, a monument was raised inside the field to honor the six county men who died during service in the Vietnam War.
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10 LOP Fall 2015
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Fall 2015 LOP 11
It’s the third
Saturday in August and that can only mean one thing at the VFW Post 4760 in Sequim: time to slip on a pair of dancing shoes and tear up the dance floor. The Old Sidekicks, a local bluegrass and country music group, are tuned up and ready for a crowd of veterans and everyday folks who love to dance and enjoy one another’s company, both of which are plentiful on the first and third Saturdays of the month. Depending on the time of year, the dancers can be few or many. Being in the midst of some hot August nights in Sequim, the dance floor wasn’t particularly full on this Saturday, but that didn’t mean a good time wasn’t had by all in attendance. Richard and Frances Becker are longtime fans of the twice-monthly dances. They and their friend Richard Lohrman sat at the bar adjacent to the dance floor, nursing a beer and greeting old friends as they came in the door. The two Richards have been friends for years, both having served in Vietnam. The VFW, they say, is a good place for entertainment and conversation and a multitude of services designed especially for veterans. Undoubtedly, dancing isn’t the only objective of the Veteran of Foreign Wars organization. According to its national charter, the purpose
The lounge at VFW Post 4760 in Sequim is a popular spot for veterans and friends and is a strong source of funding for the post.
Veterans supporting veterans VFW Post 4760 more than a dance hall Story and photos by Mary Powell
of the VFW is fraternal, patriotic, historical, charitable and educational. Under those provisions, priority issues include Veterans Administration health care, assistance with furthering educational goals, raising funds for charitable organizations, employment services and of course, troop support. Barry Adams, Post 4760 commander, ties it all together in a succinct statement: “Our primary purpose is to help veterans.” Sounds simple enough, but it results in a lot of work, from the national VFW organization down to the smallest posts throughout the country. Lest you think that translates to a paycheck for people like Adams, he and nearly everyone who serves at a VFW post does so as a volunteer. The only paid person is civilian secretary Tiffany Van Selus, a helpful woman whose office is surrounded by stacks of papers, books and just plain stuff relating to veterans. Adams has been post commander for a mere two months, taking the place of former Commander Tristan Ryan. A veteran of wars and conflicts in Grenada, Panama, Bosnia
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and the Gulf War, Adams will turn 50 in November. A tall, quiet man (he didn’t want his photo taken), he is at his desk in his somewhat disheveled office on the second floor of the VFW post in downtown Sequim. The rather nondescript, yet familiar building that fills the corner of 169 E. Washington St., is a treasure trove of military memorabilia, a spacious cocktail bar with adjoining dance floor, meeting rooms, offices, a clothing room stuffed with donated clothes free for the taking, and a large kitchen with an adjacent dining hall. Historians show the building was constructed in the 1890s and was first called the Farmer’s Hall, which was the center of Sequim’s social, cultural and economic life. The VFW Post 4760 was established in 1945 and began serving veterans and their families by 1946. Although the building has been updated a few times, Adams admits it could use more remodeling. For now, that’s on the wish list, but funding is a huge roadblock. All VFW posts are under the auspices of the
Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4760 is at 169 E. Washington St. in downtown Sequim. The post has been serving North Olympic Peninsula veterans since it opened in 1945. Photo courtesy of VFW Post 4760
Members of the Old Sidekicks entertain and provide music for dances at VFW Post 4760.
VFW has history of making a difference Compiled by Mary Powell
national organization and specifically the National Council of Administration, which is comprised of elected national offers. Collectively the council is responsible for administering the affairs and transacting the business of the VFW in the intervals between annual VFW conventions. John A. Biedrzycki was elected Commander-inChief of the VFW on July 22, 2015, at the VFW’s 116th National Convention held in Pittsburgh, Pa. That said, each of the approximately 7,400 posts “runs itself,” to quote Adams. No funding comes from on high. The money comes from canteen proceeds, donations, Sunday breakfast (open to the public) and perhaps most important, from the Ladies Auxiliary. There are about 500 members at Post 4760, representing all wars and conflicts since World War II. A lifetime membership costs $40 per year.
Ladies Auxiliary of VFW Post 4760
The Ladies Auxiliary of the Veterans of Foreign Wars was established in 1914 to serve the veterans of the United States and communities in honor of the sacrifices and commitment of every man and woman who has served in uniform. Every VFW post has a Ladies Auxiliary whose members support the post. These women live by the motto “Honor the dead by helping the living.” Here in Sequim, at Post 4760, the Ladies Auxiliary is 168 members strong. “We work hand-in-hand with the post, mainly fundraising to support the post,” explains Auxiliary president Alicia Brown. This truly is an ambitious group of women, organizing such fundraisers as selling cookbooks (all recipes come from Auxiliary members), supporting the National Home for Children by collecting Campbell’s Soup labels, providing Sunday breakfast, again, open to anyone who wants to sit down to a delicious breakfast with veterans and friends, bake sales and a weekly bingo game, proceeds of which go toward local scholarships, cancer support and hospital and veteran relief. A major fundraiser is the distribution of Buddy Poppies. This handmade symbol provides a great way to honor those who died by helping their comrades who are now in need. Brown points out the Ladies Auxiliary is not necessarily for those who have been in the service, but for spouses, daughters, granddaughters and relatives of those who have served.
And then there’s Dean Geddes
The “Face of the VFW” is what Adams calls his good buddy Dean Geddes. Geddes likes to fish and hang out at Sequim VFW Post 4760, not just hang out, but really get involved. When I met him, he was peering at old, yellowed floor plans of the VFW
Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States is a national association of men and women who as soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen served the nation in wars, campaigns and expeditions on foreign soil or in hostile waters, and is a federally chartered corporation. The VFW traces its roots back to 1899 when veterans of the Spanish-American War (1898) and the Philippine insurrection (1899-1902) founded local organizations to secure rights and benefits for their service. After arriving home wounded or sick, veterans of these conflicts had no medical care or pensions and were left to fend for themselves. Many of these veterans soon came together and formed organizations that would become known as the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States. After chapters were formed in Ohio, Colorado and Pennsylvania, the movement gained momentum. By 1915, membership grew to 5,000 and by 1936, was almost 200,000. Today, nearly 1.9 million members of the VFW and its Auxiliaries contribute more than 86 million hours of volunteerism in the community, including participation in Make a Difference Day and National Volunteer Week, according to the Veterans of Foreign Wars National Headquarters. Since its inception, the VFW has been instrumental in establishing the Veterans Administration, creating a GI Bill, the development of the national cemetery system and the fight for compensation for Vietnam vets exposed to Agent Orange and for veterans diagnosed with Gulf War Syndrome. In 2008, VFW members fought to pass a GI Bill for the 21st century, giving more educational benefits to America’s active duty service members and members of the Guard and Reserves fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. In addition, due to diligence at the VFW national headquarters, VA medical center services were and are continuing to improve. Each year, the VFW provides more than $3 million in college scholarships to students through the country. In addition to funding the creation of the Vietnam, Korean War, World War II and Women in Military Service memorials, the VFW in 2005 became the first veterans organization to contribute to building the Disabled Veterans for Life Memorial, which opened in 2010. Local VFW posts continually give back to their communities by providing scholarships, sponsoring essay contests or volunteering with neighborhood clean-up efforts. Membership in the VFW is open to any active or honorably discharged officer or enlisted person who is a citizen of the United States and who has served in its armed forces in any foreign war, insurrection or expedition. Source: National organization Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States
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Frances Becker and her husband Richard enjoy attending the twice-monthly dances at the VFW post in Sequim. Frances said she has been sitting out the dancing due to a sore knee, but that hasn’t stopped her from enjoying friends and tapping her foot to the music. Their good friend, Richard Lohrman, was a bit camera shy.
