V-12 Navy Program

My father Morris graduated from V-12 Navy Program at Bates College

Preparing for Notre Dame Navy Training

Posted by on May 31, 2016 in 1940s Life, All Blog Posts, Bowdoin College, Mail and The U.S. Post Office, Navy, V-12 Navy Program, WW2, WW2 Letters, WWII Letter | 0 comments

Excerpt Letter 6-13-44

Excerpt WW2 Letter 6-13-44

Tonight I pulled a letter from Mose at Bowdoin College in 1944. June 13th will be 72 years since it was written. The boys at Bowdoin just saw a film on Midshipman training and “it really inspired the fellows about to leave”. The course curriculum has all been transformed to concentrate the young men’s minds on the needs of war. Morris has reported his grades. He got an A in Naval Strategy. During the war Mose served on an aircraft carrier in the South Pacific.

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Flying Fish at End of Rainbow

Posted by on Nov 28, 2013 in 1940s Life, All Blog Posts, Mail and The U.S. Post Office, Media, Navy, South Pacific, V-12 Navy Program, Vintage Style, WW2, WW2 Letters, WW2 Love Letter, WWII Letter | 0 comments

Love Letter excerpt by Morris to Arline November 1944, of awe and gratitude.

Love Letter

Love Letter 1940
End of the Rainbow

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War Today Freedom Tomorrow

Posted by on Mar 16, 2013 in 1940s Life, All Blog Posts, Mail and The U.S. Post Office, Media, South Pacific, V-12 Navy Program, Vintage Style, WW2, WW2 Letters, WW2 Love Letter, WWII Letter | 0 comments

I didn’t hit on a letter to write about today but here’s a clipping Morris included in one. For Morris and Arline the dream came true. The home of my childhood was just like this ad promised- a heavenly horizon in the 50s and 60s.

War Today Freedom Tomorrow

I return to the letters, feeling alone in a moment after an argument. I want to pull a letter for this date in the past. My dad’s sign offs are like a powerful love force. The words “All my love Darling” to me are gold. It’s gold because Morris made good on his word to the very end. He was an “All my Love” capable man.

My parents commitment lasted past 50 years. The communication was always respectful between my parents. They had differences, small ones like about my mother’s decorating. When she wanted to add an antique she had to get his OK and she didn’t always get the OK. Once she bought a painting by Longfellow’s niece. It’s mine now. It’s a beautiful watercolor of a lone pine tree on a ridge. When she bought it at a church sale, she told my brothers, then about four and seven, not to tell their dad. Good training Mom.

My parent’s roles, he the masculine breadwinner and she the feminine homemaker, were clearly defined. They kept arguments away from us children. I have no memory of Morris ever raising his voice or cursing at anyone. I do have memories of him being respectful to many people from all walks of life. My mother was spared so much because of her husband’s protection. To have known such great people, as they were to each other, is grace in action.

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Winter Carnival Week 1944 Bates College

Posted by on Jan 8, 2013 in 1940s Life, All Blog Posts, Photo, V-12 Navy Program, Vintage Style | 0 comments

Carnival Week at Bates College
Morris Center, Arline Right

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Midshipman’s School 1944 Graduation

Posted by on Dec 15, 2012 in 1940s Life, Media, Navy, Photo, V-12 Navy Program, WW2 | 0 comments

Going through a trunk filled with Father’s war memorabilia. This photo of Dad’s graduation at Notre Dame Midshipmen’s School hit me hard. A striking photo. I grabbed his magnifying glass, hunting for his face in a mass of rows.

I feel an intense pull. Dad is third in from the left, in the second row up.

Midshipman’s School Graduation c.1944

The original photo reveals a depth of feeling in the faces. Some of the men’s caps seem too large on their heads, tipped and slightly skewed. Fascinating, the subtle nuances in each “stern” face. Dad’s visor casts a shadow over his dark brown eyes. I sense something. To me he looks as if he had been crying shortly before this shot was taken. Such a dark time. He didn’t choose this exactly. The draft was otherwise hanging over his head so he enlisted. I feel like a mother might about her boy, protective. He looks like my brother Jeff did as a teenager. I never had a family member go to war before and he is leaving us now here.

Just for today I feel like my family member is going to war. It’s happening in these letters.

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