Tuesday, February 25, 2014

World War 2: Connecting w a Veteran (10)

I enjoy connecting by phone and email with Lloyd, WW2 veteran. Though there is a 27-year difference in our age, we have similar interests. Recently I thought I would share a few photos of birds at my feeder along with any Navy photos I felt pertained to our ongoing correspondence.

I wrote:

Hi Lloyd, I hope all is well and that you've been getting out a bit. My birds are eating me out of house and home and I'll have to buy more seed if they keep it up. Long winters - and Mr. and Mrs. C, they come three times a day - are keeping me poor.

In a follow-up email he wrote:

I feed the birds a lot so realize the hundreds of dollars it cost. I also feed around 15 Chipmunks that land on my knee for a peanut. I had a book made by Apple computer called my backyard zoo with some of these pictures.

["Photos the property of Lloyd Evans"]

I'll be sure not to let Lloyd know I'm not as fond of squirrels as he seems to be. However, I'll bear in mind that my attitude may change as I grow older. Maybe I'll look at squirrels differently when I'm in my 80s or 90s.

We have also been able to share similar Navy photos with one another. Along with photos of Mr. and Mrs. C I sent the following message and accompanying photographs:

You mentioned your trip around Africa, on your way to Siciliy in 1943, took three months. It was maybe longer for SS Silver Walnut, "a real dud" my dad said. Later in life he said he loved that ship. I sent you a picture of men of the 80th flotilla aboard the SS Silver Walnut and found their names in a Combined Operations book put together in the 1990s.

["My father, centre backgr., left of man w cap, aboard
Walnut; Stoker Katanna, standing, second from left"]

Stoker Katana's hammock from the Walnut is in a BC museum now and when I went to BC the curator let me unroll it, wearing silk gloves, and took my picture. I include it. I had no table manners, I got right up on her nice chairs and snapped pictures. I hope I took off my shoes.

You gave me such good photos of Don Westbrook (one of father's buddies) I thought I would try to track him down. I found 'Westbrook' in Hamilton's phone book and left a message about my photos and yours. A day later Don's wife called me. She is 89 and lives with her son in York, near Cayuga. Don passed away several years ago but Marg and her two boys want to meet me and hear more about Combined Operations.

["Don Westbrook, left, in Scotland"]

I hope you don't mind, but I sent them three of your photos w Don and directions to your story on Combined Ops website. I thought they would learn a lot from your story. I just want to say you're a good man sharing those photos and I think they are the best I've seen, right on the barges.

Lloyd later sent the following photo, of a fine boat load of sailors (who, when, where?) and one very significant line:

["Men of RCNVR and Combined Ops, likely on a
transport ship; Photo - property of Lloyd Evans"]

Would like to read that book* you mentioned.


I'm surprised and not surprised at the same time. I'm sure many men of the barges, members of Combined Operations, have never seen a book written about their brave efforts.

Okay. I've got my work cut out for me now!

More to follow.

*Combined Operations book by Clayton Marks, London

Photos by GH unless otherwise stated.

More Connecting w a Veteran

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