The latest including news about my father - Printable Version

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The latest including news about my father - Walt's Daughter - 02-12-2011

Lots going on in the background this week, including some cool stuff regarding my father. :armata_PDT_37:


As many of you know, I am trying to get my dad's purple heart and through it all have come back in contact with some of my family members. My cousin Dawn said her mom remembers a lot about my father, and so last night I called Shirley and we must have talked for over two hours. It was wonderful on many levels, but first...


Quick note so you get the family thing straight - Shirley was the daughter of Martha, my dad's older sister. Dawn is Shirley's daughter. Got that? :armata_PDT_01: So we are first and second cousins, respectively.


She as so many others have, expounded on the fact of how great a man he really was. I often wondered throughout the years if my memories were blown out of proportion; we all know how that happens. Face it; it's been a long, long time. But no matter how people I run across, whether they were relatives or old friends, etc., everyone has nothing but praise and kindness for my dad. Talk about making me feel on top of the world!! :bluejumper:


Shirley told me she remembers my dad showing her his purple heart. WOW! Really I replied. Oh yes she stated, your dad showed us what he brought back and told us many stories about the war. She said he talked a lot about ANZIO. No surprise there. That was sheer hell. She said he talked about buddies getting blown up and seeing one of his friends die before his eyes on a beach landing while exiting a landing craft. She said the war had a huge impact on his life and emphasized how much he changed when he returned home.


She also told me that after he came home he developed migraine headaches and experienced those till he died. I had no idea; I never knew this. I'm getting all teary-eyed writing this. My poor father.


She told me he wrote many letters home to his sister Martha and the family. Many of you will remember the postcard I have, which he sent home to his mother, Mary. That's the only one I have. And no, (there was so much going on last night), I didn't ask her if she might have those in her possession. But I guess my dad sent home an accordion, but it never arrived home. Dang. That would have been a nice souvenir.


I discovered my Uncle Eddie, dad's older brother, was also in the war. But Aunt Shirley said he was in the Pacific. I am going to look him up in the records and see what I can find. I asked her if anyone else in his family fought in WWII, but she said just your dad and Ed. It was then she told me her father tried to enlist, but was given a 4F. Said she knew he had flat-feet, but she said there may have been other physical reasons he was turned down. Said her dad (my dad's brother-in-law) was very upset he couldn't fight and would never talked about it.

Oh Eddie was severely injured when a jeep he was driving hit a land mine. Guess he sustained a shattered hip and several other injuries, in the blast.


My dad had two older brothers, Joe and Ed, and older sister, Martha and then a younger brother Al Jr.


She said she remembers a story about my dad, and said something about Sargent. WHAT? She told me it's been a long time, but my dad told her how he (I don't know how many other GI's were there with him) was escorting German POWs, and one of them tried to escape. Evidently my dad ordered him to stop several times, but the prisoner refused. My dad then took out his gun and either shot him or fired his gun in his direction. Well evidently his superior officer didn't think that was appropriate and demoted my dad back to corporal (Tec5). WHOA, you can imagine how big my eyes got when I heard this. This was all news to me! :1028:


She also related how my dad came to her rescue after he returned from the war. Oh god how this sounds like my dad! :pdt34::frown: Said their neighborhood was changing (they lived on Lawton St in Detroit) and there were some tough kids who were threatening her. Well my dad got a whiff of it, and the next day got his gun (yes the famous Luger) and went to confront the bullies. I guess he scared the hell of them. No he didn't do anything, but merely showing up with said item and letting his Polish temper arise... Well, after that day, his niece never had any more problems. How I laughed when I heard that one. I could picture it in exquisite detail. :frown: She laughed and said, your dad always protected his loved ones.


Well I have more to tell including some cool news about my father's family tree, but I have to go shower and get ready for work. Bottom line, it's so cool to be able to hear all this from my family. Many thanks to Dawn and Shirley for sharing all this. Love ya both!






The latest including news about my father - Dogdaddy - 02-12-2011

I am SUPER HAPPY for you M1. I remember the day last Summer that we found all my Dad's letters home..I was on cloud 9 :bluejumper: !

The latest including news about my father - AlaskanGal - 02-12-2011

Marion, I am so happy for you! It's one of the best gifts you can ever be given isn't it? I'm sure there are others here that understand what I mean by that too. Looking forward to hearing more about him and his family!







The latest including news about my father - colinhotham - 02-13-2011

Marion this item of yours is a gem! I know you must realise how important that phone conversation was and then your writing down the information you have been given. You obviously learnt so much and now you will be able to pass that on, all of our generation have an big responsibility in keeping the WWII history alive for future generations. As always - well done M1!



The latest including news about my father - CaptO - 02-13-2011

Great stories M! It must be great to have people who knew him so well that you can talk to.

The latest including news about my father - Walt's Daughter - 02-14-2011

Thanks everyone. It sure was yet another surprise in a long line of events which have occurred since I began my research. I keep telling everyone out there,"You never know what will happen next; don't give up!" I am living proof.


I also learned that my family was quite musical. My grandparents had a piano and both would play. They loved to dance too, and that is where my dad got his love of music and dance.


My parents met at The Graystone, and my dad won her heart on a bet. :heartpump: They had actually had their eyes on each other for some time. So as this evening began, they kept watch as they made their way across the polished wooden floor, while they danced with various partners. My mom was hoping he would ask her to dance, and trust me; she was very picky, often turning down the numerous offers she received.


My father and several of his buddies were standing off to one side, and he confidently stated, " She is going to dance with me." His buddies laughed and wished him good luck, for they knew how many had gone down before him. So before sending him on his way, they pulled money out of their pants pockets and bets went around...


Well I guess the outcome is evident, for I here I am!


Here's a slide show of The Graystone in all her glory. Wished I could have danced within her beautiful architecture.





The latest including news about my father - AlaskanGal - 02-14-2011

What a sweet story Marion. I love the picture, how classy the members of the band are dressed. A lot of wonderful music from that era wasn't there? I think everybody danced back then - it was great entertainment, not to mention the exercise!


Thanks for sharing.


The latest including news about my father - Clementine - 02-15-2011

Fantastic, Marion. And loved the story of your mom and dad and The Graystone.

The latest including news about my father - Walt's Daughter - 02-15-2011

Very romantic! :heartpump:

The latest including news about my father - Sgtleo - 02-17-2011



Now you know why Tom Brokaw called them the "Greatest Generation"!!!!!