What it’s all about VFW MISSION: To foster camaraderie among United States veterans of overseas conflicts. To serve our veterans, the military and our communities. To advocate on behalf of all veterans. VFW VISION: Ensure that veterans are respected for their service, always receive their earned entitlements and are recognized for the sacrifices they and their loved ones have made on behalf of this great country. CORE VALUES: • Always put the interests of our members first • Treat donors as partners in our cause • Promote patriotism • Honor military service • Ensure the care of veterans and their families • Serve our communities • Promote a positive image of the VFW • Respect the diversity of veteran opinions
building. This in anticipation of a future remodel. “If anyone can read these, Dean can,” quips Adams. “He’s going on 200 years old.” Well, not quite. Geddes will be 94 in October, is a retired electrical contractor and knows a great deal about the VFW building. He has, after all, been a member since 1999, and before that participated in the organization in Seattle and Mexico, where the family lived for several years. “I started an American Legion Post down there,” he offers. Geddes is a friendly fellow, quiet but quick to joke and laugh. He says he and his wife have no complaints, except for the getting old part. The couple moved from Seattle to Sequim in 1999 and thoroughly enjoy life in the area. His is a familiar face at the Sequim post. Having been a national VFW officer and a commander at the Greenwood post in Seattle, he knows his VFW stuff, that’s for sure. Now, Adams trusts Geddes to keep track of all the funds that
Source: Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States national association
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come in. Geddes is a World War II veteran, having joined the Army in 1939 at the age of 17. He was with the 11th Airborne and remembers doing a “lot of parachuting.” He was honorably discharged in 1946, after which he used the GI Bill to attend college. “The VFW is very important to veterans,” Geddes maintains. “It helps with car payments, PUD payments, whatever.” However, both Geddes and Adams worry about the future of the VFW. “There are not a lot of vets who come in here,” Adams says. “A lot of locals, but not a lot of vets. Vets tend to stick to themselves.” Geddes agrees, saying when he was a VFW commander, things were different. “We were all World War II veterans, we enjoyed getting together, having a place to go.” That’s probably key to why they worry about keeping the doors open.
“Our primary goal is to help vets, the second is to keep our doors open.”
Need more information?
– Barry Adams, Post 4760 commander
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After only a few months as commander, Adams is finding out the position is a busy and often frustrating one. Goals include getting more younger veterans in the building and involved with the organization. “In this day and age,” he says, “the next generation thinks the VFW is an old folks home.” Another goal is to open the clothing room to include anyone in Sequim. “If anybody is in need of clothing, not just vets,” he contends, “we would like to have them be able to take advantage of what we have.” Conversely, if anyone has clothing to donate, VFW Post 4760 is a good place to do so. Adams’ present project is trying to start a support group for those suffering from Post Traumatic Syndrome Disorder or PTSD. In fact, while talking, his phone rang several times concerning the project. “It’s turning out to be a bit more difficult than I thought,” he laments. “I hope it works out, it’s something I think we need here.” But, Adams again reminds the primary purpose of the VFW is to help veterans in any way possible. Go dance, eat breakfast, wear a poppy, buy a cookbook, take advantage of what’s offered at your local VFW post. n
VFW Post 1760 Commander Barry Adams 169 E. Washington St. PO Box 427 Sequim, WA 98382 Phone: 360-683-9546 Fax: 360-683-8021 Alt: 360-683-9123 club Visit: www.vfwpost4760.com
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Memories of a
‘date which will live in infamy’ World War II veteran Roy Carter shares stories of the Pearl Harbor attack Story by Mary Powell “My name is Roy Carter. I joined the Navy 77 years ago. I will be 96 next month. I hope that you will find what I say today will be of interest. It will be a little history because history was one of my favorite subjects years ago.” Roy Carter The day began as most days did for Roy Carter and his fellow sailors aboard the USS Oklahoma, three of whom he considered close friends. It was Sunday, Dec. 7, 1941, and Senior Petty Officer 2nd class Carter was busy stowing his clothing in his locker when the loud speaker blared, “air attack, all hands man your battle stations.” Sunday mornings were a time of leisure for many U.S. military personnel at Pearl Harbor. Many were either still asleep, in mess halls eating breakfast or getting ready for church services. At 7:55 on that Sunday morning, they were completely unaware that an attack was imminent. Then the explosions began and low-flying aircraft shocked many into the realization this was not a training exercise and that Pearl Harbor was under attack. At 8 a.m., Admiral Husband Kimmel, in charge of Pearl Harbor, sent out a dispatch to all in the U.S. naval fleet: “Air raid on Pearl Harbor, this is not a drill.” The attack by the Japanese took only one hour and 15 minutes, but killed 2,403 U.S. personnel, including 68 civilians, and destroyed or damaged 19 U.S. Navy ships, including the eight battleships. Roy Carter was one of the lucky survivors. In 1938, at age 18, Roy D. Carter, an Iowa boy, joined the Navy. There was no draft at that point, but like most his age, he bought into the popular line, “Join the Navy and see the World.” In the midst of the Great Depression, with very few jobs to be had, there was a huge
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a t y Steel cables pull the USS Oklahoma battleship halfway over and then right her. The views of the ship are from the stern of the capsized battleship, looking forward. Photo courtesy of Roy Carter increase in the number of young men who wanted to join the service. But the selection of recruits became more difficult, Carter said, adding that in 1938, only one in 10 qualified for the Navy. “When I joined the Navy, the pay was $21 (per month), and after boot camp we received $36 per month,” Carter remembers. “I was amazed that after four years many men were still making the $36. The education level was about sixth grade and many could not pass the required tests to advancement.” Josephus Daniels, Secretary of the Navy in World War I, did much to further education for enlisted men, arguing that education was the key to opportunity in a modern society. He wanted the opportunity for enlisted men to compete for an appointment to the Naval Academy. Through his efforts, sailors were able to attend classes on board their ships and learn a trade. After boot camp, Carter and his three buddies from Company 19 were assigned to the battleship USS Oklahoma, which was stationed in Bremerton. Each carried the two items assigned to all sailors; a hammock and a ditty bag to hold belongings such as socks and underwear.
“We never saw the hammock once aboard,” he chuckled. The USS Oklahoma was commissioned in 1916 and served in World War I. Carter called the Oklahoma a “technological marvel.” “It had things prior ships did not have, a range finder and plotter to determine where the target would be when the shell got there.” A week after Carter boarded the Oklahoma, she went into dry dock. His first job was to scrape barnacles off the side of the ship, a job he admits he didn’t care for at all. “That was not what I called learning a trade, that or scrubbing the deck,” he said. About six months later, there was an opening in what Carter called the R Division, which were the carpenters and ship-fitters. He requested a transfer and got it. “During battle conditions, the R Division’s job was damage control,” Carter explained. Little did they know that the R Division would have its hands full trying to keep up with damage control on Dec. 7, 1941. Torpedoes began hitting the Oklahoma as soon as the air attack announcement was made.
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Five interesting facts following Pearl Harbor attack 1. Of the eight battleships that were targeted during the attacks, all but two eventually were repaired and returned to the U.S. Navy’s fleet, those two being the USS Arizona and the USS Oklahoma.
2. Veterans of the attack can be laid to rest
Roy Carter served on the USS Oklahoma, one of eight battleships sunk on Dec. 7, 1941, in Pearl Harbor. In 1943, as shown, the battleship was raised from the mud. Photo courtesy of Roy Carter “There was no way we could close all water“I’m the only survivor left of the four,” he tight doors, hatches, ports and blisters,” Carter lamented. said of those first few startling minutes. Part In 1938, after getting out of dry dock in of the reason is that everything on board was Bremerton, the Oklahoma sailed the inland open for a planned inspection by Admiral passage to Vancouver, Canada. A somewhat Isaac Kidd, who never did make his way to the humorous situation involving the anchor had Oklahoma that day. Instead, Kidd was killed them headed back to Bremerton for another on the bridge of the USS Arizona during the anchor. When the ship docked in Vancouver, attack, the highest ranking American killed by they dropped anchor. After a couple of days the Japanese since 73 in Vancouver it was years earlier. time to leave. When “Torpedoes were the last link of the hitting the Oklahoma. anchor chains could be No one knew how seen, alas, there was many until she was – Roy Carter, no anchor. Another righted three weeks anchor was dropped US Navy, World War II and divers from the R later,” Carter said. The Navy battle damage Division tried to find assessment board the first anchor. No report indicated a total luck. “So we pulled the of nine torpedoes hit the battleship, eight second anchor up and left for Bremerton for a midship and one hit the rudder. replacement,” Carter relayed. Carter describes the chaos of the day: Then it was off to San Francisco. “We got “I was at my battle station and immediately under way at about four knots because it was ran to the hatch and water door that led to very foggy,” Carter said when they leaving the aft steering area. As I started to close San Francisco. From the bridge of the ship, the spring-loaded hatch, Mike Stuz, a the lookout saw a tug on the port side. The quartermaster 3/C, was running up the ladder Oklahoma backed down and the tug passed its from the aft steering. He said, ‘Let me by, I bow. Attached to the tug was a cable which was have to get to my battle station.’ I let him by attached to a barge carrying box cars. and closed the spring-loaded hatch that could “Well, we hit the cable, which caused the only be opened or closed from the third deck. barge to hit our port side,” Carter recalled. The Torpedoes were still hitting the Oklahoma. barge lost one box car, but did not sink. By the time I got to the water-high door, all The Oklahoma left for Hawaii in August lights and communication were out. We were 1941 and encountered a massive storm. In turning over, lumber was falling from the the process of installing gun shutters in the overhead.” casement of the guns, three men were injured The reason is that the Oklahoma had rolled by waves on the boat deck. One man was lost over and was listing at about 159 degrees, overboard. causing items to fall from above. Carter never “The log the next day said lost at sea and saw Mike Stuz again, nor his three friends who the listed the man’s name,” Carter said of the went to boot camp together. incident. “There was no way for us to find him.”
