Tag Archives: Navy

VJ Day to CPA

I was around for VJ Day [Aug 14, 1945], which was a great celebration. Firecrackers. It meant that all the boys were coming home. It was a great, great emotional day.

Taylor, Separation of Service from Navy 11.29.1946

Taylor, Separation of Service from Navy 11.29.1946

We stayed there [Drexel Hill] until 19—what was it?—1945 and then we moved to the Boston area, into Newton, in another subdivision of Newton, which was called Auburndale. We stayed there for many years. Dad [Taylor] had bought this house for something like $15-, $18,000, the whole house. It was a big house; a very big house; a big, white, wood house. Yes, in Auburndale.

[Heidi]: May I ask you? So Grandpa originally comes out of Kentucky, then moves to Massachusetts, then to Philadelphia, back to Massachusetts—what’s the draw to Massachusetts? What? Why? I know Philadelphia was. . . .

I think he was in Philadelphia before and that’s where he met Mom, Grandma, Virginia White Duncan. Or was it New York? I may well have been New York.

[Heidi]: It was New York where they met.

Now she was also in the Navy and she was a typist, secretary, shorthand, did shorthand, and I think met him in the work which she did with him. Now he was at the, by the end of the Second World War, he was manager of a large company that made airplanes for the war. But some of the airplanes never got used because the war ended.

Anyway we moved up to Boston.

[Heidi]: Do you know why?

Up in Boston there was a job at the Bentley school. And he had a job of teaching there. Now that school was in Boston itself. It’s now found in Waltham, Massachusetts, but then it was in Boston, not too far from the Prudential, near where that is now.

[Eric?]: He was in accounting.

He was an accountant, right.

[Eric?]: He was also a CPA.

Yeah. CPA is a Certified Public Accountant. He would, that was his, he enjoyed teaching. He was a good teacher.

He had gone to Boston University and he was one of the first students in that era that he was there to study accounting. And he was, I’m told, the best student that they had ever had early in the course of the teaching at the university in the accounting work.

story told by Steve to the family reunion gathering on January 10, 2014; recorded and transcribed by Dawn [Steve’s daughter]

Can you add to the story? Please do. Write in the box below. (You may need to click “Leave a Reply” above to make the box, name, and address fields appear.)

  • What stories of the war ending celebrations do you recall? Do you recall your parents telling you?
  • Lee, Betty, Steve: can you add details about what dinner with your family was like that night? What you and your friends did? What your mother or father said? Was there a special statement or service at church?
  • Do you ever remember watching Grandma take dictation in shorthand or translate shorthand back into regular text? Was she good at it? Do you have any samples of her work?
  • Does anybody have additional accountant/CPA stories from Grandpa that you’d like to share?

Little Steve Sees “Japanese” Bombers

Philadelphia Defense Council Warden Badge, courtesy of Flying Tiger AntiquesIt was at two years old [1942] that I—and the rest of the family—we moved to Philadelphia area, Drexel Hill, 325 Riverview Avenue. That just sticks in my mind and Drexel Hill. We did that because Dad [Taylor] was in the navy.

In the First World War, he was a seaman. In the Second World War, he became an officer to the point where at the end of that war and in retirement, he was a captain level, which is the same as a colonel in the army, which is quite an honorable position.

Dad was a determined guy and a very much of an expert or—let me just say—a perfectionist. He was an accountant before the navy and after the navy and he taught at Bentley University, Bentley College, which now is a university.

In the navy, back to the navy, back in the Second World War, we were at this place in Drexel Hill. After the war—and I recall the VJ Day—and there were some things that were outstanding that I recall in Drexel Hill.

Because I have some very creative brothers, they taught me that Japanese planes were coming in to bomb us. The story had gotten around. They put me in a two-sided porch, two-windowed, windowed on two sides. All I could see was these Japanese planes coming down to bomb us during the blackout time.

Blackouts meant everybody had to turn out their lights in the whole city because they thought that—it was actually in relationship to Germany—because they thought the Germans would fly over and see the houses and see the outline of the houses on ultra—not ultraviolet, but red—infrared vision of the housing and would bomb. We’ll we didn’t know that and we had the blackouts anyway.

Dad, Taylor Albert Duncan Senior, he was one of the wardens, who went around the streets when he got home from the navy time, and he would insist that the city was blacked out. Of those around in his neighborhood, he was responsible. He would make sure that people had their lights out or you couldn’t see it in the houses with lights.

