#1 Introduction

Charlie on Waikiki Beach, Hawaii, 1943.

December 7, 1990

Pearl Harbor Day

To my grandson Matthew:

                Do you recall your father saying it would be nice if I could make a recording of my many experiences? We were on our way home from the Studebaker exhibition this past summer. I thought about this and I felt it might be something you would like to have as a keepsake. I have taken my memorabilia and put it together in this binder. It consists of things that make you wonder why anyone would bother to save such things. I guess it was a part of my life I could not forget. I realized that when I’m gone the old card box full of these scraps would be lost or discarded. In another forty years give or take a few there will not be many veterans of World War II left to tell their stories. There is nothing in here that has any value either monetary or historical. However, someday when your children ask you if you remembered your grandfather you can show this to them. Who knows, if the binder doesn’t wear out, even your children’s children might ask the same question. I have not written a biography but have simply made some notes about things I remembered about my many days. I realize that at your present age some of my writing will be hard for you and some things you might not understand. Also the navy I served in 49 years ago is a far cry from the present one.

                I was not a hero. I did only what many others did because we loved our country. I was a lonely, frightened at times, sailor on a small ship in a large navy engaged in an even larger war. A war that I believe was probably the most momentous occurrence in human history. No other event had effected the lives of so many people. I was proud to have served and happy that I survived to enjoy the happiness of a loving family

May you have a happy and full life.

Your grandfather

Charlie with the Liberty Ship John W. Brown in Baltimore, MD, early 1990s.

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