“I’ve still got my marbles at 95.”
at Pearl Harbor. Crew members who served on board the USS Arizona may choose to have their ashes deposited by divers beneath one of the sunken Arizona’s gun turrets. About 30 Arizona survivors have chosen this option and less than a dozen of the 355 survivors are known to be alive.
3. The day before the attack, the USS Arizona took on a full load of fuel, much of which helped ignite the explosion and subsequent fires that destroyed the ship. Some of that fuel continues to seep out of the wreckage. According to the History Channel, the Arizona “continues to spill two to nine quarts of oil into the harbor each day and visitors often say it is as if the ship were still bleeding.
4. Service members stationed in Hawaii treat Pearl Harbor as a living memorial and have been known to rally around it when times are tough. When the U.S. government shut down in October 2013, a spontaneous group of service members and families gathered to tend the seemingly abandoned site.
5. Many tourists from Japan come to visit the memorial. Japan, now one of America’s strongest allies, is the largest source of international tourists to visit Hawaii and pay their respects at Pearl Harbor just as Americans do. Source: Associated Press
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With the Oklahoma fully under attack, Carter began to work his way to the ammunition trunk used for gun turret 4. Lucky for him, he said, the trunk was open all the way to top side. When the ship got to roughly 90 degrees over, “I crawled on my hands and knees up to the top side. I got into the water and almost immediately water started to fill that trunk. The suction was such that I was pulled under. When I got back to the surface I was covered completely with oil from head to foot.” If possible, things became more terrifying. “In order to see what was going on, I rolled over on my back. There were five high altitude bombers who dropped five bombs — I thought they would hit me. Due to the trajectory, these bombs landed even with the Arizona and out about a block. I saw B-17s circling Hickam Field.” Carter’s luck continued as he spotted a motor launch close by and managed to pull himself in. When the launch was full from other survivors swimming in the harbor, it headed to the submarine base. “There was a crew there that scrubbed the oil from those of us who were covered with oil, Carter recalled. He was then given a pair of dungarees, shorts, T-shirt and shirt, socks and shoes, plus a white hat and a blanket. On the way to the submarine base, Carter saw the USS Arizona burning, which, he said, lasted for a couple of days.
The seven U.S. battleships on Battleship Row NEVADA: Just after the Nevada was hit by one torpedo, it left its berth to head toward the harbor entrance, but was struck by Japanese bombers.
declared that Dec. 7, 1941 would be “a date which will live in infamy.” On Dec. 8, President Roosevelt asked Congress for and received a declaration of war against Japan.
After he scrubbed the oil off of himself, Carter spent the day at the submarine base and that night slept in one of the bowling alleys. ARIZONA: The Arizona was struck a number of times by “There was a lot of gunfire that night,” Carter said. “There were planes bombs, one of which was thought to have hit the forward from the USS Enterprise (aircraft magazine, causing a massive explosion. Approximately 1,100 carrier) that wanted to land at Ford of her crew were killed. A memorial has been placed over the Island (an islet in the middle of Pearl Arizona’s wreckage in Pearl Harbor. Harbor), it was dark and they were fired on and four were shot down.” TENNESSEE: The Tennessee was hit by two bombs and was The second night after the attack, Carter again slept in the bowling alley. damaged by oil fires, but managed to stay afloat. The next day he was assigned to the USS Pelius, a submarine tender. After WEST VIRGINIA: Hit by up to nine torpedoes and quickly about three months he was sent to sank. Ford Island Naval Air Station for flight training school. MARYLAND: Hit by two bombs but was not heavily damaged. Carter’s thought was that after he got out of the Navy he would be able to OKLAHOMA: Was hit by up to nine torpedoes and then listed fly commercial airplanes. So when he so severely that she turned nearly upside down. A large numwas asked if he still wanted to continue ber of her crew were trapped on board. Rescue efforts were the flight training program, his answer only able to save 32 of her crew. was yes. He was shipped back to the states, finished the program and was CALIFORNIA: Struck by two torpedoes and hit by a bomb. commission Ensign and a Naval Aviator. “I made 39 missions out of Dunkswell, The flooding grew out of control and the California sank three England, our squadron was submarine days later. hunters,” he said. Source: History.com Japan surrendered on Aug. 14, 1945, ending the war. Atomic bombs were Bywater, a British naval authority. It was a dropped on Hiroshima on Aug. 6 and realistic account of a clash between the United Nagasaki on Aug. 9 — at least 100,000 people States and Japan that begins with the Japanese A series of somewhat complicated events died in the atomic bombings. Japanese officials destruction of the U.S. fleet and proceeds to a led to the attack on Pearl Harbor. In his written signed the surrender document on the USS Japanese attack on Guam and the Philippines. memories of his time in the Navy, Carter said Missouri in Tokyo Harbor on Sept. 2, 1945. When Britain’s Royal Air Force successfully it was his belief that the plan to attack Pearl Carter eventually was recommended for attacked the Italian fleet at Taranto on Nov. 11, Harbor began on Nov. 11, 1940. History books a Medal of Honor and had to obtain letters 1940, Yamamoto was convinced that Bywater’s tell us war between Japan and the United by three of his fellow sailors who knew what fiction could become reality. States had been a possibility that each nation’s happened when the Oklahoma was struck. He The Japanese specifically chose to attack on military forces planned since the 1920s, had an interview with two admirals, “one did a Sunday because they believed the Americans though real tension did not begin until the 1931 the talking, the other just observed.” would be more relaxed on a weekend. Earlier invasion of Manchuria by Japan. “When I got to the part about crawling that morning, a radar operator on Oahu saw a Over the next decade, Japan expanded on my hand and knees, he said the meeting large group of airplanes on his screen heading slowly into China and in 1940 invaded French was over. I thought he could have questioned toward the island. He called his superior Indochina in an effort to embargo all imports me more. Apparently he didn’t know the who told him it was probably a group of U.S. into China. The Japanese wanted to continue Oklahoma rallied over 159 ½ degrees, and at B-17 bombers and not to worry about it. The their expansion within Asia but the United roughly 90 degrees anyone could crawl up that States had placed an embargo on Japan with the Japanese launched their airplanes in two trunk on their hands and knees.” hope of curbing Japan’s aggression. Rather than waves, approximately 45 minutes apart. The Carter went on to say he thought the admiral giving in to U.S. demands, the Japanese decided first wave of planes struck Pearl Harbor at 7:55 must have thought he was lying. a.m., the second wave reached Pearl Harbor to launch a surprise attack against the United “I did not mention that all the time that I was around 8:40 a.m. States in an attempt to destroy its naval power closing the water-tight hatch and door, the nine When Japanese Commander Mitsuo and Pacific fleet. torpedoes were hitting the Oklahoma.” Fuchida called out “Tora! Tora! Tora!”, (“Tiger! Planning for the attack on Pearl Harbor Two years after after the attack at Pearl Tiger! Tiger!”), it was a message to the entire had begun in very early 1941 by Admiral Harbor the Navy decided the Oklahoma was Japanese Navy telling them they had caught the not salvageable due to how much damage Isoroku Yamamoto. Two things inspired Americans by surprise. Yamamoto’s Pearl Harbor idea: a prophetic she had received. The Oklahoma was The day following the attack on Pearl book and a historic attack. The book was “The decommissioned on Sept. 1, 1944, and sold in Harbor, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt Great Pacific War,” written in 1925 by Hector 1945 to Moore Drydock Company in Oakland,
