Monday, November 11, 2013

Salute to Veterans



Old Glory waves in the November air here in Northwest Arkansas. It serves as a reminder that today is Veterans Day. With that being said, I'm going to share a salute to one veteran.

My father joined the Navy in 1943. He was a telegraph operator for the Frisco Railroad and he became a radio/telegraph operator for the Navy. Dad could type 105 words per minute on a manual typewriter!!! He could send and receive Morris Code in excess of 70 words per minute! Trust me, that puts him in a class by himself.

Dad was assigned to the U.S.S. Bunker Hill, an Essex Class aircraft carrier. The Bunker Hill served in the Pacific theater. She provided air support for the invasion of Iwo Jima, Tarawa, the Marianas and other islands. She had a crew of approximately 1500 men.


At 10:10 a.m. on May 11, 1945, two Kamazi's hit the Bunker Hill, ripping gaping holes in the flight deck and turning parts of the ship into an inferno.


The Bunker Hill burned for three days before the fires were brought under control. Only the U.S.S. Hornet, and U.S.S. Franklin suffered more damage without being sunk than the Bunker Hill.

Hundreds of brave young men lost their lives that day. Fortunately, my father was among the living. Like most of these warriors, he has said very little about the war over the years. The truth is, words cannot describe the terror of war, nor make anyone understand what the warrior must endure. The survivors spent another three days burying the dead and sea and trying to get the ship seaworthy enough to sail toward help.
As I mentioned last year, we are losing these brave men and women, who truly saved the world, at the rate of 1200 per day. They are nearly all in their 80's and 90's now. They will not be with us much longer. On this Veteran's Day seek out one of these patriots and personally thank them for their sacrifice and their contribution to the life that we enjoy. You may not get another chance.

Thanks Dad.

Note, this post was first published on November, 9 2009.  Dad passed away 5 weeks later on December 16, 2009.

31 comments:

  1. What a wonderful tribute to not only your father but every remaining WWII vet. Awesome.

    Have a terrific day. Big hug. :)

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  2. Marvelous idea ... wish I'd thought of it. Wonderful tribute to your Dad and other vets ;-)
    Hugs and blessings,

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  3. Your dad looks so good! We who haven't been, cannot ubderstand the terror and ugliness of war. We see those who truly put duty above selves in WWII. The horror of war will not cease until the return of Jesus, Patti has friends from WWII from working at the newspaper - but their ranks are thinning, the older vets being from Korea. We go to a nice event in Derby on Wed, a nice rememberence on Nov. 11. A thoughtful look at a true hero, your dad!

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  4. My salute to the great brave men who fought with your dad.. My salute to your dad as well!!!

    My Ruby Tuesday entry here.

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  5. Great post, thanks. And thanks to your dad.

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  6. Excellent. I thank your father for his service, and you as well for yours.

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  7. A very sweet post of your tribute to your dad :)
    This would have made a great post for last Saturday's PhotoHunt theme(Veterans & Military) as well :)

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  8. Our salute to your dad, he is a hero! My husband is retiring next year for his 20 years of service. His dad and uncle were in the military too.. Happy veteran's Day!

    Please come and find out what our little fashionista has to say.

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  9. Excellent post!
    Give your Dad one more extra hug. :)

    Love the header shot - nice, sleek, and yet very comfy looking.
    Carletta’s Captures.

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  10. Hi Driller, your dad is looking good. And pretty old. I have a first cousin his age who served in Europe. You have brought him to mind today for me. Thank you.

    Happy RT! This is an excellent post and tribute to veterans. And especially to your dad.
    Did he take up ham radio? I learned electronics in the Army and have been a ham radio person ever since, for 48 years.
    ..
    BTW, your recliner header picture looks very comfortable. Do you blog from there?
    ..

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  11. Thank you for giving a tribute to the Veterans, which I am one. Tell your father we are all proud of him.

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  12. Totally impressive typing skills of your father! This is really a nice tribute of him and his comrades.

