I was of a mind to post this yesterday, but life got in the way as I have spent two days and nights staying with my son, The Prince, while he was in hospital. He is out now and doing well.
So, onward we go.
I have his discharge papers but no enlistment records.
My father served on three ships during his time in the service. I believe that he was a cook on all three ships, the largest of which was the USS Wilhelmenia. This large ship was used to transport men (and some women who acted as nurses or stenographers and such) to Europe and, unfortunately, to bring wounded and dead back to our shores. One time, years ago after my mother's death when I was going through family genealogy papers and pictures, I found online a picture of the crew of the Wilhelmenia and there he was, big as life, in his "cookie" whites. I wish I had that picture but I can no longer find it online. Shame!
This picture is of him on one of his ships in his dress blues!
Here he is in his dress "whites" in Brest, France 1918-1919 as he noted at the bottom of the picture. From what I can gather, Brest was the dock on which men were let off the boat and the dead were loaded onto the boat.
When my father returned home to New York late 1919, he resumed his less-than-magnificent career in Vaudeville.
Of course, by that time, and after missing over three years on stage and in "show business" and as vaudeville was coming to an end with the advent of other forms of entertainment, such as family and children's programs on the radio, his was a short-lived career after the war.
This is a picture of him in a skit on stage after his return from the war.
As my father, George Albert, was already on his second wife and had a very small child, he needed to find an avocation that would
pay the bills and take care of his family.
Odd jobs it was and they were varied and many.
As he only had a sixth grade education, even then, it was difficult to compete for even the most lowly employment when you had not much education.
Within just a couple of years thereafter, about 1937, I believe, he lost his wife and sent his young daughter to be raised by her aunt on her mother's side.
Back to looking for work he went. And he went everywhere in New York and New Jersey for employment in order to feed himself
and send money for his daughter, Joyce Marie.
This is a picture of my father around that time at Jones Beach in New York.
He always wore that Navy cap of his.
When he died, my brother got the cap from his Navy trunk and when my brother died a couple of years ago,
his son got the Navy hat.
Yes, the same nephew of mine who will get my
loved Gibson guitar this month.
So on this official day of commemoration of Veterans Day and the end of the "war to end all wars",
I think of my father and all the others who fought
and died in the trenches 1914-1919.
It was then we began to invent and use "weapons of mass destruction",
such as the battle tank and mustard gas.
Aren't we proud?