Dad’s obituaries, which focused on his entertainment career, only touched upon his military service during World War II. Dad didn’t like to talk about his wartime experiences while I was young. At some point, I came across his cache of service medals in our home and he had some ’splainin to do. As Dad got older, he was more forthcoming. Recently, he seemed to need to talk about it, but his recall and retelling of events was mixed up. Luckily, a year ago Dad’s cousin Tom in New Jersey discovered a website dedicated to my father’s B-17 bomb group and its members, and asked Dad for photos and other firsthand information so he could post a page on him. I was amazed at the material my mother turned up: photos, diplomas, and newspaper clippings. Most of it I can’t recall seeing before. Mom’s memory ably served up certain facts and details about which Dad was unclear. I scanned these artifacts and sent them electronically to Tom, and here is that webpage.
Understanding nothing about the Internet, Dad was flabbergasted when a new resident of his community greeted him with, “You’re a hero! I just read all about you,” and showed him a printout. This was a great source of pride to Dad. At his request I printed out multiple color copies of his webpage, so he could hand them out to everyone he met.