July 4, 2015

Honoring Dorie Miller – A True American Hero


"Above and beyond the call of duty" ...



Today, December 7, 2012 is the 71st Anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. As we remember those who we lost that day, we also remember the heroes who made a difference. One of them was Dorie Miller. I hope you will click this link to Angela Walton-Raji’s blog post and read about this wonderful man.  Remembering Dorie Miller, An American Hero.

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Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories 2010 – Christmas Cards

Davis card outside

The Davis Christmas Card

This is a Christmas card my dad received when he was in New Calendonia during World War II with


. The sender was his best friend and brother-in-law’s mother Esther Levy Davis.  Her son James E Davis was in the Marines and as she said, “in the South Sea Islands”.

This card must have meant a great deal to my dad since he kept it, brought it home and Mom and Dad saved it for posterity.  I’m so glad they did.  It’s sad to me that I never got to meet Essie Davis, but when I was of grade school age I do remember going to Coleman and Louise Davis’ house. Louise was Coleman’s second wife, and as I remember, a great gal. Read her note to my husband and you can see what a loving lady she was.


Lovingly Yours

I’m participating in the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories 2010 sponsored by Thomas MacEntee of GeneaBloggers fame.  Won’t you join us as we blog about our memories through the month of December?

You might also like to read:

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories 2010: The Tree

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories 2010 – Holiday Foods


Carnival of Genealogy – 57th Edition “I read it in the news!”

Technically, I didn’t read this article in the news since it happened about nine years before I was born, but it was in the Daily Olympian newspaper in 1941. As the caretaker of the family documents and pictures, this article was one of a few about our family that made the news.

Dad never “won” anything in his life before or after the draft. Lucky him, huh? [As it turns out, the date of July 19th is important in our Yates/Wilkerson family. My cousin Linda Yates was born on that day in 1950, and our granddaughter Katrina was born on that day in 2001. :) ]

William Gale Yates 1920-1996

In 1941 his draft registration number (169) was chosen as #1 in Thurston county, WA, and rather than be drafted, he joined the Navy. He went to basic training in San Diego and then was sent to Kaneohe Bay on Oahu after the Pearl Harbor attack. The unit was then divided by alphabet, and the first half was sent to serve on the Saratoga, and the second half was sent to New Caledonia in the Loyalty Islands.  During his time in the Navy, Gale was certified as a Seaman Second Class on the 23rd of Feb. 1942 and completed a course of study at Aviation Machinist’s Mates’ School at US Naval Air Station, Seattle, WA.

One of the ships he was transported on was the USS Dixie. During this time in the war, probably when he was in New Caledonia, View Larger Map Gale had occasion to strap “Ol’ Bull Halsey into his parachute”.  Dad always thought that was pretty cool. :) The plane in the article above I believe is an F4F Grumman Wildcat.


New Here? Want to join us and write your own article like this? Submit your blog article to the next edition of the Carnival of Genealogy using the carnival submission form (http://blogcarnival.com/bc/submit_346.html). Past posts and future hosts can be found on the blog carnival index page (http://blogcarnival.com/bc/cprof_346.html).  Love genealogy? Come and meet a great group of people on Facebook at Genea-Bloggers.

Remembering Bremerton During World War II

Victory Gardens and Barrage Balloons
Victory Gardens and Barrage Balloons
Victory Gardens and Barrage Balloons

I love reading memoirs, but I especially love reading them when they are about where I live. I just finished reading Frank Wetzel’s World War II memoirabout growing up in Bremerton, Washington before, during and after World War II. The book was published in 1995, and and contains WWII era, and before, photos of Frank and all of his friends. One of those friends was none other than Bill Gates. No, not the gazillionaire tycoon, but his father.

Shirley Sinclair and Bill Gates
Shirley Sinclair and Bill Gates

Take a look at this picture from page 111 in the book. You can sure see the resemblance between father and son, can’t you? Did you know that the Gates family had an association with Bremerton, WA? “In March of 1940, Bill Gates, Sr. (grandfather to the Microsoft Bill Gates) obtained a permit to build and lease out a new Ice Creamery on Sixth Street”. I haven’t looked into it in depth, but I suspect that Bill Gates’ family were some of Washington State’s pioneers.

The book was borrowed from friends who had found a hardbound signed copy of it during one of their antiquing forays this summer.  The contents of the book written by Frank Wetzel give you a “behind the scenes” view of what it was like to be a teenager during war time in a town who’s largest employer was (and still is) the United States Navy. While the east coast of the U.S. was worried about the war in Europe, Bremertonians were scared silly after Pearl Harbor and the attack on Wake Island by the Japanese. The shipyard here was one of two on the west coast (Mare Island the other) and PSNY would have been a logical target on the mainland after Wake.

I hope you will consider reading this book if this kind of first hand history interests you. There is much more to the book than what I can explain here. The link above is an affiliate link, but I just included it in case you want to buy the book so that you can find it easily.