While I'm waiting to post a blog that I've been planning for weeks now, I have a nice segue for you. A young man discovered some film shot by his grandfather in Europe during WW2 and decided to make a documentary. In the process, he located some of the people in the film to show it to them for the first time. It's about 15 minutes and totally enjoyable.
Our day was spent visiting the USS Alabama, a battleship commissioned on August 16th of 1942. She's a massive thing, sitting in Mobile Bay in Alabama at a Battleship Memorial Park built for her, a few select historic aircraft from WW2, Korean War, Viet Nam and other times of conflict, and a submarine, the USS Drum. This is a wonderful facility, and you can learn more by visiting this web site: http://www.ussalabama.com/
Seeing the men of Strong, both the DD 467 and 758 on this ship was seeing back in time. They moved comfortably about the ship, reminiscing along the way about their time spent on the sea and their own adventures and misadventures. I even got to shake the hand of a man who survived the Bataan Death March who was selling a book about his ordeal. We lunched in the Wardroom, and held a memorial service there. After, a wreath was floated in the bay by the only member of the 467 who is able to make it to the reunions, and the daughter of the captain of the 467, Anne. I have to say it was emotional seeing them together, for them as well.
I've posted a couple of photos below for your enjoyment. Being here takes more out of me than I realized it would. But I wouldn't miss it for the world!
The visit to the Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola was an amazing event. If you have ever loved planes, helicopters and all manner of vehicles of the air, then this is the place to visit. You look to the left and there are aircraft - then to the right, and over your head may be hanging one of the Blue Angels or a Tomcat. All aircraft are beautifully restored. The volunteer docents have an unsurpassed depth of knowledge of the planes and their history. This is a must visit if you come to the panhandle of Florida's coastline.
The photo is of a Duck, an amphibious aircraft that can land in water. A plane such as this rescued Hugh Barr Miller Jr. from his hellish existence after 43 days on Arundel Island, thanks to pilot Goodwin Luck. We made some amazing connections to history with this visit today. Visit if you can, it's FREE and a truly educational experience with some beautiful and amazing flying machines.
Pensacola is already proving to be an amazing event. Fitz Miller, son of Hugh Barr Miller, Jr. has stopped by, and tomorrow we're going to meet Anne, daughter of Captain Wellings. The aviation museum is our destination tomorrow, and we're really looking forward to everything involved with this week. Right now exhaustion is setting in, so that's the short and sweet bit for today.
Yes, I'm still waiting to make that announcement and I feel like chewing my nails to the quick. So anxious to post that particular blog, but I'm working on someone else's time frame and must be patient. It's well worth waiting for and the culmination of a dream I've held for decades. It will be awesome to share it with all of you, and it should be soon!
In the meantime, next week's reunion will be pivotal. This past year was the 70th anniversary of the sinking and in my heart I just knew this year would be important on many levels. So much has happened that I had hoped for but never really expected, and it has lived up to expectations. Just some of the people I have met on-line and had phone calls with this year, and next week I'll meet some of them face to face for the first time. Captain Welling's daughter Anne will be attending her first ever reuniion, as will the youngest son of Hugh Barr Miller, Jr., Fitz. Amazing things are to come, and I will be posting during the event. There may even be some photos to go along with the posts.
Tuesday morning it's off to the airport and a week of surprises and wonderful things. We get to tour the Naval Aviation Museum there, and my favorite thing next week will be the trip to the USS Alabama, an aircraft carrier docked in Mobile, Alabama. Big ships, big changes.......
Welcome to the blog! I'm a life long Kentuckian with a degree in Anthropology, thus a nice background in research, thanks to some great profs at the University of Kentucky. Family and historical research are what float my boat, and this project has been the heart of it for a very long time now. I welcome input and ideas for blog entries, so if you have something to contribute I'll happily post it.