November 11, 2009

Veterans Day


Left to Right: Dale Crabtree; my dad, Alfred Oglesby; Herman Taylor
circa 1944, US Base 3115, Hollandia, New Guinea

My dad enlisted in the Navy and left Praco, Alabama at the age of 17. This is him astride his Harley Davidson, with his '41 Ford coupe in the background. Further in the background is Alabama.


He arrived at the Great Lakes training center on April 29, 1944. Sometime on the long train ride there, they had to stop because they'd run over a hobo on the tracks.

By the end of June 1944, there was a trip to Norfolk, then a long boat ride to the South Pacific.

Milne Bay, New Guinea is a long way from Praco.

He was assigned to the USS Amycus as part of its boat pool in August, then to the USS Blue Ridge, then the Henry T. Allen, and finally landed at Base 3115 in Hollandia.

This is a picture of him at the tiller of a whaleboat. He hated whaleboats. They were about as manueuverable as a whale.


New Guinea was full of exotic things, like grass skirts. Best worn with slippers and white crew socks, apparently.

grass skirt.jpg

The base at Hollandia had just been built when he got there. Not much time for tidiness, and burnt out Japanese planes where simply bulldozed off to the side of the runway.


After the defeat of Japan, he took a "Magic Carpet" ride aboard the USS Hancock to San Diego, came back home to Alabama, finished school, got married, and had two kids.

He passed on to the next life on July 30, 1984. I miss him, and wish I better remembered the stories he told me of his life.

To all veterans, a salute to you on this day for your service, and my thanks.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at November 11, 2009 12:01 PM

Amen. I salute the late Alfred O., his compatriots, and all those who have followed since and will in the future.

Posted by: skinnydan at November 12, 2009 11:54 AM

I look at these photos and my own then just marvel at just how young we where in them. I think the US stands tall with such fine shoulders at the wheel of State.

Posted by: Chef Tony at November 12, 2009 01:11 PM

I always look forward to your Veteran's Day posts. Or would that officially be non-posts?

Posted by: Larry Anderson at November 17, 2009 02:25 PM

You are correct--I am still officially not blogging.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at November 17, 2009 03:17 PM