Sunday, May 29, 2016

Memorial Day 2016




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As we picnic, watch a parade, get sunburned, swim or have fun, let us remember those who served in our armed services to preserve our freedoms.

My Dad was just eighteen when he joined the US Army in early 1941 and was assigned to the 135th Medical Regiment. Already War was raging in Europe but it was still the great Depression in the US. He graduated early in 1941 from high school and then enlisted.

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Trying to look older? 


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With his little sister summer of 1941 before off to training at Camp Shelby, Mississippi.

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He sent his parents this really strange pillow cover with scenes of tents, eagles, flags, marching men and roses from Camp Shelby Mississippi

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My dad at 19 in the Army at Ft. Shelby, Mississippi



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Originally the 135th was made of entirely Wisconsin men, later men from other states were added.
Eventually the 135th Medical Regiment was made up of over 1500 men and women.


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Scan of a photo I have in my possession, photographer Spencer Wyckoff, Detroit Michigan. Practicing for war in June 1941. My dad talked little about the war, but they constructed this camp from the ground up. 

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My dad in the middle, all he ever said was he was in the Philippines, New Guinea and finally assigned to a  field hospital in Australia. 


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Blown up grainy original photo from a brownie camera, size 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" transport plane arrived in Philippines or New Guinea, not sure. 


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Airstrip for planes, that's mud to the side there.


Taking the area over from the enemy, New Guinea he thought when asked. Nothing was written on the pictures he took. And the field hospital below. I dug these pictures out in 2010, from moldy albums where they had been buried in boxes in the basement. 




Vintage Postcard

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Out in the bush---my dad's hospital unit. 

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Medical units were targets but seldom saw attacking action. That's my Dad third from the left, kinda out of uniform. He said it was blistering hot there.They have a 'captured' Japanese flag. 

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From New Guinea they moved to Australia and set up operations to take care of the more seriously wounded for the last two years of the war.  Dad worked in care units, sanitary units, and wounded transportation. He often road the railroads moving wounded from one hospital to another. 

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Another pillow cover in wool from Australia for his parents. I had no idea there were skiing Koalas anywhere in Australia. 

Early in 1944 with a recurring case of malaria, my Dad worked a hospital transport liner across the Pacific to the USA. He said he worked the "E" ward, or the mental unit.  He never said more than that, but another soldier's account stated a 'patient' jumped from the ship and was lost before they landed in San Francisco. I plan to find records of exactly where he was and the places he was assigned to for my boys.

My Dad never shared any details with any of us. I had to pry the little bit I could out of him. I do remember Dad having malaria attacks in the early 1950's. So many soldiers came home suffering various diseases from their service in the Pacific.




My parents, high school sweethearts were married in December 1945 in Amarillo, Texas. Dad was still in the Army and they moved to Long Island, N.Y. until he was mustered out.This is the boarding house they stayed in in Amarillo. The other couple also married and lived 10 miles from my parents' home in Wisconsin.


Source
In November of 2010,  Dad and Uncle Bud who served in Europe,  made an Honor Flight to Washington, D.C..
This is the WWII Memorial with the Washington Monument in the background.




With a volunteer assigned to each veteran, the plane took off from Milwaukee, Wisconsin at 5 a.m. Many of the volunteers were and are veterans themselves and pay their own way. The gentleman in the red jackets served two tours in Vietnam and was my dad's volunteer escort.




My Dad was ready to go off on his day long trip---touring the monuments, Arlington Cemetery, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the WWII Memorial. No easy feat to load over a hundred aging veterans on and off a plane and tour our capital.

 But, the best part of the day--was the parade, bands, honor guard, acres of family members, flags, balloons and signs greeting them at the airport when they returned late that night.


There were no parades in 1944-5 when they trickled home. 
My dad had tears in his eyes...and always said it was the most important thing he ever experienced. 
He passed in 2012 and is buried with my mother in the Southeastern Wisconsin Veterans Cemetery in Union Grove, Wisconsin. 

Thank-you Dad and all the other Dads, Mothers, sisters, brothers, sons, daughters who have served.

And so we HONOR the DEAD and the LIVING who served our country, 
on

MEMORIAL DAY

less we ever forget OUR FREEDOMS come at a cost. 

Please donate to your local Stars and Stripes Honor Flights and give a veteran a thank-you trip and a deserved welcome home!

Thanks so much for visiting and I will be happy to answer any comments or questions.


All the opinions and photographs in this blog are my own, I have not been paid or reimbursed in anyway for my opinions or posts. Please do not use photos without linking back to this blog. Thank you for your cooperation, Sandi Magle



Sandi



16 comments:

  1. What a great tribute to your Dad, Sandi. Love all of the photographs, thanks for sharing! Blessings, Cecilia

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    1. Thanks Cecilia, I hope to find more information in the future, Sandi

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    2. Thanks Cecilia, I hope to find more information in the future, Sandi

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  2. Hi Sandi,
    thank you for this so touching post and for the lovely comment you left on ~ My little old world ~ I appreciate so much !

    Hope you had a blessed Memorial Day I'm sending dear hugs to you

    Daniela

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    1. Thanks for stopping and you, too Daniela, Sandi

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  3. Loved seeing all the old pictures from the WWII time. Takes me back to pictures of my own parents who married at 16 and 19 before my father shipped out to war. thanks.

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    1. My mom said we he came home, she had forgotten what Dad looked like as he was 18 when he left and 23 when he made it home. I can't even fathom that. And because of the distance there are only a few letters here and there, because once over there he never made it home until the end. Thanks for stopping, Sandi

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  4. Dear Sandi:
    This tribute is amazing and I will definitely be featuring this on my Special Features on Sunday morning. Thank you and thank him for his service.

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  5. Thank you so much for sharing your dad's amazing journey at Talk of the Town.
    You're so fortunate to have these photos and all the memories of your dad. My grandmother kept an album of my dad's Korean War photos and they're a precious reminder to all of us!

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    1. When you have to piece the pieces together---it is a treasure. I just hope all the Vets would get the chance to do the Honor Flight. Last night our bowling league dedicated 1/4 of the the 'take' to Honor Flights! Smiles, Sandi

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  6. Dear Sandi:
    This post was featured today on my blog - congratulations! It was wonderful!

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  7. Dear Sandi:
    This post was featured today on my blog - congratulations! It was wonderful!

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  8. Thanks so much dear, honored and my dad would say the same, smiles! Sandi

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  9. Such a heartfelt post. Thank you for sharing it at SYC! Jo

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  10. What a beautiful tribute! Loved seeing all the photos and learning about your dad. I love Memorial Day and honoring our loved ones who have passed on. Thanks for sharing with SYC.
    hugs,
    Jann

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Thank you for any and all comments. I will reply to any questions!
And great to meet you, Sandi