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Calif. The Oklahoma parted her tow line and sank on May 17, 1947, 549 miles out, bound from Pearl Harbor to San Francisco. Today, there is a memorial to the USS Oklahoma and the 429 sailors and Marines who lost their lives on Dec. 7, 1941, located on Ford Island in Pearl Harbor. “The Oklahoma chose the sea,” Carter wrote. In the meantime, Carter chose a bride, his wife Barbara. It was 1943 and a shipmate of his was dating a young woman who just happened to have a younger sister. The shipmate told Carter he ought to write to the younger sister, so he did. And a pleasant pen pal relationship blossomed. “The first time I met her I was in flight training,” he recalled. “I met her in Chicago, where she lived.” He ended up renting a room nearby her home and stayed a few days. He went back home to Iowa and told his mother, “I met the girl I’m going to marry.” And sure enough, he called her, said, “Come on down and let’s get married,” which they did in 1944. After Carter graduated from the Illinois Institute of Technology, the couple moved to Wisconsin where they raised three children, two sons and a daughter. One son served in Vietnam. Carter admitted to being concerned about him during his tour. His only grandson
wanted to attend the Naval Academy, but when he began the process of applying, found he was one year too old. His daughter and her husband were killed in the July 19, 1989, United Airlines crash in Sioux City, Iowa. The first time Barbara and Roy visited Sequim, they went back to Wisconsin, put their home up for sale and moved to Sequim in 1986. They’ve lived in the Sunland community, where both enjoyed a daily round of golf, since they arrived. And fishing. “Barbara loved to go fishing,” Carter smiled. “So we fished in the Strait, never caught anything, but had a lot of fun.” Five years ago, Barbara died of complications from Alzheimer’s disease. Carter took care of his bride for 13 years while she fought the disease. They were married for 60 years. When the war was over, Carter returned to the United States and was assigned to a transport squadron. But after seven years and three months of service in the Navy, he decided to get out. He did stay in the Naval Reserve and after nearly 22 total years, retired as a lieutenant commander. Carter used the GI Bill to attend Illinois Institute of Technology and earned his degree in engineering. He worked in the insurance
industry and eventually owned his own agency. Today, Carter lives in the same house he and Barbara shared for 28 years. He no longer plays golf, but enjoys visiting friends who live at The Lodge in Sequim. In fact, as soon as he sells his home, he will live at The Lodge. He admits it will be a bit difficult to pack up and leave the memories, but, like many of us, taking care of a house can be arduous as life goes on. Albeit, Carter is a healthy, capable and intelligent man. “Yes,” he said, “I’ve still got my marbles at 95.” The memories of his time in the Navy and in particular, the attack on Pearl Harbor, are impeccable, entertaining and sobering. He has written a memoir, mostly for his children so that they may have an understanding of history from their father’s point of view. “The events leading up the Dec. 7, 1941, will always be clouded in controversy,” Carter asserts. “I used to be asked, who do I blame for the attack on Pearl Harbor. My opinion may be different than yours or maybe you don’t have an opinion.” But, he added, “My last words are always, ‘Remember Pearl Harbor.’” Thank you for the history lesson, Roy Carter, aka Red Dog — a nickname the young redhead was called by his Navy buddies — and thank you for your service to our country. n
Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing
Hardy’s Market owner Randy Dupont invariably greets each of the bustling convenience store’s customers with a “Howdy, neighbor!” as they line up for many of its homemade tasty treats. Dupont says this “world-famous” carrot cake recipe came from the family of an employee and is made fresh on site daily. Hardy’s sells the heavenly, melt-in-your-mouth pieces in palm-sized slabs, plenty large enough to share or save half for seconds.
Hardy’s Market Carrot Cake • • • • •
In a large mixing bowl, add 4 eggs and 1 ½ cups oil, beat together. Beat in 2 cups sugar, 2 teaspoons baking soda, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, ½ teaspoon salt. Beat in 2 cups flour, 3 cups shredded carrots and an 8-ounce can of undrained crushed pineapple. Pour into 9-inch by 13-inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.
Icing • •
Blend together 1 stick of butter (¼ pound) and 8 ounces of cream cheese Mix in one 32-ounce box of powdered sugar
Dupont purchased Hardy’s Market, at 10200 Old Olympic Highway, Sequim, in late 2006. The old-fashioned neighborhood market, decorated with nostalgic items on almost every surface, features friendly staff who usually call customers by name, natural foods, including sandwiches, coffee and desserts, in addition to a regular market where you can purchase your items for everyday living needs. Amenities, besides the sandwiches gladly made to order, include a sitting room with a flat-screen TV, cafe tables and chairs, free Wi-Fi, a drive-thru window and Dupont’s big personality and wry wit. Hours are 6 a.m.-9 p.m. daily. Order ahead at 360-582-0240.
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The P-51 Mustangs originally were built during World War II by the North American Aviation Company for the British, who needed escort planes for their long-range missions in Europe. The Collings Foundation’s Betty Jane was built as one of the 1750 P-51Cs in the North American’s Texas plant. In 2002 and 2003, Betty Jane was rebuilt and modified as a trainer with addition of second seat and controls.
HOW TIME FLIES Preserving the aviation history of the Greatest Generation
A chance encounter with history
This past summer, a friend mentioned that a display of World War II aircraft would be coming to William R. Fairchild International Airport for a “living history” event slated for the end of June. This Wings of Freedom Tour was sponsored by the Massachusettsbased Collings Foundation. The touring event offers the public a unique opportunity to see rare vintage planes that have been restored to flying condition. “Any B-25s?” I asked my friend. The answer was disappointing: “None were listed on the program.” During World War II, my father crewed as a B-25 tail-gunner out of Morocco, North Africa. I knew of the B-25 aircraft since early childhood, but I knew little about them, and I’d never seen one in person. My father died when I was 4 and there are so many things I wish I could have asked him. When I heard about the Wings tour, I had hoped to see a B-25. That wish seemed impossible — until my friend called me from the airport. It was the first day of the Wings tour and he had good news: “Hey! There’s a B-25 here!” Within minutes I was on my way to see it. When I arrived, the tarmac was filled with people of all ages who had come to see the historical planes in person. The nonprofit
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Collings Foundation regularly sponsors these tours at various locations throughout the country. Here on the Olympic Peninsula, members of the Clallam County Pilots Association offer local support for this special programming. CCPA president Jerry Nichols explains the routine: “Every two years we coordinate ground activities at Fairchild International Airport for the foundation’s event. For safety, volunteers ensure that spectators keep a safe distance from the operating aircraft. Ruddell Motors loans us vans for ground transportation and The Red Lion provides hotel accommodations.”
Close encounters with a B-25
When I arrived at the airport, I saw the B-25. Her name is Tondelayo and she was parked near the gate. A knowledgeable young volunteer answered my questions about the plane, which was much smaller than I had envisioned. He allowed me to climb up some steps so I could peek inside — it was very compact. There were no frills, just the basics, and just enough room for the crew. I thanked the volunteer for his assistance before heading off to see the other planes. I took photos of the 1930s B-17 Flying Fortress — a massive workhorse sporting a
skillfully riveted exterior. The Consolidated B-24 Liberator is another large plane included in the tour. This fully restored B-24 is now the world’s only Liberator still flying. Next up was P-51 Mustang named Betty Jane. The P-51 is a favorite fighter of World War II and the Korean War. Betty Jane is well preserved. She’s pretty, petite and has a reputation for being fast. After I took some photos of her, I noticed that Tondelayo had taken to the skies. After she landed, I had a chance to speak with her young pilot. He was a vintage aircraft enthusiast who also works as a mechanic. Fortunately, there are people alive today who value the history of military aviation. Their interest helps to preserve this important knowledge that figures prominently in the lives of the Greatest Generation.
