Saturday, December 8, 2012

Remembering World War II

Dear Grandmother,
A shaking leaf on my account this morning led me to the 1940 census record for your sister Martha Marinda Allen Long. She was enumerated on 17 April 1940 in Tallahassee, Florida in the household of her husband Phelps W Long, with son Phelps Junior age 16, daughter Shirley V age 12, and cousin Lindsey Pappy. Her husband is the President of P. W. Wilson, Company which I believe was a department store in Tallahassee. Martha is working as a buyer for the store. Everything seems to be very comfortable for them.

Tallahassee, Florida via


Yesterday, we marked the 71st anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. I remember you explaining how your family had learned of the attack while celebrating Granddaddy's birthday at the Multnomah Club. I wonder how Martha's family learned of the attack.

Phelps enlisted in the Marine Corps, and went through Basic Training at New River, in North Carolina. I don't know if he finished high school or enlisted immediately. His enlistment date shows as 25 Aug 1942, so perhaps his mother was able to delay his enlistment until after he graduated. He was assigned to Company "I", Third Battalion, 21st MAR, 3rd Marine Division.

There are reports that say PFC Phelps W. Long, received a Silver Star for his actions during the Battle at Bouganville. I have not yet been able to verify that information. I do know that he was killed in action.

I'm sure you must have been terrified when your 16 year old son and recent graduate of Grant High School announced that he was enlisting in the U. S. Navy in June of 1944.

It seems your sister was never able to get over the death of her son. She died of pneumonia while visiting family in Memphis 21 April 1948 at the young age of 47. I imagine that no one could have anticipated the turn of events in eight years when they were answering the Census Enumerator's questions just eight years before.

His sacrifice is not forgotten,

No comments:

Post a Comment