Sunday, November 11, 2012

Veteran's Day....send your photographs

If you are receiving this post as an automatic email, no doubt it will look rather scrambled. Come to the blog for better viewing.

I have been on a bit of a hiatus the past month and better get something posted. Call it writers cramp, brain freeze, old age or any number of other afflictions.  I suspect maybe PETS (Pre-Election Traumatic Syndrome), where one starts to avoid all forms of electronic media for fear of exposure to just one too many political ads or pundits. The pundits won't disappear but at least the ads are over for a few months until the mid-term elections roll around.

As you may know, my mom, Brenda Steunenberg Richards,  past away about two and a half years ago and my dad, John Richards Sr., about two months ago. As part of the process of cleaning out their home, I have been going through all their photo albums and sorting the many photographs for copying, scanning and distribution among my siblings. I had recently posted a couple of interesting discoveries that you may have already viewed.

This being Veteran's Day weekend, I am going to focus on military related photographs in honor of all those who have and/or continue to serve. I will be adding a few newly discovered photos, re-visit some others, and include links (see below) to previous blog posts. If you have a connection to the family and have other photos of those that have served, past and present, (any side of the family, not just Steunenberg), please send a scan and I will be happy to add to the online collection. Please include name, rank, military assignment and family town of residence. So check back from time to time as I will be adding additional photos to this post and/or as a new one in the future.

Above are my mothers three brothers, my Steunenberg Uncles, all of whom served circa WWII. From left to right above, Staff Sgt. Jule 'Juke, U.S Army Air Forces (became U.S. Air Force during his service), Corporal Frank 'Bud', U.S. Marine Corp.(finding some Uncle Bud military photographs was a new discovery), and Sgt. Carroll 'Cal', U.S. Army Signal Corp.
More of Cal, Bud and Juke above.

My dad, John Sr., attempted to join the U.S. Marines in 1943 when he was still 16.  Like a lot of boys at that time, he lied about his age and I believe used his older brothers birth certificate to enlist. Some got away with it and no doubt the military did not scrutinize too closely as long as you appeared able to hold a rifle. Guess I have to give him credit for trying and he did make it through basic at Parris Island. Dad never spoke about it much but the Corp. either finally realized the mistake or he did something stupid (most of us did at 16) to get himself tossed out...not sure which.
That's my Uncle Cal in the top photos. I was elated to find one with him holding what appears to be an M1 carbine and the one on the top right working in the radio truck. In addition to the Signal Corp., he was a life long ham radio operator. The lower left shows Cal and Bud together (looks to be another M1 carbine in Uncle Bud's hands) and on the right is Bud. I have an M1 Garand and would like to add the carbine to the collection one of these days. I don't believe that is either of them up on the truck but one or the other probably took the picture. Most of these are in Oahu.

 Here is a QSL card Cal sent to my mom in the 1940's.
Above is Cal August 1942 at Camp Stoneman in CA. Looks like he put the M1 carbine away in favor of the bit heavier fire power of a Browning M18 BAR (Browning Automatic Rifle) Light Machine Gun. Those of you more versed in weaponry feel free to set me straight or send your comments or stories.

Uncle Bob is second from your right.
My Uncle Bob Richards (my father's brother) was in the U.S. Navy, I believe as an Aviation Radio Man (A.R.M). I don't have much in the way of information or photos so more research is needed.  What I do have are a couple photos from the Naval Air technical Training Center (NATTC).

A.R.M.  R-8  SEC-D  NATTC Memphis, 48. Bob is right square in the middle of the 2nd row.

Looks like most everyone signed it and left mailing addresses. Anyone you know?
Fred J. Mandella, CPO, U.S. Navy, CEO, USNR U.S.S Castor.  Served during WWII and Korean Wars. My wife Cindy's grandfather.

Monday, August 11, 2008
Robert K. Steunenberg-WW II Veteran on LST 808 and Distinguished Scientist

LST 808 is sunk 5/19/1945

A few names of others who served but I don't have much information. Will post more when I find it or if someone provides a photo and service information:

Ensign Bruce Van Wyngarden

HA (Hospital Apprentice) 2/c Willard Van Wyngarden

A few related blog posts below:

Monday, September 3, 2012

Monday, May 28, 2012

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Saturday, June 6, 2009

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