A modern pilot looks back
Jeff Well is a local pilot and flight instructor. His business, Rite Brothers Aviation, is based at Fairchild International Airport in Port Angeles. At 61, he’s flown and worked as a mechanic on many planes — including vintage craft. Well and his fellow “boomer” pilots belong to the generation that followed those who served in World War II. Despite the differences in these
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two generations, Well appreciates both the triumphs and limitations of the early technology and he respects those who built and crewed the planes. As a young man, he befriended an older neighbor who shared with him many of his wartime experiences. The stories captivated Well, who offers his take on the Greatest Generation and the planes they flew. Were the older planes simpler? “It depends on how you look at things,” he says. “Later jet engines were powerful, but they were also simpler. The earlier large radial engines were super-charged. To keep those planes flying took a lot of finesse. They had to do whatever it took to optimize their performance. Those engines generated a tremendous amount of horsepower.” What about the crew? “By today’s standards, they had very little training. There was a different attitude and a strong focus on getting the job done. With a war going on, time was limited and resources were scarce. The actual flight time when they were training wasn’t as much as they should have had. Most of the pilots had a secondary education. Today, they’re all college graduates.” Well describes the spartan conditions of those early days: “The crews had no creature comforts and had to dress for the weather and
After her flight, Tondelayo heads back to the tarmac. temperatures at high altitudes.” He explains how the technology for weather forecasting was not nearly what it is today. Planes often spent a lot of time grounded as they waited for the weather to clear. “There were some tough decisions to be made during war,” he says. “How do you save the most lives by sacrificing the fewest lives — still knowing that lives must be sacrificed? People grew up fast …” Indeed. As the Greatest Generation passes into
More Information: • The Collings Foundation website: www. collingsfoundation.org. • Clallam County Pilots Association newsletter: www.wpaflys.org/Chapters/ Clallam_County/Clallam_County • Rite Brothers Aviation: www.ritebros.com
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Sequim Senior Singles celebrates 25th
Story and photos by Patricia Morrison Coate You might be pardoned, while walking past the Sequim Gazette Community Room one beautiful July day, if you guessed the giggles and peals of laughter were coming from a group of 20-somethings. This gaggle of seven women and one man buzzed in conversation, sharing memories of friendship, some going back 25 years. The youngster in the bunch was Barbara Miller, 70, while Louella Lematta and Fran Aaron both reigned supreme at age 90. Also adding to the congenial chatter were Tom Davies and Charlotte Frazier, both 80; Doris Scott, 83; Joyce McCorkle, 84; and Pat Anderson, 85. They’d come to talk about the history and upcoming 25th anniversary of Sequim Senior Singles on Sept. 14 and to explain, most emphatically, that “it’s not a dating service!” The club, for singles age 50 and over, is about friendship and fun — and especially sociability. According to Miller, a member since 2011 and this year’s president, “In 1990, four women were having lunch at the Paradise Restaurant. They were all widows and didn’t see themselves as singles but just as widows. They wanted some sort of social function that was a dignified way for people to meet and socialize with each other.” News of the club spread by word of mouth and by 2001, there were 100 members. In 2015, membership is holding strong at 94.
Clockwise, from left, Earl Karich, Pete Reiter and Linda Chapman share congenial conversation at the annual picnic.
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This lively group of Sequim Senior Singles recently met to talk about the club’s 25-year history. Front row, from left are Louella Lematta, 90; Joyce McCorkle, 84; and Pat Anderson, 85. Back row, from left are Charlotte Frazier, 80; Barbara Miller, 70; Doris Scott, 83; Fran Aaron, 90; and Tom Davies, 80.
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“It was more formalized than today,” said Davies, “with monthly social events at the Dungeness Golf Course and we had several groups that did bridge, hiking, horseshoes and poker. The key was they wanted a social club where women could relax and not be hit on — although a lot of people have gotten married. We’re mature people with friendships.” Davies has been a member since 2002. Anderson, a charter member since 1990, recalled, “In the early days, we’d go whale watching to Friday Harbor and take other excursions.” Nodding at Davies among a passel of gal pals, she said, “It’s never been 50/50 men and women but when we started, it was better mixed.” The uneven ratio didn’t deter anyone in this group from joining, many after the death of a longtime spouse. That’s how it was for Aaron who recalled, “After my husband Marvin died, it took me about a year before I said, ‘I’ve gotta get out of this house.’ It’s been a lifesaver for me.” McCorkle nodded in understanding. “I was looking for a place to eat not by myself all the time. I like the ability to have someone to eat with on a regular basis — to meet, greet and eat with people in similar circumstances.” Sequim Senior Singles provides plenty of opportunities to do just that. “Every month we have a breakfast, lunch and dinner. About 15-20 attend the breakfasts and dinners and 40-60 the monthly lunches,” Miller said, adding that the club rotates among different eateries in town. But the group’s activities are more than fellowship over food. Davies said they have at least 10 activities a month, healthy for mind and body, including bridge, canasta, cribbage, pinochle, game days, golf and hiking outings, Scrabble and Qwirkle board games, and a double dose of the very popular Mexican Train played with dominoes. Many of the activities have been going on for a quarter century, like the bridge groups that still attract 30 devoted players, members said. “Seventy percent of the population in Sequim is retired so this is a perfect place to have a social club,” Miller said. “For $20 a year in dues I pay to have fun and make friends. These are my playmates — 10 of us are going on an Alaska cruise.” “We are a community of older people looking for something to do that doesn’t cost a lot,” Anderson said. “It’s got nothing to do with religious or political affiliations — we’re of an age that we want to be involved. I find it so interesting, the life stories of new individuals because sometimes they are similar to my own.” Special activities are having an annual summer picnic, an outing at 7 Cedars Casino twice a year, a Christmas party and an Octoberfest potluck. This year’s picnic drew about 40 attendees who enjoyed a buffet at Pioneer Park. Pete Reiter, sharing conservation with Earl Karich and Linda Chapman, said he joined the club three years ago “after my wife
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Sequim Senior Singles Activities
“We are a community of older people looking for something to do that doesn’t cost a lot... We’re of an age that we want to be involved.”
Dues $20 annually
– Pat Anderson, Sequim Senior Singles Member
BRIDGE • First and third Thursdays, 1 p.m. Call Lilli Gomes at 683-7717. • Third Saturday potluck, noon. Call Tom Davies at 582-3167. CANASTA • First Friday, 1 p.m. Call Bobbie Dahm at 582-9873. CRIBBAGE • Second and fourth Thursdays, 1 p.m. Call Barbara Miller at 640-4133. PINOCHLE • First Tuesday, 1 p.m. Call Mary Bland at 797-1665. MEXICAN TRAIN • Second Sunday, 1 p.m. Call Barbara Miller at 640-4133. • Fourth Sunday, 1 p.m. Call Lillian Chapman at 683-5932. SCRABBLE • First and third Mondays, 1 p.m. Call Bobbie Dahm at 582-9873. QWIRKLE • Second and fourth Tuesdays, 1 p.m. Call Barbara Miller at 640-4133. GAME DAY • Third Sunday, 1 p.m. Call Lillian Chapman at 683-5932. GOLF Call Lilli Gomes at 683-7717 for details. HIKING • Wednesdays, 8:45 a.m., Sequim Safeway gas station. Call Earl Karich at 582-0050. • Fridays, 8:45 a.m., alternates between Sequim Safeway gas station and Port Angeles Haggen’s parking lot. Call Earl Karich at 582-0050. BREAKFAST OUT • Second Tuesday, 9 a.m. Call Bobbie Dahm at 582-9873 to reserve a seat. LUNCH OUT • Last Wednesday, 11:30 a.m. Call Jeri Head at 683-1635 to reserve a seat. DINNER OUT • Third Wednesday, 5 p.m. Call Gail Watson at 775-6450 to reserve a seat.