And so that is one of the very prominent memories that I have of the Second World War. I have other little memories, but that was a very outstanding one. I was for sure I could see these Japanese planes because, as I say, I have very creative brothers. They would tell me about all this was happening. It, of course, never did happen.

[325 Riverview Avenue, Drexel Hill, PA is correct. I’ve previously reported Grandma Duncan’s version, which was Riverview Cove. It is listed on the maps as Avenue.—dch]

story told by Steve to the family reunion gathering on January 10, 2014; recorded and transcribed by Dawn [Steve’s daughter]

Can you add to the story? Please do. Write in the box below. (You may need to click “Leave a Reply” above to make the box, name, and address fields appear.)

  • What do you remember of the blackouts?
  • What stories have your folks told you about that period?
  • Do you recall Grandpa Taylor serving as an air raid warden? What can you tell us about it? Did he wear a special patch, badge, or uniform? Did he have to “report” houses that weren’t blacked out? How did he deal with enforcement?
  • Do you remember Steve sleeping on this porch? Do you recall him expressing fear? Do remember the “Japanese bombers” story? What can you tell us about it?

Steve Suggests He’s Caesar

CeasarI started with my father Taylor Albert Duncan. It was senior. He was, I was the last child, his last child, and I was an unexpected child.

And so there’s Virginia, my mother, at age 18 or 17. Something like that. [Shows photograph.]

[Someone Else]: Nineteen?

Nineteen? This is her, yes. Pretty, wasn’t she?

So they—my mother Virginia White Duncan—they were twelve years separated in age. When I was born, she was forty years old. I was sort of unexpected. In fact the doctor had told her that I would not, that she would not have any more children. I’m not sure what I am. [Laughter].

[Someone Else]: You kinda opened yourself up there for suggestions.

Right. I was born and I was born by cesarean, which is something. . . .

[Someone Else]: Are you saying you’re from the Dark Ages?

[Kimberly]: Emperor of Rome is what he’s trying to suggest.

Cesarean was first done, or at least historically, by Caesar or his mother’s doctor. Or somebody.

[Somebody Else]: Are you making this up?

No. No. No. That’s true. That’s why it’s called a Caesar.

Anyway, I was the last of six of Virginia’s children.

[Heidi]: Virginia was told at the beginning that shouldn’t have kids, right? And then she just kept having them?

[Other Voices]: I don’t remember hearing that.

[Heidi]: Am I wrong in that or was it just you?

She never told me that, but I should never have—she just told me I should never have been born.

story told by Steve to the family reunion gathering on January 10, 2014; recorded and transcribed by Dawn [Steve’s daughter]

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Duncan Clan Reunion Uproariously Good

June 1965 Family Reunion, courtesy of Colin Duncan

Mr. and Mrs. Taylor A. Duncan of 16 Washburn Ave., Auburndale, with their six children and families, hired a motel near Manchester, N. H. last weekend for their first family reunion in 13 years.

Betty, Taylor, Virginia, Wally, Harley perhaps, 06.12.1965, courtesy of Colin DuncanWeary but happy after the excitement of family baseball games, musical sessions, and en masse church attendance, Grandfather Duncan’s two-word description of the Friday-to-Sunday gathering was “uproariously good.”

The 28-member clan, lacking only one youngster who had the mumps, included Mrs. Willard Kindberg (Virginia Lee Duncan) and Mr. Kindberg, who have returned from the jungles of Peru where, since 1952, they have been working with the Campa Indians, translating and defining the language of the people, preparing young natives to teach it, and establishing schools. Mr. Kindberg is a translator with the Wycliffe Bible Translators, a Protestant mission society. Mrs. Kindberg was the first graduate of the nursing school at Wheaton College in Illinois. There are six children in their family.

Mrs. Harley Smith (Betty Duncan) and her husband and two children, [sic] home from Paris, France, where they operate a school for Greater Europe Mission (Protestant). Mr. Smith is business manager for the European Bible Institute in Lamorlaye, France. Mrs. Smith, a graduate of Wheaton College, Illinois, is a teacher of music.

Mr. and Mrs. J. Wallace Duncan and their four children [sic] from East Haddam, Conn. Mr. Duncan is a quality control engineer with Winchester Electronics Co. in Waterbury. He is a B. A. graduate of Gordon College, Wenham.

The Rev. and Mrs. Robert Duncan and their three children [sic] of Mattapan, where Mr. Duncan is the minister of St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church.

