Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veterans Day - The Pacific WWII Memorial

Daddy, severed in the Pacific during WWII. He would be hit with shrapnel, and suffer from malaria. He was on the beach when Douglas MacArthur was evacuating the Philippines. He had a lump on his forehead that turned out to be shrapnel it worked it's way out when he was in his 50s a doctor removed it.

My sister's recollection of our father's service.

The dimple in the middle of Daddy's chin is supposedly where he got hit by shrapnel--sometimes I thought he was joking with us, but I don't know. Uncle Mike would know this. Daddy was stationed in the Philippines, near Manila. I don't remember the plane at all. He did contract malaria and got sick every year for years after that at that same time, losing weight and looking generally under the weather big time. Malaria must recur yearly until it finally gets out of your system. I do recall that he hated MacArthur and remembers soldiers carrying MacArthur's house furniture onto the beach to be loaded for the ship--this was when they needed to evacuate and Daddy was outraged that furniture was even a consideration.
I do recall a story of using coconuts buried in the sand that the troops had somehow prepared and then the warm temperatures would cause the coconut milk to ferment and they had alcohol. Voila, instant party.
It is my memory that the picture of Dad with the Japanese prisoner is one he captured. It was not his job to guard troops, but he was in the infantry. Basically, Daddy was on a patrol which was spread out, maybe clearing an area, and this young Japanese soldier jumped up or he somehow came upon him and it was a big surprise for both and they were both scared shitless. Perhaps the young Japanese had no gun, but he raised his hands and Daddy took him back to base, where his buddies took the picture. We should check with Uncle Mike about this again.

All of my father's siblings but one, served during WWII, one of his elder sisters a Nurse an Army Lieutenant - she was married to an Army Officer Lt Col Charles Lawrence "Uncle Peanut" Uncle Charles was from Birmingham, Alabama, and he loved boiled peanuts. Uncle Charles was a chemist, and my Aunt his wife was the first company nurse for E.I. DuPont De NeMours company. My grandfather had been killed in an infamous explosion at DuPont. Most of our family worked for the company, later a street would be named in Dupont for our family for being one of the early DuPont families. I am the daughter, grand daughter, wife, aunt, niece, COUSIN, sister in law, daughter in law of American Military Service Veterans. God Bless them all, and ALL those who serve along side them.

MacArthur - I Shall Return

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