died to ease the transition from a couple’s thing.” The club always is up for new activities, Miller said. “Our major focus is activities that move our older bodies instead of just sitting. We need to set better examples so one of our future goals is walking with or without dogs at a leisurely pace for an aerobic benefit.” Why has the club endured for 25 years? In a word — networking. “We have callers who call four or five people and ask if they want to attend an activity,” Frazier said. “There’s some contact with every member every month. Our call coordinator, Lillian Chapman, is God’s gift to organization and a lot of it is word of mouth, too.” Frazier joined in 2002. Membership dues are $20 a year and help support programs such as Toys for Tots, the Sequim Food Bank and the Northwest Raptor and Wildlife Center. At the monthly meetings there are speakers who address issues important to senior citizens, plus entertainment. Those interested in membership can attend three luncheons before committing to join, Miller said. The anniversary luncheon is at noon Monday, Sept. 14, at the Shipley Center with special entertainment and games afterward. Officers are Miller, president; Betty Saviano, vice president; Gail Watson, secretary; Janet Read, treasurer; and Linda Cherry, newsletter editor. The monthly newsletter includes new member welcomes, birthdays, events and quotable quips overheard. “Being president is really fun in this club because everyone really wants to have fun and not be bossed around,” Miller said. “I can facilitate and delegate to my heart’s content. We have a team that is enthusiastic and that cares about each other. The callers make this club a communication hub for seniors.” n
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Pacific Veteran recalls 13 major battles with the USS Bradford Story and photos by Patricia Morrison Coate At age 87, Don Alward of Port Angeles is a fine figure of a man — trim with a ramrod bearing and neatly cropped mustache. His forearms bear faded navy blue tattoos with a nautical theme, signaling to one and all that he is a World War II veteran, one of an elite class that dwindles every year. “All these things I’m telling you are little stories but they were big at the time. Night and day, night and day, it was boom, boom, boom,” Alward says with the clarity of memory some seven decades after, with his father’s permission, he lied about his age of 15 and joined the Navy in 1942. “Because of my sister being quarantined, I lost a year in school and they were going to put me a year back. That put my heart on fire and I was mad,” Alward recalls, “so I lied about my age and away I went to San Diego and I started a real interesting part of my life.” Alward was trained as a signalman third class and was assigned to the USS Bradford 545, the second modern destroyer built on the West Coast and one of four that would see extensive duty in the Pacific Theater. It was commissioned in June 1943. He explains, “During World War II, there was no radio communication between ships because it would be intercepted by the Japanese, so we had to do night signals with flag letters (alpha, baker, charlie), flag hoists and flag bags to get messages to the other destroyers. As a signalman, all the brains to make the ship go were in communications.” Signalmen were stationed on the bridge and Alward remembers in graphic, detailed vignettes the 13 major battles he and his shipmates endured aboard the Bradford. Campaigns included Gilbert-Marshall Island, Hollandia New Guinea, Marianas,
Iwo Jima, Okinawa and the first amphibious landing on Kogoshima, Japan. During the assault on the Gilberts, the Bradford and a sister ship, the USS Brown, were attacked by 18 torpedo bombers, destroying three Japanese planes without sustaining damage to the destroyers. “There were so many battles — I was in every major battle through the war in the Pacific, from Pearl Harbor (1943) where we weren’t directly hit but we could see smoking ships,” Alward says. “We would be in a convoy with a troop ship, a couple of cruisers and a battleship. The destroyers were used to protect the bigger ships because we were fast at 29 knots (42 mph) and that was really hitting high speed at that time. We had 5-inch, 38 millimeter cannons.” Being a fresh-faced teenager, what was his fear level of being in battle? “I wasn’t afraid — that was the dumb thing — I never was afraid of anything. I was too busy to be afraid. I just did everything I had to do,” Alward says.
“Okinawa was a bloody mess, a butcher. The Japanese had everything set up to break everybody — they thought they’d won the war. One particular time when I was on the bridge we’d come into Okinawa to get fuel and usually we had smoke to hide in but they saw our mast. There was a godawful rmmmmm and I could see a kamikaze clip past us. I could feel the fire as it hit two tugs. Another time a torpedo hit another destroyer and I saw the whole bow
blow off. We came to the rescue and there were guys screaming in the water, guys already in the water blown up. ‘Save me, don’t let me drown,’ one called out. I was on the 30-foot bridge and I dove into the water, barely missing a man-ofwar’s tentacles. A kid was screaming, ‘Pick me up, you SOB!’ There were injured, dying and dead — that was everyday stuff.”
The battle for Iwo Jima lasted from FebruaryMarch, 1945. “We were training for the Battle of Iwo Jima and the Navy sent us in as a lookout to see if we could draw fire from a Japanese gunboat but nothing happened. We trained with two companies of Marines and the second time in, at the first landing, there were dive bombers and battleships shooting over us for several days. The Japanese were firing down on the landing. The Bradford made it possible to take Iwo Jima and I saw the first flag raising at Mount Suribachi — the second was the one in the (famous) photo.” Alward vividly recalls burials at sea, bodies in canvas bags of sons, brothers, uncles, husbands and sweethearts.
Fall 2015 LOP 27
“It was nothing but blood and guts the whole time. We all were so used to death after a while you just accepted it. I don’t think I’m a hero. I just had a job to do like all the other guys.”
What was his closest call? “Oh, there were so many. Once we were escorting two small Canadian carriers back to Pearl Harbor. Five groups of torpedo planes came in and everybody on ship thought we’d get sunk. They dropped torpedoes and I can see it now — six torpedoes went underneath us and you could see them in the water. We were going as fast as we could zigzagging. We got saved because the torpedoes had been loaded for much larger, deeper ships and sank well below us, so that was one time we got saved.” In a final push for the Japanese government to surrender, atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945, and Nagasaki on Aug. 8. Emperor Hirohito announced Japan’s surrender to the Allies on Aug. 14 and on Aug. 28, the occupation of Japan by the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers began. The Bradford served as fire support off the coast in case the Japanese continued to resist the Allies landing and finally set sail for the U.S. on Oct. 31. “The war was over and we were giggling and laughing, it was such a load off our head,” Alward recalls. “The war was over and there was a lot of hate.” Just shy of his 18th birthday at the end of the war, Alward was honorably discharged on Jan. 8, 1946, remaining in the Navy Reserve until 1954. He was awarded these medals: Combat Action Ribbon, Navy Unit Citation, American Area Campaign, Pacific Campaign, World War II Victory Medal, Occupation Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Asiatic Pacific Area Campaign Medal with 13 major battles,
Outstanding Single Ship Commendation and Admiral’s Commendation with a Star Medal. According to Esther Alward, Don’s wife of 32 years, “After leaving the Navy in 1946, he joined a friend who lived in Topeka, Kan. Don went to work for the Bell Telephone System in Topeka for two years, was then transferred to Seattle for a year, then to Port Angeles where Above, a Navy artist drew this pen and ink rendition of Don Alward’s he retired after 36 years destroyer, the USS Bradford, in 1944. of telephone service. During those years he worked as a repairman, League in 1995 and played the bagpipes for the lineman and construction splicer.” Detachment Honor Guard on many occasions. While in Topeka, he met and married Agnes He was designated as the The “Marine of the Meinhardt and they had seven children before Year” in 1997 and given the honor of receiving her death. His surviving six children reside the “Honor Guard” bronze, numbered statue in the Port Angeles area. He married Esther for his exemplary dedication to the Corps. In Murray of Gardiner in 1982. the honor guard he also has been on the rifle “Being of Scottish descent, in 1953, Don was squad and now is the bugler playing taps at determined to learn how to play the bagpipes. funerals, memorials and at the bell-ringing He spent many early hours before going to ceremony on the last Friday of the month at work writing music and learning how to play the Veterans Memorial Park in Port Angeles. the bagpipes from books,” Esther Alward said. Medals awarded from the Marine Corps “He became a very accomplished and popular League include the Individual Meritorious piper to the community. Don started the Commendation Ribbon Honor Guard, bagpipe band, North Olympic Highlanders. He Distinguished Service Bronze, Distinguished is no longer able to play the bagpipes due to the Citizen Ribbon, Community Service Ribbon progression of Parkinson’s disease and misses and Marine Corps League Membership them as they were a large and important part of Ribbon. He also is an active participant in the his life.” Marine Corp’s Toys for Tots program. Alward was accepted for membership in the Yes, for veteran and patriot Don Alward, it’s Mount Olympus Detachment 897 Marine Corps been a real interesting life. n
Left: Don Alward stands proudly in his military bagpiper’s regalia in 2000. He taught himself to play and started a bagpipe band. Middle: Don Alward paints in vivid detail the battles he was in from 1943-1945 while serving as a signalman on the USS Bradford. Right: Alward wears several World War II service medals and medals from the Mount Olympus Detachment 897 Marine Corps League.
