A troop train now takes our new graduates to Orange, Texas where they will become the first crew of the new U.S.S. Pride DE 323. But before heading off to Texas here are a couple of pictures left from Wahpeton.
The Greatest Generation is disappearing. According to Veterans Administration at the beginning of this year there were approximately 5,032,591 veteran of World War II still living in the United States but they are dying at the rate of 1,136 a day. As they die so do many of their memories.Sometimes the memories die before the veteran does himself. Our Father, MoMM3c William Valencheck who served aboard the USS Pride DE 323 and who is now confronting the ravages of Alzheimer’s at the age of 87, has lost much of his memory. Though he never would talk much about his experience of WWII, he cannot now even if he were so inclined.In putting his estate together there was revealed a sizable cache of his memorabilia from WWII. There were letters from old girl friends, pictures of fellow guardsmen, drawings, and other mementos that for us are disconnected from actual people and events. Unsure what to do with all of these images of memories that are in some way treasures, his children thought to begin this blog and post the various items from week to week.The intention is not so much to focus on MoMM (Motor Machinist Mate) William J. Valencheck or even to give an in depth historical analysis of the war, but to give a snap shot of some of what a crew member aboard a U.S. Coast Guard ship during the great war held on to as memories.