St. Louis, Mo., is the home of Mr. and Mrs. Taylor A. Duncan Jr. Taylor, a graduate of Northrop Institute of Technology, Inglewood, Calif., is with McDonald Aircraft Co. in St. Louis.

The youngest son, Bertrand Stevens Duncan, was graduated this June from Boston University with a degree in psychology. “Steve” is working as a laboratory technician at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Brighton. He plans to study medicine.

The senior Duncans, who will have been married 40 years on July 25, have lived in Newton since 1935. They left their first address on Hartford St., Newton Highlands, at the outbreak of World War II when Mr. Duncan reentered the service.

He had been in the Navy during World War I and after that had gone into public accounting, getting his CPA in 1925. He entered teaching when he was called upon to fill a temporary vacancy at Temple University in Philadelphia, continued on a part-time basis, and was later called upon to set up business courses at Girard College.

During World War II Cmdr. Duncan spent three years in Philadelphia where he was in charge of a $115 million airplane contract between the Navy and the Budd Co. Later he was transferred to Portsmouth, N. H., where he served as the yard’s fiscal officer.

Mr. Duncan says he has retired twice. He left the Navy as a captain in 1932. Then he worked for General Electric Co. for more than five years as manager of a special auditing project in which he organized a staff of auditors. He retired in 1957.

For five years before World War II and for five years afterward he taught accounting, economics, and finance at Bentley College. He has also taught in the Boston University School of Business Administration.

June, 17 1965 News-Tribune newspaper article entitled “Newton-Based Duncan Clan Reunion Uproariously Good, courtesy of Polly Duncan (Bob’s wife) via Colin Duncan (Bob’s son)

Can you add to the story? Please do. Write in the box below (You may need to click “Leave a Reply” above to make the box, name, and address fields appear.).

  • Colin or Aunt Polly, what’s the name of the newspaper and the date of the edition in which this article appears? Best guess, anybody?
  • Which cousin had the mumps and couldn’t come? Can you tell who stayed home with you? Tell us about having the mumps. How long did it last? Did anyone else in the family get it?
  • Virginia, what year did Aunt Lee graduate from Wheaton as the first graduate of the nursing school? What was it like being the first graduate? What, exactly, does that mean? Was there no one else in her class? How big was her class? Was the program up and running or were there fits and starts? How long did it take her to get through? Why did she choose nursing? Why Wheaton?
  • Uncle Harley, Debby, Sandy, did Aunt Betty teach music in the school in Lamorlaye? Or did she take private students only? Did she teach anything else in the school? What was the school’s name? I presume it’s Aunt Betty playing the piano in the photo above. Am I right? Is Uncle Harley holding the trumpet?
  • Jimmy, Diane how long were you all in East Haddam? Why did you move? Can you describe your house? Remember your address? What ages were all the kids? How long was Uncle Wally with Winchester Electronics? Was he always quality control there or did he move around in jobs, up the ladder or otherwise? How did he get that job? Why did he leave?
  • Aha! The name of Uncle Bob’s church in Mattapan was St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church. Aunt Polly, what position did he serve there? What were his dates there? Was he still in seminary? Where did the Bob Duncans live at that time? How old were the kids? What happened to St. Paul’s that I can’t find anything about it on the web?
  • Gloria, Trey, how did Uncle Tad end up on the other side of the continent in California? What did he do with McDonald Aircraft? How long was he there? Did he move up in the ranks, move around? Why did he leave? What did he go to? Does your mom remember that time? What does she recall? How did they feel about moving to St. Louis?
  • Dad/Steve, can you tell about getting the lab tech job at St. E’s? How long were you there? I’ve never heard about that lab tech job. Why not? What else was going on at the time? Were you dating that painful pre-mom woman still?
  • Anything else anybody wants to tell us?

Tad Swims and Taylor Doesn’t

[Virginia]: This little guy went in swimming. Whether he jumped over or not, I don’t know, but there was a lot of rocks there. But you can be sure where there’s rocks, the water is deep. And the water was very deep. And this little guy could not swim. Tad, Junior, you know, went and jumped in and pulled this little guy right out. Nobody said anything. It was just the natural thing to do. He actually saved that child’s life, you know?

[Barb]: Where was it? In Maine?

[Virginia]: This was up in New Hampshire. It was up in New Hampshire.

[Wally]: Yeah, up in, I think in Nashua. Or was that?

