Fourth Edition Jan. 2009
This page contains an Alpha and Omega for the book,
"Joining the War at Sea 1939-1945"
This material is not in the book.
First Day Cancellation by U.S. P:ostal Service 1941- All Volunteer Gender-Integrated Armed Force
Copyright Franklyn E. Dailey Jr. 2015
Look down the left side for cueing links to material related to chapters in the book.
Here now, an Alpha for a Navy destoyer, and a book about its life.(Look for an Omega which follows below.)
The destroyer USS Edison has just been launched from her building ways at Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock in New Jersey. The U.S. Postal Service has taken note of Edison's first day of postal service. That occurred very early in 1941 but the date is obscured. This canceled envelope was personally delivered to Capt. Franklyn E. Dailey Jr. USNR (Ret) by Captain Herbert Rommel USN (Ret.) who had been skipper of the USS Wilkes, DD-441, which went to sea in World War II in DesRon 13, along with the Edison and seven other Six of theorigial nine destroyers of DesRon 13 survived the war. .
The actual "handing over' of this cancellation envelope occurred at Fall River, Massachusetts, where Edison shipmates were enjoying a reunion aboard USS Massachusetts, the battleship that both Edison and Wilkes supported at the Battle for Casablanca in November 1942.
Edison earned six battle stars . Five of them were earned at Casablanca, Sicily, Salerno, Anziio and Southern France. Edison fired more 5" 38 cal. rounds in battle than any other U.S. destroyer in WW II. She was regunned three times.
"Joining the War at Sea" begins with a little foreword on the volunteer vs. draft, in the U.S. military. .
In the 1990s, Thomas E. Ricks wrote about matters related to the U.S. armed forces. In the Wall Street Journal of May 30, 1997, under the headline, "Latest Battle for the Military Is How Best to Deal with Consensual Sex," Mr. Ricks included the following paragraph in an article on this complex subject:
"A key fact about today's U.S. military is that military experts generally agree it is the world's best, arguably for the first time in history. So today's generals aren't just being politically correct when they express support for the gender-integrated military. They would also rather command a force of competent volunteers of both sexes than the main alternative - a force of less-trained and sometimes surly male draftees." '
I noted that I had never met a surly draftee and I fought alongside many of them in my 27 months of war front service in World War II. Tom Ricks was kind enough to contact me later by e-mail to observe that he was reporting Pentagon talk in the phrase 'surly male draftees' and that he had in no way subscribed to such Pentagon talk.
Some later comment on the draft subject appears in a page on my website, also entitled Prologue. The number of visits and the millions of Google phrases that respond to words like 'draft,' and "volunteer,' tell me that the subject of the military draft, which had its modern introduction in President Wilson's draft of 1917, will never lose interest. And, it should never lose interest.
Ricks' words beginning, "A key fact...." was right on. We do have the "world's best military..." Our all-volunteer military has been carefully recruited. Its pay and benefits are superior to draft days. Since it is recruited by appeal and not by coercion, right from induction, the process is orderly. The military knows what it is getting to a far greater degree than with the messy draft, and it knows when enlistees will arrive, where they will arrive, and what early training and later training steps will be needed. It also has weapons for them. And the Army today has equipage that meets the test of the word, 'armor.'
The men and women have acquitted themselves in superb measure and have taken death and injury tolls that sadden the nation.
Here now, an Omega never envisioned as an experience related to the life of a destroyer, including the landings it supported at Casablanca, Sicily, Salerno, Anzio, and Southern France. But as war raged and then waned, Edison's last combat experience occurred in August and September 1944, as it supported the Allied landings at and near Cannes in Southern France,
On this page we have dealt with the Alpha, a postal cancellation envelope,isssued by the U.S.. Postal Service.
And now we come to the Omega, represented by the American Battle Monuments Commission.
This is told in a series of photos. . These photos, taken by daughter Elizabeth Kvam, arrived in my ''in box" December 31, 2014.Elizabeth, and her husband, Michael Bungey ,were on a driving trip through France, and took the time to stop at a caring, and cared for, resting place. The reverence is transcendent. I had begun my duty aboard the USS Edison DD-439 with a a convoy crossing to Scotland, a trip filled with tragedy, then began gunfire support for landings at Casablanca, Sicily, Salerno, Anzio, finishing my duty aboard thatdestroyer as her Gunnery Officer for the invasion at Southern France, all covered in the book. In this cemetery are U.S. military personnel who perished in that invasion.
Above, entrance to the Americn Cemetery at Draguignan, France: Photos, dialogue, by Elizabeth Kvam
'At dusk" view inside Rhone American cemetery at Draguignan, France. Photo, Elizabeth Kvam.
Introductory section of plaque at Rhone American Cemetery at Draguignan France. Photo, Elizabeth Kvam(EK)
(Note the role of the American Battle Monuments Commission)
A Jewish soldier at rest in the Rhone American cemetery at Draguignan France. "There were several." (EK)
: "Fallen soldier namedWoodrow Wilson." in the Rhone American cemetery, Draguignan France Elizabeth Kvam
An 'unknown' grave of which there are "60 out of the 865 graves." (EK)
"Guides told us GIs sometimes switched dog taps for good luck." Photo, caption, Elizabeth Kvam
Shrine of Blessed Mother and Child at Rhone American cemetery at Draguignan France
Caption "We who lie here died that future generations may live in peace."
Comment from this website's author: I was Gunnery Officer of the USS Edison, DD-439, which was a lead gunfire support destroyer for the Allied landings at Southern France beginning August 15, 1944. This cemetery is the repository for the remains of U.S. soldiers who gave their lives in those those landings. I am really thrilled that the beloved daughter of Marguerite and Franklyn E. Dailey Jr.. not only discovered this precious site, but took the time, with her husband, to record what she saw.
"Grave of Ward Sackal from California. An old girlfriend who is now 95 (late 2014) sends flowers every Christmas. She visits once a year from San Diego. She went on to marry someone else and is now a widow. The card on the flowers was in her quavery handwriting. It says 'Loving you forever, Chris'."
Photo and caption recorded by Elizabeth Kvam December 2014
"The guide who said she would love to have you visit. They have onsite receptions for US veterans. She lives in France, but is from Cornwall in England. She calls the occupants of the cemetery "her boys" and says one must not regard this spot as at all sad as the boys remain forever young." Photo, caption ,Elizabeth Kvam
"Front of the gates at Rhone American Cemetery." Photo, caption Elizabeth Kvam.
The gates have closed on this day for the Rhone American Cemetery at Draguignan France, and for this story too.
Elizabeth Kvam photos "Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device"