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  13. Oh boy....I love this entry! Every BIT of it. And your father, in the last photo, is VERY handsome and proud looking!!!!

    My R T is posted. In honor of Veterans [kinda sorta]...it's museum quality to be sure.

    Click Here

    Happy Tuesday to you!

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  14. Lovely tribute for Veterans Day. You have great reasons to be proud of your father!

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  15. your Dad is a handsome man - then and now
    he has a strong and kind face
    my hat off to him

    I volunteer at the VFW and the VA hospital
    I adore "my guys" - I cook for them and drive them to appts. and most of all I learn so much from them

    they have filled my life and heart

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  16. Wonderful post! And your Dad looks just the same - how cool!

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  17. a great post! Just in time for Canada's rememberance day! Lest we forget!

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  18. A wonderful tribute Sir...I am hopeful your dad's health is being dealt with and he is feeling well.

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  19. Driller Beautiful post! My Uncle served on Pearl as a radio operator, my father was an Air Force radio operator during the Korean conflict. My husband was a Marine in Viet Nam and we are both Licensed amateur radio operators, My husband loves to send CW or communicating via morse code! This was a very special WW vets post for me on many levels thank you!

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  20. I have to say, of all the posts I've seen today, yours reached in and got hold of my heart. This is my first Remembrance day without my dad who enlisted in the Canadian Armed Forces in 1942.

    Please give your Dad an extra squeeze for me.

    God bless those who served and those who serve now.

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  21. I echo that, thanks (to your) Dad:)

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  22. One great big thank you from our family for serving! That is a wonderful tribute to your father!

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  23. Thanks to your father from me as well.

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  24. I have been looking for information on the Bunker Hill to tell my son about his paternal Grandfather who served during WW2 on the Bunker Hill as well.

    Unfortunately, my son never met him. He passed away in May 2010 without knowing my son existed. A lot can be said about character which comes with a price in the form of unselfish service to country and his Grandfather's generation certainly didn't run from duty. An important lesson to pass on to my son.

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  25. I'll again say what a wonderful tribute to your father and all remaining WWII veterans.

    Have a blessed day. ☺

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  26. Beautiful tribute! Thanks to all who have served and do serve our nation. What a great way to honor your father. Thank you.

    RETA@ http://evenhaazer.blogspot.com

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  27. I'm thankful for your dad, amazing skills to communicate in code... so thankful he survived and you are here. My dad too was a WWII vet and is buried at Tahoma National Cemetery near Kent WA. Yes, we are losing that great generation at an every increasing rate, so sad, we miss them. Thank you for remembering and honoring our veterans today.

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  28. Thank you for republishing this. Three old gals get so much of the ink when it comes time to talk WWII aircraft carriers - Enterprise, Hornet, Yorktown - because they were the last line of defense for so many months at the outset of the war. But Bunker Hill was a fine ship with an outstanding combat record as well...11 battle stars to her very fine name.

    Once again I thank you for your service and the service of your family.

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  29. «Louis» salutes you for saluting those, especially your father, who served (and are now serving) in our military!

    Being a WWII history buff (particularly Navy history*), «Louis» particularly appreciates your photos of and comments about Bunker Hill. «Louis» frequently visits another Essex-class carrier, Hornet CV12 at Alameda, CA. CV12 replaced Hornet CV8 which was lost in the Battle of Santa Cruz Islands in October, 1942, only months after she launched the B-25s used in the Doolittle raid over Tokyo. CV12 is berthed at Pier 3 at the former Alameda Naval Air Station, the same pier where CV8 took on the B-25s used in the Doolittle raid.

    Admirals Nimitz, Lockwood, Spruance and Turner and their wives are buried at the U.S. Military Cemetery in San Bruno, CA. «Louis» likes to visit on Memorial Day or attend the Tolling of the Boats Ceremony at the U.S.S. Pampanito at Pier 45 in San Francisco.

    * «Louis» owns and has read all 15 volumes of Samuel Eliot Morison's History of U.S. Naval Operations in World War II.

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  30. Great post Driller. Your Dad is truly a hero.

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