My father played sax and clarinet in the navy band, a “fine and talented group of fellas” according to Dad.
Dad breaks his finger during a game of baseball. He’s ordered to withdraw from his spot on the U.S.S. Arizona. He’s disappointed.
It’s the summer of 1941. Dad receives an envelope of notes from his best buds that are stationed on the Arizona.
Wendell is Dad’s best friend. He writes that Loretta Young (actress) came to see the band. The director works them to death and “bites our head off at the least little mistake”.
Wendell twirled for the crew several times on the quarterdeck. He signs his note, “Twirlingly yours, Wendell.”
Another friend writes, “Hello you old hep cat.” He signs off, “A brother cat.”
This: “Here it is a darkened ship and the general quarters. We have to stand condition and security watches when they have them out to sea. Condition watches are varied lengths of time and you can sit down while on watch and read or write letters, etc. Security watches are four hours in length and you patrol several decks.”
Four months later all of the authors perished in Pearl Harbor.
Dad was forever changed. He couldn’t talk about it.
God bless them.