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Left: The Fletcher brothers, from left, Frankie, Henry and Walter, pictured about 1929. All three served in World War II and Walter was killed. Photo courtesy of Florence Miles Right: Neal Macauley before the war working in his family’s grocery store in the Odd Fellows Building in downtown Forks. Forks Forum Archives
World War II through the eyes of a small town newspaper Story by Christi Baron
uring World War II, most West End residents followed the news of the war through three sources: radio broadcasts, newspapers and newsreels that preceded the movies at the Olympic Theater. These sources helped connect the home front with the war front and kept Americans informed about the progress of the fighting overseas as well as its impact on the community. Although the Forks Forum didn’t have any famous correspondents on the front lines, the community could boast that Edward R. Murrow, well, his parents anyway, had resided at Tyee for a time. Murrow’s father had worked as a locomotive engineer and his family had lived for a while in one of the company houses near Beaver. But for the most part, the news the local weekly paper received was from parents and relatives and sometimes a letter to home from a serviceman himself. But those personal reports documented in the hometown paper
were no less important than the flickering newsreels or the famous voices on the radio. As each hometown boy went off to war, his name was added to an ever-growing list published each week in the paper. At one point close to 250 names filled the entire one side of a page. Quite a large number for a small community. As a new normal for life at home began, it was all reported in the Forks Forum with tire, sugar, gas and coffee rationing; plane observers, defense stamp sales, war bonds, blackouts and no lighted signs. The Navy recruiting office offered hours from 6 a.m.-11 p.m. and registration for the Selective Service was reported for 18-20 year olds. And the news of those serving, those wounded and those lost was reported as front page news:
C. Welch, son of Thomas M. Welch Sr., was released recently from the Department of War. The telegram received by the family only stated that Cpl. Welch was killed in the line of duty somewhere in the South Pacific on July 31, 1943. Cpl. Welch is the first in our community to lose his life in World War II and the first inductee from Bogachiel. He entered the armed services on March 28, 1941. The last letter received by his father stated that he was on an island in the active battle area. Prior to entering the armed services, Cpl. Welch was employed by Brager Brother Logging. In addition to a host of friends who mourn his untimely death, Cpl. Welch leaves his father, brother Tom, stationed in Kansas, and two sisters in Ohio. Cpl. Welch is the nephew of Mrs. Ira Crippen and the second cousin of Pete Brandeberry.
9/10/43 George Welch Lost Life in South Pacific The tragic news of the death of Cpl. George
7/27/44 PFC. Frederick Cramer, 21, USMC, Killed in Action Pfc. Cramer was killed in the Central Pacific
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30 LOP Fall 2015
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Theater according to word received by his mother, Mrs. Zora Cramer, of Sekiu. The young Marine had been through the Solomon Island campaign, including action on Guadalcanal early in the war. Pfc. Cramer was born in Clallam Bay on June 24, 1923. 8/3/44 Frank Damon Jr. Killed in Action Word was just received that Frank Daman, Jr., previously reported missing in action, was killed in the Mediterranean. Frank lived in Forks several years and is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Daman of Bremerton. 11/1/44 Sgt. Wittenborn Killed in Action Mr. and Mrs. Tim Wittenborn received the shocking news that their son, Staff Sergeant Arthur Wittenborn, had been killed while fighting in Europe. Sgt. Wittenborn was with the invading troops that landed in France on D-Day and held the Bronze Star for meritorious achievement in the line of duty. He also was the holder of the Purple Heart resulting from wounds and had just returned to combat. Arthur was well known among his friends as a great hunter and fisherman and a great lover of the outdoors, as well as an outstanding athlete. He is survived by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. W.J. Wittenborn, brother Ernest, grandmother Mrs. A.B. Cameron, uncle Lefty Hayes and a host of friends. 12/14/44 George Vogel Loses Life in South Pacific The entire communities of Forks and Bogachiel were shocked and grieved upon receiving the tragic news that Ensign George Vogel had been killed in action. George had made his home with the Howard Cochran family from the time he was 5 years old until he had completed three years of high school at Forks. He then went to Oregon to work with his father in the woods. During that time he completed his high school work though correspondence.
5/3/45 Lt. Walter Fletcher Killed in Germany First Lieutenant Walter A. Fletcher, husband of Mrs. Helen Fletcher of Forks, was killed in action on April 15, 1945, according to a telegram received from the War Department. Walter A. Fletcher was born March 22, 1914, to Mr. and Mrs. A.A. Fletcher, and graduated from Forks High School in 1930. He later attended Washington State College in Pullman. Walter enlisted in the Army in August 1942 and graduated Officers Training School at Fort Benning, Ga. Lt. Fletcher took part in battles in France, Belgium, Holland and Germany. News of Lt. Fletcher’s death was a great shock to the community. During his lifelong residence in Forks, Walter endeared himself in the hearts of many. Survivors include his wife, Helen, parents, brothers Chief Radio Technician Henry Fletcher, and Staff Sergeant Frank Fletcher. And then there were those that made it through the war only to not make it home. • Lorrel L. Cassell, Army, World War II, survived combat only to be killed in a plane crash returning home from his tour of duty, Dec. 8, 1945. • Earl K. Brandeberry, Army, World War II, survived combat, but was killed after reenlistment, he received the Distinguished Flying Cross. Forks Forum readers had followed Brandeberry’s daring flying escapades all through the war in the pages of the Forum. Then there were those regular hometown guys that did extraordinary things. • Lt. Neal Macauley — Europe July 1944 — Shot in the shoulder October 1944 — Shot in the hip February 1945 — Received the Bronze Star for heroic achievement in combat February 1945 — Received the Silver Star for gallantry. While pinned down, Lt. Macauley heard on the radio that one of his men was wounded and the platoon sergeant killed. Under intense enemy
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And over the war many more West End servicemen would be decorated for outstanding service. • Herman Witherow — Philippines May 1942 — Taken prisoner in the fall of Corregidor and spent the entire war in Japanese camps in the Philippines and later Japan. Feb. 1, 1945 — Witherow’s parents shared a letter with the Forks Forum and it was front page news because it was the first time they had heard from him in a year. The letter was short and it said to tell everyone hello and Witherow mentioned that the weather had been rainy. The letter came from Camp Osaka which was near Tokyo. He also asked if his parents might send him some photos of themselves. The letter was undated. In September 1945 Witherow was released. On Thursday, Aug. 16, 1945, the headline on the front page of the Forks Forum … WAR ENDS — V-J Day Joyfully Heralded in Forks The long awaited V-J Day came at 4 p.m. on Tuesday. The first heralding of victory was at 4:02 with the sounding of the fire siren. Next, McGuire Tuttle Lumber Company blew its mill whistle. Police sirens and auto horns added to the heralding of victory. A free dance was held at the Odd Fellows Hall. Wednesday morning the OPA announced that gas rationing, fuel oil rationing and canned fruit and vegetable rationing ended with V-J Day. Some businesses closed and logging camps shut down and no mail was delivered on Wednesday …The war was over. n
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fire Lt. Macauley rushed to the injured man, administered first aid then organized several men to cover him and rushed an adjacent building. The enemy was driven to a cellar and forced to surrender. In April 1945 First Lt. Macauley was wounded for the third time since D-Day.
Fall 2015 LOP 31
Home Front Heroes
Young mother’s diary tells of sacrifices during wartime Story compiled by Patricia Morrison Coate Historical material courtesy of the Clallam County Historical Society For the baby boomer generation, those born between 1946-1964, and generations since, the deprivations and sacrifices of the “Greatest Generation” on the home front are difficult to fathom. Nearly every facet of American society was affected from the bombing of Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, to the Japanese surrender on V-J Day on Aug. 14, 1945. What follows is a sketch of those historic times by one of the Clallam County residents who lived them: Alice Laithe of North Lincoln Street in Port Angeles was a married mother in her early 30s when she began a fiveyear diary on, as President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared, “a day which will live in infamy.” Her husband Arthur was in his early 50s at the start of the war. Her entries are from Dec. 7, 1941-March 22, 1943. No one knows why
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Dec. 7 — Our radio has just brought the news that Hawaii has been bombed by enemy planes in a surprise attack of an undeclared war. Dec. 8 — President Roosevelt declared war against Japan. Manilla (Philippines) area bombed including Fort McKinley (where Michael was stationed early this year). Port Angeles’ public address car has ordered a complete blackout at 5 p.m. Mrs. Roosevelt (the president’s wife) and Mayor La Guardia have flown to the Pacific coast to direct civilian defense. There was an air raid alarm in New York yesterday. My thoughts are of Monty and Frank on the cutter Spencer; Ben on the cutter Ingham and Bill in Boston Harbor on Gallup Island.
