Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A Timely Memory

This evening when I saw a large military plane fly overhead to the nearby airport, I remembered something.  My father was in the U.S. Army between 1946 and 1948.  His best friend was a Lakota man.  They both were stationed in Japan.  Dad's friend told everyone his last name was Shot with Two Errors.  I think he was pulling everyone's leg because I didn't find a record with anyone with that name on  He must have made the army his career, because one day about 1966 or 1967 a military airplane buzzed us in Philmont.  I remember Dad saying it must be him, since he told him he would do that.   It must have been this time that he stopped by the house.  I only remember that he was a slender, good-looking man.  I still don't know his first name and I wish I did.  However, I thank both of them for their service.

Here is a photo of my father taken on board ship.  The man with a cap on to the right looks as though he could be Native American. I don't know if that's Dad's friend or not.  From the extremely little I remember it could be possible.

On July 12, 1973 a fire at the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) destroyed approximately 16-18 million military personnel records.  There were no duplicate records, so this was a great loss.  I was very fortunate to be able to obtain records on my father's service.  It must be the Wins were in a better location.  Trying to understand them is difficult because the meaning of the cryptic terms used has changed.

The NPRC has been working to preserve and reconstruct the records since the fire.  The organization now lists a much smaller military population affected than when I sent for my father's records less than ten years ago.

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