[Barb]: Come here.

[Wally]: No. The thing is I don’t recall the incident. I think I heard about it rather than actually being there.

[Virginia]: Yeah. Well, this little fellow—we didn’t even know him, you know—but he must have yelled out. Tad never made any hesitation. He just jumped over the rocks, went into the water, and dragged the kid out. Nobody said a word. You know, it was just such a natural thing to do, was to save his life. It’s quite cute because he just had a lot of courage to jump overboard. He wasn’t a good swimmer at that time, but he wasn’t going to let that little boy drown.

[Barb]: Now could your father [Taylor] swim?

[Wally]: I doubt it. I doubt it. He had a perforated eardrum, didn’t he, Ma?

[Virginia]: Yeah. 

[Wally]: And he always. . . . That was his excuse why he didn’t go in the water: because he had a perforated eardrum. I don’t think he. . . . That wouldn’t have kept him from getting his feet wet, but I never recall seeing him in the water. I believe I saw him once in that wool bathing suit, you know the one with the straps and everything. 

[Barb]: How can you be a captain in the Navy and not . . . ? 

[Wally]: That’s not a requirement. You know, you go down with the ship. 

[Barb]: Yeah. I guess. That’s why the captains go down with the ship. 

[Wally]: Yeah, they can’t swim. 

USS Granite State in New York Harbor at the time of the Spanish American War, courtesy of spanamwar.com/NYnavalmiltia[Virginia]: Well, he was in the Navy, but he never went to sea, you know. I had more sea than he had because I used to be on The Granite State. That’s when I worked on The Granite State on 96th Street in the North River. Do you remember that? 

[Wally]: Was it a boat, a boat on the . . . ? 

[Virginia]: It was a boat. It was a boat right there. It was a ship. It was, they called it The Granite State. That was the name of the ship. [It was originally named the USS New Hampshire, 1864.]

[Wally]: Was that one of the concrete ships that they made? They made a few ships out of concrete. 

[Virginia]: Well it might have been. I never knew whether it was actually sailable or not, but that’s what I worked on when I was in the Navy.

partial conversation between Virginia, Wally and Barbara Duncan (Wally’s wife) in the summer of 1987, courtesy of Barbara Duncan

Can you add to the story? Please do. Write in the box below (You may need to click “Leave a Reply” above to make the box, name, and address fields appear.).

  • Have you got a picture of Grandpa Taylor in his bathing suit? Do share.
  • Do you ever remember Grandpa Taylor swimming or getting his feet wet?
  • What was Grandpa Taylor’s job in the Navy that he never saw sea time?
  • How was Grandpa Taylor’s eardrum perforated?
  • Why wasn’t Wally on vacation with the family that he only heard about Tad’s heroism later? Was he working a summer job? Studying? Camp-counseling?
  • Where did Tad learn to swim? Were any of the kids formally taught or did they just pick it up?
  • Are there any more stories about family vacations in Nashua, NH? Can you tell us about it? How old were you? Was it a cabin, a hotel, a family camp or something else? How long did everyone stay? Did you return annually, or was this just a one-time visit? Was it with another family?
  • Can you tell other stories of family vacations when the kids were younger?
  • Any idea how old Tad (b. June 22, 1937) would have been at this time? If he was young—Grandma called it “cute” but Wally wasn’t there—he might have been between 8 and 14 say, that would locate this story between 1945 and 1951.

The Courtship of Taylor and Virginia, Including the Story of Elsa Wood

That [the Navy] is where I met my husband, Taylor.

[Barbara]: We’re all interested. Tell me how it happened.

Well, he said to me. Well, first I went down there and he was working down there [96th Street and the North River or the Hudson River]. And so he said, “You know the war’s about over. We think that it’ll be over in a day or two.” He said, “I’ll be working here a little while. Then,” he said, “I’m going to go to Philadelphia. If you feel like you want to leave this job and go to Philadelphia, I’ll see if I can get you a job down there.”

[Barbara]: Now were you dating? Was it romance?

Taylor Albert Duncan in Uniform, courtesy of Virginia GormanOh, yes. He liked me right away. He asked me if I would go out with him and, you know, he was an attractive man and in uniform he was superb! [Sighs.]

[Barbara]: I’m sure.

So, when he. . . .

[Barbara]: He wasn’t a captain? When he died he was. At that point. . . .

