His Soldier's Story - #4
* * * James Williams, Jr. * * *
Dear friend Angela and I would like to share with you her grandfather's service story. And in the next couple of days we'll hear about her uncle's service, too!. And in a few months when The 1940s Experience launches SHE-SOLDIER STORIES photo project, we'll hear about her aunt! What an incredible family Angela has and now I have a greater understanding of her devotion to our veterans in her own life.
This dreamy West Virginian sailor was only 16 or 17 when he heard Uncle Sam's call and dropped out of high school to enlist in the Navy! And considering that he didn't know how to swim that was quite brave. In fact, his grand-daughter explains that in basic training, they'd take him out for swimming and he would just stand there refusing to get in the water to even learn. In his entire life, he never learned to swim.
Assigned as a "tin can sailor" 2nd Class Petty Officer to the mighty warship destroyer U.S.S. Seid, which escorted convoys, delivering protected cover, to some of the fiercest battles in the Pacific. James recalled at times how he personally shot down a few Japanese "Zeros" as a gunner.
After the war, our hero came home to work in another dangerous industry: the steel mills and narrowly missed a few close calls. Angela has fond memories of growing up across town from her grandfather and it is my honor to share his noble and brave service with you all.
Thank you, Angela for sharing your grandfather's soldier story with us! Well, ladies, isn't James a dreamboat? In his youth, I bet he made the girls swoon . He sort of has a rosy innocent look ... coupled with a come hither naughty gleam in his eyes. His smile ... swoon!
See you in a few days. KEEP 'EM FLYING until then!