92. Pearl Harbor Day, Veterans Re-visited

For those who remember it, today is the anniversary of  the day the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941.

Because World War II affected so many of those in our family, today seemed like a good time to update the blob posted on Veterans Day. Thanks to Lola Fitzpatrick and to my daughter Teresa, we have more photos of our family’s military veterans so I’m adding them to what we had on the original post. Please help me continue to add more or correct errors via the Comment section, or email me at ford@fordvideo.com. Would especially like to update rank, duties, date  and location of service or any other notes of interest. If adding photos, especially good would be those of the person in uniform, or, at least the approximate age they were when they served.

So back to Pearl Harbor Day.   It was a Sunday. It was one of those times when we tend to remember exactly what we were doing. In my case, I was ten years old and was playing at my friend Louise Usher’s house. I had never heard of Pearl Harbor but when the announcement came over the radio, it was an electrifying moment. The Ushers had three (or four) military-age sons.  The thing I remember most was that Mrs. Usher fainted.  I had never seen anyone faint before and that scared me way more than the news announcement had.  I remember I ran all the way home without stopping. The next day, all the Usher boys enlisted.

Just to satisfy my nosy curiosity, if you’re reading this, and if you were alive in 1941, and if you can remember Pearl Harbor Day, please describe what you were doing in a comment on today’s blob.

Now I guess we are ready to begin our list of family veterans. These are the names compiled so far — along with whatever photos I could find. Right now I’ll list them by family, but later, in chronological order.

THE FORD LINE:

Donald Francis Ford (my brother-in-law):        U. S. Air Force, lifetime career, engaged in Battle of the Bulge in World War II, earned a Ph.D. during service, trained in Latin American development, reached rank of full Colonel before retirement.

Robert Edward Ford (my brother-in-law): U.S. Navy, radio operator, spent World War II  on ships in the Pacific.

Gene Alan Ford (my husband): U.S. Navy Air Force; control tower operator at Alameda immediately following World War II.

Daniel Lee Ford (my nephew): 20 year career in U.S. Air Force.  After he retired, went back to school for two engineering degrees, worked since for Hanford, then 10 years ago  took job with U.S. Army Signal Corps as civilian engineer in Korea where he is now.

Leslie Ann Ford (my niece): Army lieutenant during Desert Shield/Desert Storm.  I think she procured and dispatched medical supplies during that war. Now works as civilian Public Information officer for army recruiting in Columbus, South Carolina.

Henry Sully (Leslie’s husband): Lifetime career in U.S. Army.  While in Reserves, was called up to serve as medical logistics officer in Iraqi war.

THE GORMAN LINE:

Leo Gorman (my uncle): U.S. Navy following World War I


James Michael Gorman (my dad):
U.S. Coast Guard; Merchant Marine; following World War I.

James Donald Gorman (my brother):
U.S. Army served in Korea at the ending period of the War.


Richard John Gorman (my brother): U.S. Army, following the Korean War.  Enlisted in 1957 for 3 years. He was a Specialist 4 “Machine Accounting Specialist”. After he left the army, he went to work at the Pentagon as a computer programmer, and later as a G-5 computer programmer/analyst for the Federal Reserve.

Bob Brown (husband of Beth Gorman Brown) had 28 years active duty
Graduate of:  West Point (undergraduate); Naval Postgraduate School; Commander Staff College
Career highlights:  Counter-Intelligence – Germany 8 years; United States Defense Attache to Armenia 2 years; Somalia with United Nations on Peacekeeping Mission.

 


THE FITZPATRICK LINE:


Leo L. Fitzpatrick:  U.S. Army, Cpl., World War II European Front

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Edward R Fitzpatrick: U.S. Army Air Corps, World War II, Pacific Front

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Helen Schmidt Fitzpatrick: U.S. Navy,
World War II

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Irving James Fitzpatrick: U.S. Army, Cpl. World War II, Pacific Front

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James T. Fitzpatrick, Jr., U.S. Marine Corps, World War II, Pacific Front

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Bernard (Larry) Driscoll, U.S. Army World War II. (Married to Barbara Fitzpatrick Driscoll)

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Lester May, U.S. Navy World War II. (Husband of Shirley Fitzpatrick May)

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Ray Campbell U.S. Army World War II. (Husband of Judy Fitzpatrick Campbell)

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Michael Fitzpatrick (Ed’s son): U.S. Air Force, Viet Nam War

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Bonnie Fitzpatrick (Ed’s daughter-in-law): U.S. Army

James B. Fitzpatrick (Leo’s son): U.S. Army Viet Nam War, stationed in Korea

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Donie L. Fitzpatrick: U.S. Marines, Cpl. Korean/Viet Nam

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Colin Kelly Fitzpatrick, U.S. Army, Viet Nam War

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John Driscoll, U.S. Air Force, Viet Nam War era (son of Barbara Fitzpatrick Driscoll

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THE LONGFIELD LINE:

MY NORWEGIAN COUSINS:

Arlan Longfield:  U.S. Army

Helen Longfield (Arlan’s wife): U.S. Army


Edmund Longfield: U.S. Navy


MY MERRIFIELD COUSIN:

Russell “Sonny” Merrifield

THE COVEY LINE:

Donald Covey (Bryce’s grandfather and “my brother-in-law-once-removed”):  U.S. Marines, I think he fought in the 17 day battle at the Chosin Reservoir in Korea.  Son Matthew told me it’s believed to be the most brutal battle ever fought in U.S. military history.  No photo of his time in service but here’s a current one.

THE OPSVIG LINE:

Bob Opsvig (father of my son-in-law Eric): U.S. Marines for 3 years before Korean War.

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John Opsvig:  Killed in an aircraft over China during World War II.

Ted Lund: U.S. Navy,  South Pacific during World War II.

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So that’s the list so far.  With your help, I hope we can add lots of information to each of the names listed above.

Hint to all the students in the family: what a great subject for a killer-knock-their-socks-off term paper.  It’d be an easy A+.  And we would all be able to learn more and add to the lore of the amazing characters you are related to.  If you’re interested, holler and I’ll send you the email addresses of the people listed below.  You could get some great interviews!

We’re exceedingly proud of all of those above who have contributed so much to our country and we are grateful for all they’ve done. 

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4 Responses to 92. Pearl Harbor Day, Veterans Re-visited

  1. Gretchen says:

    Grandma, I love today’s blog! It is so interesting to read about the number of people in our family that have served our country. Joe and I visited the Pearl Harbor Memorial when we were in Hawaii a couple of years ago. It was such a powerful and memorable experience to view the sunken ships resting where they went down. I think it is wonderful to honor everyone who has served and are still serving our country, especially today!

  2. Gretchen Covey says:

    Mom, and contributors,

    Thank you for gathering these pictures and stories of relatives that have served in the military. Thank you to each one who served or is still serving. You have much courage and love.

  3. I like so mush this big family sroty.

  4. Lester May says:

    I see Lester May served in the US Navy. This Lester May served in the Royal Navy 1967-89. Hands Across the Sea!

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