My Dad – Seaman 1st Class

Crawford-Eugene-b1927-1945-Navy-SailorPiecing together dad’s military service is a challenge! This is because all of the documents indicate that he graduated from high school while enlisted in the service. His ‘Notice of Separation from U.S. Naval Service’ indicates he entered active service on 15 Feb 1945 in Gulfport, Miss and served for 1 year, 5 months and 17 days. At the same time, his diploma is dated 17 May 1945 and his name is listed on the program for the 58th Commencement of Dodge City High School held on 17 May 1945.

Even dad had a hard time putting it on a timeline. At two different times, he recorded the events of his military service for me. There are similarities between the two timelines, but there are also differences.

Transcription of first recollection:

  • Crawford-Eugene-b1927-1945-WWII-Service-Record-Recollection1Enlisted for a minority (age 21) ans was sworn in 2/15/1945 in Kansas City went home [17 years old]
  • May ? 1945 went on active duty / sent to Great Lakes Naval Station for boot camp
  • 7 day leave after boot camp
  • Reported to Wright Jr College radar tech school for 1 month 6 weeks
  • Assigned to Gulfport Naval Station radar Tech school
  • While in school Navy decided that students who wished to continue in school had to enlist in regular navy. Parents agreed so I enlisted and received a 30 day leave. Returned to Gulfport to find out the Nave had changed there mind so I was discharged from the regular navy and enlisted in naval reserve
  • Flunked out of school
  • Became Master of Arms of barracks (Gulfport)
  • Sent to Great Lakes Naval training. Put in charge of serving line at recruits mess hall
  • Put on troop train for Treasure Island [Naval Station Treasure Island – San Francisco]
  • Went on board

Transcription of second recollection

Crawford-Eugene-b1927-1945-WWII-Service-Record-Recollection2Date of Service 2/15/45 to 8/1/46

  • Sworn in active duty KC Mo last Sat May 1945
  • Great Lakes Naval Training Center Boot camp – 6 weeks
  • One week leave
  • Wright Jr College Chicago Ill 6 weeks (VE day) [claimed to have celebrated VE day with his cousins in Chicago – VE Day 8 May 1945]
  • Gulfport Naval Station Gulfport MS
  • Discharged from Naval reserve
  • enlisted in reg navy for a minority
  • 30 day leave
  • discharged from reg navy
  • enlisted in naval reserve
  • flunked out of school
  • spent Christmas leave in Gulfport
  • Barracks commander — over 200 men in barracks

1946 [turned 18 in Dec 1945]

From his Honorable Discharge

Crawford-Eugene-b1927-1946-Military-DischargeEugene David Crawford Seaman First Class V-6 USNR is honorably discharged from the U.S. Naval Personnel Separation Center in Norman, Oklahoma and from the Naval Service of the United States this 1st day of August 1946.

From the ‘Affidavit Concerning Naval Record’ on file in the Ford County (Kansas) Courthouse

Crawford-Eugene-b1927-1946-Affidavit-Naval-Record2Eugene David Crawford, 343 46 97 SLC V-6 USNR, U.S. Navy (U.S. Naval Reserve), being first duly sword do submit the following information concerning my naval record which is necessary to complete my record of naval service and do hereby certify that it is true and correct to the best of my knowledge and belief:

“That I have served outside the continental limits of the United states (outside the three mile limit), while aboard the U.S.S. Oneida (APA-221) from 20 May 1946 to 24 July 1946. This ship operated in the Pacific ocean, around Guam and Samar. I left the States the 1st of June 1946 and returned 16 July 1946.”

Crawford-Eugene-b1927-1946-Navy-Sailors-Back-Right

Eugene Crawford – back row far right

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Tell the Stories

Thanks to RootsTech 2016’s live streaming and YouTube channel, I have been able to follow along while being #notatrootstech. Even though this is a technology conference for genealogists, the general sessions have a much broader appeal since they have a family story telling focus. This was especially true of Friday’s Keynote session by Bruce Feiler.

In his presentation, Bruce pointed out that telling the family stories has a tremendous impact on the children.

  • telling the story of successes – particularly the night before a big event helps a child be more successful at that event
  • telling the story of times where adversary was faced and overcome helps children face hard times both as a child and later in adult years
  • telling family stories during trips helps embed memories of the trip in a child

Are you telling your family stories?

Watch Bruce Feiler’s presentation: