Sunday, October 24, 2010

Church Record Sunday - 1928 Certificate of Promotion

1928 Certificate of Promotion for my husband's grandmother, Mary L. Ogburn

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sentimetal Sunday: My Grandpa's Poem

In my stack of stuff, I have this little treasure. It is a poem written by my Grandfather (Nov. 18, 1977). Now I never imagined that my grandfather wrote poetry, but my uncle says that he did many surprising things like write this poem. So knowing he held this same paper and wrote these words brings me closer to him. When I read it, I can picture my grandpa taking my 9 year old son's hand, who he never had a chance to meet, and telling him stories about life. Here is the poem:

To a Little Boy from an Old Man

At a friends home I happen to see
A photo of a little boy, who is unknown to me
I studied the picture, then I could see
The beautiful features of the boy, who is unknown to me

My mind wandered back, I wished to be
The age of this boy, who is unknown to me
Mother Nature said, No, that is not for thee

I asked the little boy, let me take your hand
Come along with me. I will show you our great land
We will travel far, we will sit by the sea

As we journey on, I will tell you about life
And what is to be
The hardships, the pleasures, the work and the strife
All this will be part of your life

Be honest, be strong above all be a man
Then I am sure, you will see
What a wonderful life this can be.

All my love to the little boy
Who is unknown to me

Clarence Silk
The Old Man

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Treasure Chest Thursday - 1897 I.O.U. for "Oxens"

An original document I have in my treasure chest: 1897 promissory note for "One Team of Oxens"

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - A Soldier's Kiss?

Front: Bill "Papa" Locke circa 1944 in Birma
Back: A kiss! Papa says he kissed the photograph and mailed it home to his wife, Mary Louis. My question is where did he get the lipstick?

Monday, October 4, 2010

Military Monday - Part 2 History of the 666th AAA: Movement Orders and a "Chance at the Japs"

As I noted in Part 1, my husband's grandfather served in Burma during WWII.  I am lucky enough to have a copy of a history of his experience. This history was written by Warren M. Knight.  Papa said that one of the men in his unit (I believe it was Knight) kept a journal...another had a camera - neither of which were allowed.  But thankfully for genealogist and historians, they did!  Enjoy this next edition as they leave home and have their first taste of combat.

Movement Orders and a "Chance at the Japs"
"'Movement Orders, Shipment 5198', October 6, 1943, the following organizations will part on or about October 11, 1943, by rail, from Fort Bliss, Texas to Camp Patrick Henry, Virginia so as to arrive there daylight hours on October 23, 1943. 666th AAA MG Btry (Sep) (Airborne) Shipment No. 5198-R. Clothing (summer and winter) and individual equipment as prescribed in T/E 21, March 10, 1943, as amended, will be taken, except that the items listed below are authorized as indicated: Blankets, wool, OD (2 only per individual); Canteens will be aluminum, stainless steel or plastic. The following additional items will also be taken: Covers, mattress (1 per individual); Organizational T/E equipment will accompany troops. Total of dependents and authorized household goods at Government expense will be governed by the provisions of Sec. VI, WD Cir No. 261, 1942 and WD Bull. No. 27, 1942. Rations for estimated travel time of three (3) days, plus one (1) day extra in accordance with current instructions, will be carried."
 "The battery left Fort Bliss, Texas Monday night October 11, 1943, by train and arrived at Camp Patrick Henry, Virginia Friday morning October 15, 1943. We boarded the Andrew Furuseth, a liberty ship, at Newport News, Virginia Saturday morning October 25, 1943, and departed for our overseas destination. Thursday night November 11, 1943, we passed the Rock of Gibraltar and arrived in Oran, Algeria, in North Africa, Friday afternoon November 12, 1943. We boarded the TSS Aronda, a British ship, at Oran, Algeria, Monday morning January 10, 1944, and passed through the Suez Canal Monday, January 17, 1944."
"We arrived in Bombay, India Tuesday afternoon February 1, 1944, Friday morning February 4, 1944, we left Bombay, India by train and Monday, February 7, 1944, we got off the train, crossed the Yangtze River by ferry and boarded another river by ferry and boarded another by train. Friday afternoon February 11, 1944, we got a lot of our back mail at Jorhat, India and Saturday morning, February 12, 1944, we arrived Ledo, Assam in India, our destination. Our APO was 689, and we were attached to the 10th Air Force."
 [Note: they received their orders on October 6, 1943...left Fort Bliss, Texas on October 11, 1943, and reached their destination in India on February 2, 1944!]
"The entire battery was set up in an area overlooking the evacuation air field. After the camp was duly organized, the second and third platoons started work on their positions around the air field. The engineer troops hauled the necessary filling to build up the eight positions. During the last week in February this preliminary work was complete. Then the final work on the positions was started. During this period the first platoon, which was awaiting the construction of towers around the railroad yards was employed in work around the campsite and with some of the squads who were building their positions. The weather for this period was clear and warm. Morale was excellent."
"The eight gun positions around the air strip were completed by the men, the mounds sodded and a removable camouflage top in the form of a basha roof erected over the pits. Each position had adequate drainage pipes of bamboo or metal installed from the outset. During the month engineers constructed three towers around the railhead and the men hauled up sandbags to complete the positions. Lastly the camouflage was constructed. The other squad of the first platoon was located on a hill overlooking the railhead, and since it was impossible to reach by truck the squad members hauled materials by hand to complete the revetment."
"Plenty of recreational facilities have been available and a dayroom has been set up. A baseball team was organized and several games played with local teams. Outside the battery area there are adequate facilities available for reading and writing, a canteen, restaurant and movies. Morale was excellent."
"On March 27, 1944, with the sounding of the 'Red Alert' the men were ready and eager for a chance at the Japs. Enemy planes had been reported in the area, and the sounds of an aerial battle were heard in the distance. The sky was overcast and prevented them from seeing anything that took place. However, at one time a plane was heard approaching the area in a dive. All guns were trained in the direction of the sound and everything was set in case it should have been an enemy plane. As it burst through the clouds it was identified as a P-51, and the hopes for action vanished. The plane leveled off and headed into the northwest, later on followed by several other planes to the south."