Monday, October 31, 2011

A Father Traces His Son’s Every Move

William Stevens must have gotten the call in his office, for it was on business stationary that the route was recorded. The letterhead proclaimed in block letters: The Potomac Insurance Company of the District of Columbia.

At that point, it was probably no solace to that father that the company’s slogan, imprinted on the page itself, was “Absolute protection since 1831.” For this call was to tell a father what was to become of his son, enlisted in the Navy and on his way to face the enemy.

Will probably grabbed for the slip of paper, maybe out of nervous habit wanting to write down the specific details so he could track the every move of the ships that were to carry his precious cargo. Terse bullet points on the page, the hand scribbled out the names—first in a more certain form, noting places familiar and close to home, then becoming less certain as place names receded across the ocean toward unfamiliar destinations.

Virgin Islands to Solomons Md  – Boarded ship at Boston down coast to Norfolk – There to Key West Fla – Then to Panama thru canal – up coast to San Diego – to Frisco – to Pearl Harbor – to Marshall Islands – to Marianas (Saipan) then to Iwo Jima – to Legte – Okinawa

Though Will had five sons, this one—Frank—was the first to go to war.

1 comment:

  1. That is a remarkable list - there were so many servicemen - and so few that anyone knows where and when they served.


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