Off To Mississippi

progress high school062 doneReggie, Terry, Barbara, and I are heading to Mississippi tomorrow.  We are going to have a wonderful time!  There are several cemeteries we would like to visit, new cousins we will be meeting, and a Pike County Bicentennial Celebration to attend.   I haven’t been to Mississippi since 1984!

Photo taken by Daddy on a visit in the late 1970s of Progress High School.


Adding new discoveries to old articles!

1937 Adrian head986After finding new photos and information, I have recently updated two of the early blog articles I had written about Daddy’s first two years in the Navy.  I think you will really enjoy the new additions.  Please choose Navy 1 Adrian joins the Navy and Navy 2 USS Helena Shakedown Cruise from the blogroll.  (Yes, I know I have stopped at 1944 on his Navy story.  I promise I will finish!)    Enjoy!

Adrian’s Navy years continued

brazil closeup SCAN0263First, Raymond’s Y-DNA results are back and he is a perfect match with lots of Fortenberrys, Faulkenberrys, and even some Van Valkenburgs.  I and working on putting together some “understandable” results for everyone to see.  Family Tree DNA has not finished his mtDNA (Momma’s line), hopefully, that information will be available soon too.

The blog today returns to Adrian’s Navy experiences.  There were no personal photos from this time period as there have been for previous entries.  The Melville was on the move and not really in places conducive to “fun” shore excursions since this is a time when the war was so intense.  Please choose “Navy – Late 1943 to May, 1944.”

Navy – 1943 Recife, Brazil

Thank you Reggie and Linda for adding to our research fund!!  I recently received 4 documents from the archives in Plock, Poland and have just had them translated from Old Russian Cyrillic script.  Lots of new and interesting information for later posts!  I now have several of Momma’s lines back to the early 1800s.  Momma would be grinning from ear to ear!

brazil closeup SCAN0263Today’s post:  Adrian spent most of 1943 in Recife, Brazil.  We know very little about this time – a few log entries, two candid pictures, and three studio pictures.   As you read, you will see my “teacher” side coming out as I take those few facts and turn them into 35 slides and a history lesson.   The only blog post that took more research was Pearl Harbor!   Please choose Navy-1943 and enjoy!



Navy – Late 1942

I am pulling my hair out working on the Polish records so it is time for a little more Navy stuff!   This entry picks up the story of events 8 months after the USA joined the Allied forces.  Adrian had just finished his first official training as a fire controlman and is assigned a new ship.  Please choose Navy – Late 1942 and enjoy.

Navy – Mid 1942

Today’s post picks up with Adrian and Wanda leaving Georgia after visiting with his family following the attack at Pearl Harbor.  I am always surprised at how much information I can pull together with a little “detective” work!  That statement was not really true – it should read a LOT of detective work!   Please choose Navy – Mid 1942 from the blogroll.  I hope you enjoy this entry.

Pearl Harbor

After months of research, I have finally put together as complete a story as possible about Pearl Harbor.  By combining Daddy’s military records, small pieces of information family members gleaned over the years, and internet resources, I think I have finally put Daddy’s story in historical context.  Along the way, I have learned an incredible amount of military information.  Part of the difficulty in writing this piece was making sure I didn’t put in too much history and wander away from the basic story.  Obviously, there has been a lot written about this event.  If you would like to know more about the USS Helena, see their website at  Daddy was on the one number cl 50. 

Please open the power point called “Pearl Harbor” in the blog roll to the right and take a slow walk through history.   Enjoy!


USS Helena part 3 – shore leave

This post is one I took great pleasure in completing!  On Daddy’s first trip to Hawaii, he and a friend went on an interesting hike.  Luckily for us, the two of them took quite a few pictures.  Though Daddy had little to say about his experiences in Hawaii, he did enjoy looking at these pictures from his time hiking with his friend, Marvin Mayo.    Many hours were spent on the research and restoring some very poor quaility pictures.   It was well worth it to me!  I hope you will enjoy what I have accomplished.

USS Helena part 2

Sorry it has taken me so long to add another post.  As you probably know from the awful picture John put on Facebook, I have had eardrum surgery.  It has been an uphill battle to get over it and I still have a ways to go.

It turns out that I have so much information about Daddy’s navy years that I am having to divide it into a lot more pieces that originally planned.  This entry today includes his first trip to Pearl Harbor and I hope you enjoy it!

As before, please play the Powerpoint (USS Helena part 2) as a show instead of scrolling through the pages.  The pictures will look much better.


USS Helena part 1

I really have a treat for you today!  After weeks of working with Daddy’s Naval records and reading everything I can get my hands on in order to place his story within history, I hope you are going to enjoy what you see and read.  Daddy rarely talked about his Navy years so my information has come from information passed down by other Helena sailors, historical records, and information I received by writing the National Personnel Records Center and requesting Daddy’s Naval records.

Due to the volume of information I have put together, Daddy’s years on the Helena will be divided into three parts.  Part one covers from September 18, 1939 until March 2, 1940.  Once again, please read the story first so that the pictures on the PowerPoint will make sense to you.

I would really love for you to share your thoughts, especially through Facebook since that platform will allow dialog!

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