Sunday, May 25, 2014

Memorial Day

Today I share 2 military photo rescues, one from World War II and one from (I believe) World War I.

This first photo is of a group of five soldiers out for a little R&R in San Francisco.  The photo is one of those snapped by a nightclub photographer and inserted into a souvenir folder.  The five soldiers signed the inside of the folder and added their home addresses.  I've been pondering just what would prompt them to do something like that.  Did they all get a copy of the photo and all sign each one or was there just this one photo?  And if it was just one, who bought it and why did everyone include their address and rank?  

Left to right, are:
T/Sgt. J. P. Beckett, Uvalde, Texas
         A search for additional information to identify Sgt. Beckett was unsuccessful
S/Sgt. Alvin G. White, Maynardville, Tennessee
        WWII enlistment records show that St. White was born 1918 in Tennessee and
        died 1993 in Florida.
M/Sgt. Jim Marvin(?), of Pennsylvania
        This soldier's handwriting is so atrocious that the name is in question and the address
        is unreadable.  No further information found.
S/Sgt. Jack H. Kraft,  Columbus, Ohio
        WWII enlistment records show that Sgt. Kraft was born 1916 in Ohio and died 1973 in Ohio.
S/Sgt. Anthony F. Govekar,  Franklin Borough, Pennsylvania
        WWII enlistment records show that Sgt. Govekar was b. 1920 in Pennsylvania and died
        2010 in Florida

Just for fun, I tried looking up some information on Chez Paree.  I'm not sure what kind of place it was in the 1940s, but apparently it was a pretty wild joint in later years.  I think it's still in business at a slightly different location, but I confess I was leary of continuing my search for fear of what I might see.  Something tells me it was a pretty wild joint even as early as when these fellows paid it a visit.  

Another photo rescue with a military flavor looks like it was taken in the World War I years.  The young man looks so very young that I might have mistaken him for a Boy Scout - if not for that holster on his hip.

On the reverse is written Homer Raney, with no location or any other information.  There is no photography mark to help narrow the search.

Unfortunately I have not been able to identify exactly where this young man lived.  There were several potential Homer Raneys for the time period.

As I look at this photo, I think of one of my ancestors who served in WWI, was injured, survived and made it home, only to die of typhoid shortly afterwards.  This young man doesn't look old enough to be shaving yet, much less facing the horrors that were waiting for him in Europe.  I wonder if he made it home.


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