As another Veteran’s Day approaches, I think of my parents. Dad grew up in north Portland and enlisted in the Navy after graduation from Jefferson High School. Although being scheduled for discharge in mid-October 1941 he received stop gap orders from the War Department and was assigned to a new light carrier USS Wasp (CV-7). After completing two trips ferrying aircraft in support of the Battle of Britain and the island of Malta, his ship was refitted for the Pacific. While conducting aerial combat support of Guadalcanal the ship was torpedoed by Japanese Submarine I-19. While on survivors leave he met and married mom, who at the time was a real “Rosie the Riveter” for Consolidated Aircraft manufacturing aircraft such as the PBY Catalina and the B-24 Liberator heavy bomber. He stayed on after WWII and served in Korea before retiring as I started the first grade. While I was in grade school we received “stand by” orders during the Cuban Missile Crisis but was not deployed because the blockade proved successful. In 2005 I took mom and dad’s ashes to the Bremerton Naval Base where they were placed aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) for their last cruise and were buried at sea with full military honors in international waters off San Diego, coming full circle. As for myself, I am a disabled Army veteran who served 19 months in Vietnam and 30 months in Germany along the “Iron curtain,” but that’s another story.

 

Joe Turner

Columbia City

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