No, he was just second lieutenant. Then first lieutenant. That’s the way it is in the Navy. He was first lieutenant at that time. So then he still stayed in the service for a while. He should never have left. If he’d have never left, I’d have a good pension. But he couldn’t wait to get out.

[Barbara]: Now he was still in the Navy in Philadelphia.

Oh, yeah.

Springfield Avenue, Philadelphia, PA, courtesy of Google Maps[Barbara]: And you did go. You told me before that you decided to go and find, to take the job in Philly.

Bob's birthplace, 5101 Springfield Avenue, Philadelphia, PA, courtesy of Colin DuncanIn Philly, yeah. Well, I mean, all these were interwoven. I went from New York to Philadelphia and when I got down there, you know he asked me. . . . He lived in 5101 Springfield Avenue. That’s the house we eventually bought, but I lived in 5103 Springfield Avenue, the house right next door. See? And he still stayed in that boarding house. That’s what that was in those days. And I used to come to the boarding house to get my meals, but I would go home to 5103 at night, see?

Birdie Wyler, Taylor's first wife, (m. 1906), she remarried in 1943, courtesy of Virginia GormanThen, we got. . . . Well, we went around, we went together for nearly four years before we were married. Yeah. So I mention the fact he had married before [Birdie Elizabeth Weyler, 1906; she remarried in 1943], you know, after Kathryn and Paul. Well, he divorced that wife. Then he was unmarried for a while. Then he married my girlfriend [ca. 1919]. Elsa Wood was her name. They only were married, I think it was a year and a half. She had died in childbirth [ca. 1921]. I know that my family don’t know anything about this.

[Barbara] Well, Wally told me that. He knew that.

Well, anyway, she died in childbirth. And then we got engaged in a spell of time. I mean it wasn’t right on top of it.

[Barbara] You knew, did you know, you knew him married to your friend Elsa?

Yeah. I knew, yeah, but I didn’t have anything to do with it.

[Barbara] Yeah, I know.

Taylor Albert Duncan and Elsa Wood, 2d wife, ca. 1919-1921, courtesy of Virginia Gorman

See, I went to see. I got this notice she was going with him. And then I got this notice that they were married and that they had this baby. I sent her a pair of little baby shoes as a gift. I always loved to give shoes to new babies. And so the shoes arrived the day she died, if you can imagine that. And the baby died, too. She was buried with the baby in her arms.

That was from Philadelphia, but this was before I lived there. I didn’t go there until he kept coming to see me, you know. It was a space of time, of course. Nothing was happening right then. He was very lonesome. He would write to me. The writing was thick and fast. He used to write long, long letters. In later years, you couldn’t get him to write a letter to save his soul. You know, when we got married, he just didn’t want to write. But at any rate, we got along very well together.

People in the boarding house never knew Elsa at all. That was her name: Elsa Wood. She was a lovely girl. When I did get married to my husband, why he always, he had nothing but the highest praise to say for her. Well I knew her because I worked with her when I was in the Navy. It was only when I got notice that the baby had died and that she had died and that the shoes arrived and I never knew what he did with them, but he must have given them to someone.

[Barbara]: Let’s get closer to wedding time and dates, so that, just so our kids will know.

In 19. . . . We were married in 19. . . .

[Barbara]: Well, ‘25.

1925, I guess it was. July 26, 1925.

[Barbara]: Well, I know that because this week we celebrated that, didn’t we?

Yeah, that’s right.

[Barbara]: That was two days after Dad’s birthday or before?

That’s right.

[Barbara]: And your sister’s birthday was the same time.

Yeah, my sister’s [Ella] was the 27th and my husband’s was the 23d. They all came in there together.

Virginia Mary White Duncan and Katheryn Duncan Ramey, 1920, courtesy of Virginia GormanWell, when the time came, as I went with Daddy for four years, and we had a lot of fun together after so long, after the mourning period was over. The lady of the house, Mrs. Armor, her name was, she was very congenial, very understanding, the lady of the boarding house. After so long a time, we got married. We considered it was sufficient time after she died, four years.

[Barbara]: Now where did you get married?

We got married in Weymouth Baptist Church in Philadelphia.

[Barbara]: Oh. OK. Well, Dad was a Southern Baptist.

He was a Southern Baptist and I was an Episcopalian. You know, he wanted to be married by the Baptist church. Well, that was better that it happened that way.

[Barbara]: What did you wear?

I wore a white dress and a white veil.

[Barbara]: You don’t have pictures?

