My nephew Dan resurrected this recording he made some twenty years ago of my father's experiences during WWII. Like most WWII veterans, he is modest about his five year "vacation". He joined the Naval Reserve a year before the war, was switched into the regular Navy (October 1940) and sent to Philadelphia where he trained. The ships he eventually sailed on were reconfigured at the Sun Oil shipyards in Chester, Pa. to deliver oil to Pearl Harbor. Eventually those same Sun shipyards in Chester, Pennsylvania became Laran Bronze Foundry where the eagles and much of the bronze work was created for the WWII Memorial. Parts of the Laran building were filled with old ship templates.
He volunteered for the newly formed Naval Air Service and was sent to Natal, Brazil to work on and fly in PBY Submarine Hunters. All of our soldiers and sailors were given two salaries: one salary went home and the other they were encouraged to spend in Brazil to keep the economy sound. He joked that if nothing else, he learned to dance and sail during his time in Brazil. A number of his squardron's PBY planes were lost to submarine activity along the Eastern Coast of South America.
He did not live to see the WWII Memorial but enthusiastic in all things, he would have been down at the site supervising the construction if he had. In fact there were a number of WWII Veterans who parked themselves near the construction site to watch. When the eagles were still on the ground, I had the opportunity to write his name and service location on the inside of the Eagle. This is the internal structure of the Eagle on the Southwest side of the Pacific Arch. This photo is in the WWII Memorial Book.
WWII MemorialMy father's name, aircraft type and service imprinted on the steel of the SouthWestern eagle on the Pacific side of the Mall.
*this works on a desktop machine but not on a portable device"