Truly Sad News…

It’s always been in the back of our minds that the Veterans are aging out and dying of old age, but what we tend NOT to think about are those organizations they were members of…

The U.S. Submarine Veterans of World War II disbanded at the end of its convention Sept. 7 in Norfolk, Va. Local chapters now must decide whether to continue operating under another name or to dissolve as well.

Full article HERE.

A large group at one time, now the YOUNGEST member is 86, and the oldest is over 100, and they have less than 1000 members left…

Thankfully the USN is stepping up to take over the memorials at the sub bases. But the real question is what will happen to those artifacts, diaries, and memories of those men?

Hopefully they will be preserved in at least some of the museums and their memories/oral histories will become part of the Navy Memorial.

If you know a veteran, ask them to participate in the Veterans History Project being run by the Library of Congress.  Here is the LINK, we really need to capture ALL those memories, not just those of the Admirals and Generals. 

h/t- Les, TA, and other ‘boat’ people



Truly Sad News… — 13 Comments

  1. Yeah, I saw this news story this weekend. Unfortunately for mankind, all great generations do eventually pass.

  2. I saw the story, too. And we are looking at the same thing for our ship’s reunions. We are getting older, too. We have family who want to carry on, but for how long? It doesn’t mean as much to them. Last year we had our reunion in Waterloo, IA, home of the 5 Sullivan Brothers, and the Iowa Iwo Jima Marines were having their last reunion…only six there. Brave, proud, humble men; it was sad. Time hits us all.

  3. Mmy sister-in-law lived in Jax and we were visiting.
    I was doing some home repairs for her and went next door to borrow a saw.
    Her neighbor was a sub vet from WWII.
    He had signed on in 1938!
    By 1944 they brought him to the surface to teach at Groton.
    That’s where our son is a SCPO on a Las Angeles. A few years ago we went with him to the 100th anniversary Submariners Ball.
    Only a handful of WWII guys left.

  4. Andy- That they do, but the ‘real’ issue is the loss of those artifacts in a lot of cases.

    CP- That we are. Last squadron reunion I went to, we only had FOUR left from the WWII guys.

    Ed- Concur.

  5. Have an uncle by marriage who was at Pearl Harbor. Later, he was on the Franklin. Total of four Purple Hearts. He has written down his experiences for the local VFW.

    From time to time there are stories about medals found in safety deposit boxes with no one to claim them. Sad state of affairs.

  6. STG here. Different era, I think I have my grandfathers Navy stuff but he was a surface guy too. Will be asking around the senior center up here and see what I can do.

  7. I happened to spend two years in Groton CT, and my tour was at the Submarine Force Library and Museum, Historic Ship Nautilus. I have met numerous WWII veterans from the Subforce and they are great to be around. Just recently met one of the original Merril’s Marauders when I visited my brother in NC. I highly recommend speaking with WWII veterans, they will give you insight into the greatest generation to ever walk, fly or sail on a battlefield. It has enlightened me.

  8. My grandfather served with the 8th Armored Division and has been involved with the Div. Association for some time. A few years back they held their 60th reunion in Louisville, Kentucky. At the time the army was in the process of moving the Armor School from Ft. Knox to Ft. Benning and there was much discussion by the membership as to whether the association’s archives should go to Ft. Knox (where the division was first mustered) or to the Armor School.

    The decision became unanimous after the vets got back from touring the base. A group of young officers going through the tanker’s course stumbled across them at the Patton museum.

    Questions were asked.

    Lots of questions.

    The archives went to the school.


  9. WSF- That it is…

    Eric- Thanks! Every little bit helps!

    Senior- That they do!

    BG- THAT is good to hear!

  10. Thanks for the reminder! I’ll be linking about this soon.

    How long before all ‘The Greatest Generation’ folks have passed?

    And the current generation largely has forgotten both them and their sacrifice.


  11. Professional curiousity here, as an historian. With a project of this nature and size, what is the value of it to you as casual perusers of the collection? Is it the emotional: ‘remembering the greatest generation’; the ability to piece together an analysis previously overlooked: ‘what happened, why, what was the reaction?’; or simply pure curiousity and enjoyment? All three in equal measure?

    I’m not involved in that project, but I am curious; mostly because the balance between those three answers and others tends to determine the space and time given to certain topics in oral history when recording anything from a war to a local event. Historians, of course, would always love to have more, though information overload can be defeating.

  12. gfa- There are very few left…

    acair- I personally think it’s a view from the bottom that is important. Not the power brokers/generals/admirals, but the troops that actually DID the work, fought the battles, and their perceptions. Good example, Helmet for A Pillow.