My father served in the U.S. Navy in the Pacific during World War II, ending his naval career as a Second Class Electricians Mate (EM-2). He served on several destroyers throughout the Pacific during World War II, even decommissioning one destroyer at 32nd Street in San Diego. Later, Dad served as part of the occupational forces in Japan after the war ended, serving in Yokosuka, where I later served on USS Midway, the first permanently home-ported aircraft carrier.
Dad grew up in the small farming community of Ioka, Utah, where his mother was the community nurse, postmistress and much more.
My family is basically a Navy family. I am proud to say that I had 11 uncles serve in World War II. My hero is my uncle Eugene. He was on USS New Orleans, a cruiser, when Pearl Harbor was bombed. He said he saw his shipmates get blown up. The Japanese had blown off the bow of the ship. They were able to get the ship underway and had to steam 1,000 miles backwards to a port to get the ship repaired. After that Uncle Gene was in every major sea battle in the South Pacific. He recalls the Battle of the Coral Sea. They went to general quarters and closed all the hatches.
My uncle joined the Merchant Marines before our involvement in World War II. The service of the Merchant Marines gets NO recognition at all. WHY? They brought materials, arms and ammo to England while it was at war. Two ships were torpedoed from under my uncle and he kept going back to sea. If that isn't heroic, nothing is.
Here's a little about my father. Dad went into the Army during World War II and ended up at Fort Bragg in 1943 and then went off to Europe.
After his service during WWII he was discharged from the Army. He met my mother and they married in 1947 in Cameron, W.Va. This is a very important fact. As Korea started to get hot, my dad re-enlisted and was off to Korea. My mom also enlisted in the Women's Army Corps and served her time during the Korean War.
In Maryville, Missouri, Sons of the American Legion (SAL) Post 464 held a special event to honor veterans who could not make an Honor Flight. The Veterans' Day of Honor, modeled after Kansas City, Missouri's, "flightless Honor Flight," took place Nov. 5, 2016, at a new performing arts center at the local high school. Between 15 and 20 veteran honorees attended.
The Honor Flight program attempts to bring World War II, Korean War and Vietnam veterans to Washington, D.C., to honor them and to show them the memorials dedicated to them and their comrades.