Welcome to the WWII Forums! Log in or Sign up to interact with the community.

Need advise and help researching Grandfather (Pearl Harbor)

Discussion in 'Information Requests' started by M3GMermaid, Feb 13, 2014.

  1. M3GMermaid

    M3GMermaid New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2014
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Colorado
    Hello,

    I have been trying to research a family mystery for a few weeks now and have come to a brick wall.

    The only thing that my mother ever knew about her biological father was that he died at Pearl Harbor when my grandmother was about 5 months pregnant with her.
    They were not married.

    I would like to find out about this part of my history.

    This is what I know for sure:

    My grandmother lived in Owensboro, Kentucky in the summer of 1941 (this is when she would have conceived as well). He was in the military.

    He died at Pearl Harbor.

    The following are bits of rumor, etc. picked up from family members (long since deceased):

    He was a pilot.

    There was a photo of him shown to my Mom when she was young a few times. She thought that she remembered a white uniform (this doesn't mesh though with any pilot uniforms that I have seen from that time period so....)

    I know that Camp Breckenridge became operational in 1942 (by Owensboro) but would there have been military personnel there the summer before for any reason?

    Is it possible that he could have either been at the airfield near there - "Sturgis" training or flying in and out of there?

    I am just assuming that he was a member of the USAAF because of the pilot rumor, but is it possible he was Navy? Or was there some other military branch there in Owensboro that was also at Pearl Harbor?

    Is there any way to cross reference the list of Pearl Harbor casualties with personnel in Owensboro in the summer of 1941?

    Any help or advice would be more than greatly appreciated! Thanks -
     
  2. Takao

    Takao Ace

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2010
    Messages:
    8,836
    Likes Received:
    1,868
    Location:
    Reading, PA
  3. M3GMermaid

    M3GMermaid New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2014
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Colorado
    I believe that you're right about the dates, but I did find out that Sturgis airfield was a training facility during the summer of 1941. Anyone out there know of any way to find out what military was in Owensboro the summer of 1941? Thanks!
     
  4. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2011
    Messages:
    7,082
    Likes Received:
    1,188
    Location:
    The Land of 10,000 Loons
    I checked a couple of Pearl Harbor casualty lists and found no Army Air Force (AAF) servicemen listed. That, along with your mother's recollection of a white uniform makes me think he was in the Navy.

    It's possible he was a local who was home on leave. You may try the Daviess County, KY historical society or the Daviess County Public Library. They may be able to help you find records of local servicemen who were killed at Pearl Harbor.
     
  5. Takao

    Takao Ace

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2010
    Messages:
    8,836
    Likes Received:
    1,868
    Location:
    Reading, PA
    Did you look at http://www.pearlharbor.org
    Hickam: http://www.pearlharbor.org/history/casualties/pearl-harbor-casualties/?do_filter=1&details=1&location=Hickam%20Field
    Wheeler: http://www.pearlharbor.org/history/casualties/pearl-harbor-casualties/?do_filter=1&details=1&location=Wheeler%20Field
    Bellows: http://www.pearlharbor.org/history/casualties/pearl-harbor-casualties/?do_filter=1&details=1&location=Bellows%20Field

    Master list: http://www.pearlharbor.org/history/casualties/pearl-harbor-casualties/
     
  6. R Leonard

    R Leonard Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2003
    Messages:
    883
    Likes Received:
    551
    Location:
    The Old Dominion
    Unless he was wearing army whites on a nice summer day.

    M3GMermaid - can you post the picture of the fellow in his white uniform? That can settle the issue of what service he was in.
     
  7. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2011
    Messages:
    7,082
    Likes Received:
    1,188
    Location:
    The Land of 10,000 Loons
    According to the OP, "There was a photo of him shown to my Mom when she was young a few times." I could be wrong (again!), but that doesn't sound promising for our seeing the photo in question.
     
  8. R Leonard

    R Leonard Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2003
    Messages:
    883
    Likes Received:
    551
    Location:
    The Old Dominion
    No argument, but she did say he as wearing a white uniform, so Navy whites or Army whites would add to the the clues to the mystery.

    A lot of people, present company of course excluded, have no idea that the Army has a white uniform, actually two of them.

    I've some great pictures of my grandfather at my parents' wedding in September 1941. He was then a retired Colonel US Infantry, but as we know, according to regulation, was entitled to wear a his uniform at occasions were uniforms were being worn. My father was then a LTJG USN and everyone in the wedding party, save two, were in his squadron and wearing USN service whites. The two not wearing USN service whites were his best man, his next younger brother, a 1LT US Infantry wearing his army whites (and, here, I digress, an army officer's whites such as he, and my grandfather wore for the occasion, were open collar with straight black tie) and one of his groomsmen, another younger brother, a 2d class man at USMA who was wearing the white uniform prescribed for USMA cadets, similar to the USN service whites with a high collar (along in this instance with waist sash, shoulder sling and cadet sabre).

    Heck, even at VMI in the early to mid 1970's we were still authorized to wear, when occasion arose,which was not often, any time full dress coatees were authorized for a social, not military occasion, high collar dress whites. Those looked just like the USMA dress whites which, oddly enough with a change of buttons, looked just like USN service whites. I lucked out, I had some old service whites from when my brothers were midshipmen at USNA on which I could put VMI color brass (VMI on one side, cavalry sabers on the other) and use VMI buttons instead of USN and I was good to go, Such social occasions, one really stood out in white when most everyone else was wearing cadet grey.

    So, there were and have been folks wandering around in US Army whites, QED, a white uniform is not necessarily indicative of US Navy affiliation. I can tell at a glance which is which.

    A picture showing the white uniform would solve that part of the puzzle,

    R
     

Share This Page