This week I have spent some time in Sacramento sharing memories, hugs and a few tears with my dear Auntie Wilma and my cousins. A few years ago on another visit Wilma told me she had some letters my Uncle Warren, my mother’s brother, had written to his parents during the war. What she brought out was a treasure – four years of letters from the time Warren joined the navy in July 1942 until the end of the war. I spent the rest of that visit with Wilma sorting the letters and putting them in chronological order in a binder. These letters contained the words of a proud young man doing right by his country, but mostly expressed the love he held for his parents and his sisters. I hope to be able to share some of these letters in my blog from time to time. But today I share one letter from the collection, written not by Warren, but to him.
Secretary of the Navy
January 10, 1946
My dear Mr. Brown:
I have addressed this letter to reach you after all the formalities of your separation from active service are completed. I have done so because, without formality but as clearly as I know how to say it, I want the Navy’s pride in you, which it is my privilege to express, to reach into your civil life and to remain with you always.
You have served in the greatest Navy in the world.
It crushed two enemy fleets at once, receiving their surrenders only four months apart.
It brought our land-based airpower within bombing range of the enemy, and set our ground armies on the beachheads of final victory.
It performed the multitude of tasks necessary to support these military operations.
No other Navy at any time has done so much. For your part in these achievements you deserve to be proud as long as you live. The Nation which you served at a time of crisis will remember you with gratitude.
The best wished of the Navy go with you into civilian life. Good luck!
Mr. Warren Hardy Brown
1254 45th Ave.
San Francisco 22, California
Mary Kircher Roddy is a genealogist, writer and lecturer, always looking for the story. Her blog is a combination of the stories she has found and the tools she used to find them.