No. He would not let me get pictures. He did not believe in white, I guess because of his background.

[Barbara]: Maybe.

At any rate, we were very happy. When we were married, we went to Downingtown [PA], a little resort that was used by young people. Oh, what would you say? I can’t think of what you would call it. Well, anyway it was a young people’s camp, like. We spent two weeks there. That was where we went on our wedding trip with a whole lot of other young people. We were old enough that they didn’t realize that we were just bride and groom. We had a very nice time.

partial transcription of Virginia’s life story as told to Barbara Duncan (Wally’s wife) in the summer of 1987, courtesy of Barbara Duncan

Can you add to the story? Please do. Write in the box below (You may need to click “Leave a Reply” above to make the box, name, and address fields appear.).

  • Do you recall other stories of Grandma’s time in the Navy?
  • Do you recall stories of Grandpa’s first wife? What was her full name/maiden name? Can you tell the story of their circumstances and what led to the divorce?
  • Did Grandma ever meet her?
  • Where were Kathryn and Paul during this time? Did Grandma know them? What did they think of Elsa?
  • I cannot locate a Weymouth Baptist Church in Philadelphia. Does anyone have more information on it? A marriage license?
  • Can you confirm the dates that I’ve placed in brackets in this transcription? Can you add month and day? Where does your information come from?
  • I know there’s a photo of Grandpa in his uniform somewhere. I’ve seen it, but I’d appreciate some direction from, perhaps, Virginia or Colin, as to where I might find it. Thanks.


Wally Goes to War

Merchant Marine Emblem[Virginia]: He was missing this morning. He had gone to school apparently. Instead of that, he made up his mind that he was going to go on adventure, so he got on this ship down at the dock. I didn’t know where he was. When it was time for him to come home from school, he didn’t come. Then I got this telephone message: “I’m down in South America” somewhere. I don’t know where he was, right over the border.

[Barb]: Well he was missing for a few days, before you knew where he was?

[Virginia]: No, the first day I didn’t know where he was. No. You know, he called me up and said, “I’m so far I can’t get to a telephone. Couldn’t get to a telephone before because they wouldn’t let us get off the boat.” When he got back on the boat, he said, “I’ve either got to make up my mind to go along with them and go over to Asia,” I guess it was, “or to come home.” I said, “Well, you better come home here and get home here fast!” because you know his father was all upset about it. Before you could say anything more much, he was home. He said, “You know, if I’d have gone, it would have been at least four months before I would ever have got home.”

[Barb]: He hadn’t even packed his bags?

[Virginia]: Oh, yeah, when they went over to. . . .

[Barb]: No, but, had he packed his bags?

[Virginia]: Oh, I don’t think they bothered packing much.

partial conversation between Virginia and Barbara Duncan (Wally’s wife) in the summer of 1987, courtesy of Barbara Duncan

Wally enlisted in the Navy at age 13 after lying about his age [ca. 1942]. Had his dad not been a Navy captain himself and gotten wind of it, he might have pulled it off. At the time, every self-respecting lad was itching to go fight the Huns and the Japs—even if they really were too young to be soldiers.

written memories of Wally, contributed by Jim Duncan (Wally’s son), on the occasion of Wally’s death, November 7, 2006

When [Wally] was about 13, he had this same determination and wanderlust. His father was in the Navy and was not home. World War II was raging and all patriotic, able-bodied men were joining the military. Serving their country was indeed an honor. It is hard to imagine, but Wally doctored up his birth certificate, making himself older than he was. He was large for his age and could pass for an older teen. He signed up for the Merchant Marines [an auxiliary of the Navy, responsible for transporting goods and services] and took off to see the world without telling anyone. He made it for the one trip to Central America before his father caught up with him and brought him back home. Somehow he never told the story with regret or even any sympathy for his parents. Adventurer he was!

written memories of Wally, contributed by Barbara Duncan (Wally’s wife), December 12, 2012

Can you add to the story? Please do. Write in the box below (You may need to click “Leave a Reply” above to make the box, name, and address fields appear.).

  • Do you remember this story? What other details can you add? For example, did he put into port anywhere? What were his rank and duties? What was the name of his ship? How did his father engineer the “capture”? How, if at all, was Wally punished?
  • What did Grandma have to say about Wally’s “escape”?
  • Lee, Betty, Steve, what were you doing in 1942?
  • Describe life at home when your dad was away in the Navy?