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she stopped confiding in her diary — perhaps her life as a young housewife just got too busy. The following are excerpts from her green leatherbound diary, which was donated to the Clallam County Historical Society.
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Dec. 11 — Signal fires in the form of an arrow were reported found outside Port Angeles in the direction of Seattle yesterday. Our blackouts continue each evening. Last night from 12:30 a.m. till 7:30 a.m. Over the radio has just come the news that Italy and Germany have declared war on us. I baked a cake last night and sent it out to Iva Foster to give to the soldiers stationed across from her store at Lincoln Park when they come in for coffee. Dec. 12 — It is now 11 p.m. and it has been rather a quiet day as far as war news. I have just finished baking and frosting another cake to send out to the soldiers in the morning. There were reports of a submarine in the Straits today but our planes at the airbase haven’t denied or confirmed the report. Our last blackout was 1:30 a.m. to 7:45 a.m. The same is planned for tonite. Today I saw a truck loaded with 7 1/3 tons of barbed wire and a companion truck loaded with bales of gunny sacks. I wondered where they were to be used. Dec. 28 — We went ahead with our Christmas plans as nearly as we could. As we ate our bountiful dinner, I know we all wondered what next Christmas would bring.
Feb. 7 — Arthur and I watched a convoy of two oil tankers, a destroyer and a shore patrol boat. Feb. 9 — Plans are under way for rationing sugar. Today the entire nation and Canada went on daylight saving time to give our defense workers longer daylight hours for their work. President Roosevelt has seen fit to call it “defense time.” Feb. 16 — I am working out at the service
station every nite. Have been since shortly after the first of the year. The 30th Infantry is here. Many nice boys are in the group. April 12 — The 30th Infantry has returned to Fort Lewis and has been replace by a New York outfit. Today we had two of the boys to dinner. April 25 — Arthur registers for the draft. April 26 — There is talk of gas rationing and already the service stations have been cut on their hours and gallons. Sugar rationing starts soon. I register on Wednesday. The Army has moved in many hundreds of mules without explanation. May 6 — Today we register for sugar on a national basis — ½ pound per person per week. May 21 — Company “C” of the 44th left yesterday for La Push. Aug. 20 — Official dim-out on the peninsula starts tonite. Civilian police will patrol. Art goes on at 12 a.m. and stays until 3 a.m. September — All street lights are dimmed and all cars must operate with parking lights only and a speed limit of 15 miles an hour. Oct. 18 — Donald Kerr was killed in an air crash in Canada while on temporary duty with the Canadian Air Force. Military services were held in Quebec for he and two fellow officers. Nov. 30 — Coffee rationing starts today. We will use the high numbers in our sugar book — one pound per person every five weeks. Dec. 1 — Gas rationing starts today. Our class is “A” — 4 gallons per week. Dec. 5 — Received a check for 25 cents from Uncle Sam for the tire we turned in. Ha Ha.
Jan. 6 — This marked our second war
Christmas. It is not possible to buy more than ½ pound of butter at a time. We had five soldiers and a soldier’s wife for dinner. Feb. 1 — Sales of fuel oil frozen until after registration on Feb. 15. Feb. 6 — Government announced unexpectedly rationing of shoes. Three pairs per person per year. Feb. 25 — Worked from 4-7 p.m. at the USO. Then went and registered for our ration book #2 which covers canned goods. March 22 — Butter frozen unexpectedly … Arthur and Alice Laithe survive the war — He died in 1978 at the age of 88 and she died in 1995 at the age of 85. Clallam County loses 58 men. Congressional Medal of Honor winner Marine Pvt. Richard B. Anderson, killed at Kwajalein Atoll (in the Marshall Islands midway between Hawaii and Australia), is honored for bravery and valor beyond the call of duty. Sequim native Seaman First Class Henry C. Echternkamp, dies after Pearl Harbor of severe burns suffered in the Japanese attack on the battleship Arizona. He receives the Purple Heart posthumously and later the VFW post in Sequim is named for him. Sailor Marlyn Nelson, age 19, also died in the attack on Pearl Harbor on the USS California. The county named a park on Port Williams Road in his name and erected a memorial monument there to him. Overall, 405,399 Americans are killed and 1,076,245 are casualties of World War II.” n
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Fall 2015 LOP 33
Roots and Wings By Rev. Pam Douglas-Smith
Held in the palm of my hand, a small token full of meaning … brought forth from a small faded blue box with a blue crushed velvet lining. This gift is of remembrance and timelessness from one generation to another. A tarnished silver pin, darkened with age that needs polishing to restore its shining patina. Wings outspread in full extension around a central shield … my father’s United States Army Air Force Wings from World War II. For this is a pilot’s pin, a reminder of dedication, service and of so much more. As I hold it, images flash before me … the past and present weave together in a tapestry of remembrance. I recall the black and white photos in albums created decades before when my parents first met amid a world in which war burst upon them unexpectedly. Both so young, full of hope, and in love. My father stands tall in his uniform as he gazes into the camera lens with quiet assurance. He will complete his pilot’s training and travel the world during the war. My mother in a wide-brimmed hat and sundress leans into him with a radiant smile. She will discover her ability to support the war effort as she remains home and finds work that utilizes her degree. So young, these two … both of whom have returned to Spirit some 25 years apart after a lifetime of journeying together. One couple reflective of so many who lived in those times. Their generation has become known as the Greatest Generation in recognition of their willingness to stand up for their beliefs and lay down their lives for others. The word “greatest” expresses their dedication to the Greater Good and in this, they have left a legacy of honor and commitment for all of us who followed. They are living expressions of Albert Schweitzer’s profound truth when he said, “I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I do know: The only ones among you who will be really happy are those who
34 LOP Fall 2015
have sought and found how to serve.” They served and they are all wished every happiness filled with our gratitude on this 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. My father’s wings remind me of what he and his generation were called to do … be truly present in the world and offer the best of themselves in service. The image of wings and shield are reminders of how we too are called to be both grounded and uplifted as we traverse the landscape of our lives as they unfold in expected and unexpected ways. There is a wonderful quote from Hodding Carter that summarizes the gifts they have left us and that we can pass on to our children and future generations: “There are two things we should give our children, one is ROOTS and the other is WINGS.” The central shield of the pilot’s pin is one of presence and protection. It reminds one to be at the center of one’s own life and to be the landing strip where soaring possibilities are grounded and made manifest. To be grounded and truly present in the moment is captured beautifully by the concept of ROOTS. Think of how a tree grows reaching up into the sky, but only because it is firmly attached to the earth with extensive root systems that sustain it. To be rooted is to be truly present and aware in each moment of one’s life, drawing nourishment from deep connections to life. One of the keynote voices of the Greatest Generation is the esteemed Eleanor Roosevelt and she reminds us that “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift; that’s why they call it the present.” This awareness provides an ongoing gift to us as we seek support in the unfolding of our lives. Be rooted … be grounded … be present. The WINGS opening to catch the wind for flight extend from each side of
the pilot’s shield. This is a reminder that we are also spirit and meant to fly as we expand beyond the limitations of what we know. It calls us out of ourselves into a greater world while it invites us to perceive ourselves as full of infinite possibilities. To soar on the wind is to live with passion and joy. It is to take who we each are and share the gifts that come from each of us into an expanded world. Eleanor Roosevelt inspires us with her words, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” For to use one’s wings is to be willing to take leaps of faith that allow one to not only vision a possibility, but to give it flight. To let it catch the winds of support that will uplift not only us, but others. This can carry us forward, renewed and inspired with a higher vision of our lives. Fly free … be inspired … follow your dreams. To honor the past and to invoke the possibilities of the future, let us remember the words from a writer in the generation that followed theirs. Let us take the legacy they have gifted us with and empower ourselves to carry their dedication to service and to living life to the fullest with this inspiration from Richard Bach. Words of root and words of wing … “When you have come to the edge of all the light you have And step into the darkness of the unknown Believe that one of the two will happen to you Either you’ll find something solid to stand on Or you’ll be taught how to fly!” The Rev. Pam Douglas-Smith is the minister at the Unity Spiritual Enrichment Center in Port Townsend who leads international spiritual pilgrimages. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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