|Daddy's Line Crossing Certificate, dated June 6, 1944.
(Click on any of the photo's to enlarge.)
I had never heard of such a thing, but apparently it is a time honored tradition where a ceremony takes place every time a military vessel crosses the equator, turning the "Pollywogs" (those who have never crossed the equator) into "Trusty Shellbacks" (those who have). It's of enough importance that this event is logged into the record of servicemen and woman.
|Daddy, aiming the machine gun in one of the airplanes he serviced during the war.
Biak Island, Dutch New Guinea, 1944.
I remember my father talking about Japanese attacks, but I don't recall him speaking about the suicide paratrooper attack. I remember him saying they would get in fox holes when the sirens sounded. The fox holes were partially shielded with a metal "roof". As a joke, Daddy and his fox hole buddies would grab handfuls of sand or gravel or dirt and toss it onto the metal "roof" of nearby foxholes. He laughed when he said he could hear the men in the other fox hole saying "Man, that one was close!" I'm sure they played other jokes on each other, but I was his daughter, and I doubt you tell your daughter too much about the things men do to entertain themselves.
|Daddy took this photo sometime in 1944.
It was probably taken on Biak Island, Dutch New Guinea.
|Daddy and Harry Calhoun (whoever that is)
in front of a wing from a Japanese airplane.
Luzon, Philippines, 1944 or 1945.
The men who fought in this war, the women who nursed the injured, the civilians who lived through the horrors of war, and the survivors of the Holocaust who experienced atrocities we cannot even begin to imagine at the depraved hands of the Nazi's are now aged or have already passed on. One day soon, there won't be anyone alive who bore witness to this war, and it will be up to us to honor their memories by telling their stories.