Saturday, December 14, 2013

Paw Paw Bill, Sr.

My sister Jacque’s daughter Mandy asked me, “Do you have any pictures of Pawpaw in his Marine uniform?”  Her son Michael has recently completed Army training at Ft. Jackson, S.C.  Mandy’s father was an Air Force NCO, a 20-year career. 
I replied, “I certainly did once upon a time.  A handsome devil he was, too.  It may take me a couple of days to put my hands on the pictures, but I will be happy to scan them and post them to you.”  It took me a month.  (Why are things always in the last place you look?  Maybe you just stop looking once you have found them.)
This one looks to me like a Boot Camp pose.  Paris Island, S.C., about 1943-44.
This could be anywhere between South Carolina and Japan.  I absolutely recognize the printing on the back as my daddy’s hand, identifying his “crew,” including himself, seated in foreground.  The last line says, “They call me ‘Pop,’ because I am so much older than any of them.”  He was born in 1911, which would have made him 32 when he was drafted.
Another field photo, apparently from the same batch.  According to my memory of family history, Daddy worked as a rifle instructor at Paris Island for a time after boot camp, a country boy teaching city boys how to shoot.  Then towards the end of the war (WWII), he was packed onto a troop ship in California to cross the Pacific for the invasion of Japan.  Before he got there, President Truman dropped the atom bomb on Hiroshima, and Daddy became part of the occupation force in Japan.
Probably taken just before mustering out is my guess, based on the rank and service stripes on his sleeve.

Bonus photo: Amsterdam 1979, Jr. and Sr., getting on or off a tour boat.


Tina said...

Great set of photos!

Margo said...

This is a very nice tribute to your dad, the generation that saved our world. Few remain, and few youth will know the significance of that time in history.


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