Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
BobInNH

A Navy officer's final letter home

Rate this topic

15 posts in this topic

The June 29, 1942, letter from Lieutenant Commander John J. Shea, USN, USS Wasp, to his son:

 

Dear Jackie,

 

This is the first letter I have ever written directly to my little son and I am thrilled to know that you can read it all by yourself. If you miss some of the words, I'm sure it will be because I do not write very plainly. Mother will help you in that case I am sure.

 

 

I was certainly glad to hear your voice over the long distance telephone. It sounded as though I were right in the living room with you. You sounded as though you missed your daddy very much. I miss you too, more than anyone will ever know. It is too bad this war could not have been delayed a few more years so that I could grow up again with you and do with you all the things I planned to do when you were old enough to go to school.

 

 

I thought how nice it would be for me to come home early in the afternoon and play ball with you, and go mountain climbing and see the trees, and brooks, and learn all about woodcraft, hunting, fishing, swimming, and things like that. I suppose we must be brave and put these things off for a little while.

 

 

When you are a little bigger you will know why your daddy is not home so much any more. You know we have a big country and we have ideals as to how people should live and enjoy the riches of it and how each is born with equal rights to life, freedom, and the pursuit of happiness. Unfortunately, there are some countries in the world where they don't have these ideals, where a boy cannot grow up to be what he wants to be with no limits on his opportunities to be a great man, such as a great priest, statesman, doctor, soldier, businessman, etc.

 

 

Because there are people and countries who want to change our nation, its ideals, forms of government, and way of life, we must leave our homes and families to fight. Fighting for the defense of our country, ideals, homes, and honor is an honor and a duty which your daddy has to do before he can come home to settle down with you and Mother. When it is done, he is coming home to be with you always and forever. So wait just a little while longer. I am afraid it will be more than the two weeks you told me on the phone.

 

 

In the meantime, take good care of Mother. Be a good boy and grow up to be a good young man. Study hard when you go to school. Be a leader in everything good in life. Be a good Catholic, and you can't help being a good American. Play fair always. Strive to win but if you must lose, lose like a gentleman and a good sportsman. Don't ever be a quitter either in sports or in your business or profession when you grow up. Get all the education you can. Stay close to Mother and follow her advice. Obey her in everything, no matter how you may at times disagree. She knows what is best and will never let you down or lead you away from the right and honorable things in life. If I don't get back, you will have to be Mother's protector because you will be the only one she has. You must grow up to take my place as well as your own in her life and heart.

 

 

Love your grandmother and granddad as long as they live. They too will never let you down. Love your aunts and see them as often as you can. Last of all, don't ever forget your daddy. Pray for him to come back and if it is God's will that he does not, be the kind of a boy and man your daddy wants you to be.

 

 

Thanks for the nice sweater and handkerchiefs and particularly for the note and card. Write me very often and tell me everything.

 

 

Kiss Mother for me every night.

 

 

Goodbye for now.

 

 

With all my love and devotion for Mother and you.

 

Your daddy

 

 

 

Letter courtesy of the Boston College library collection; for more information, go to bcm.bc.edu/issues/ winter_2002/ll_jackie.html

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I married into a military family, my father-in-law gave 30 yrs of service to this country, he was in heroshima a month after the bombed was dropped,retired an e-8, my mother-in-law's brother was killed behind enemy lines when he was only 18, he was a sniper in the army, I remember a story my she told us one time that is similar to the one above, her family received a letter from him and she could tell by the way it was written that he knew he wasn't coming home, a month later he was killed, it kind of hits home reading stuff like this,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This certainly does hit home, my father served on a ship of the same name, the CVS-18. I started searching after this thread was started and found this on the internet, my father is in the top photo.

 

Thank you Lieutenant Commander Shea and thank you Pop.

 

139.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

John Shea and his son.

 

525

 

 

Shea Field (Boston College) is named after him.

 

"Shea Field is a baseball stadium in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. It is the home field of the Boston College Eagles college baseball team. The stadium holds 1,000 people and is named after Commander John Joseph Shea U.S.N., a former football player at Boston College." ~ Wikipedia

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shea_Field

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for posting this, sometime we forget what alot of people went thru back then and now, and

we all need to take a little time to remember them in our own way.

I can't go a day without reading who die overseas in this crazy war we are in, and that might seem crazy to

some but to me it help me cope and also makes me humble.

To remember not to take simple things for granted so much...Thank you all

military-12.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
View PostI married into a military family, my father-in-law gave 30 yrs of service to this country, he was in heroshima a month after the bombed was dropped.

 

 

My father was in Hiroshima the same time aboard the USS Wichita, preparing to transport US POWs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for the reminder that our freedom here in the US is special and comes at a terrible but unavoidable price. To all the military; active and retired on this site: thank you from me and my family.heart.gifheart.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

my grandfather was in WWII, as a marine...word for word exchange with him when I was like 6 years old..we had just watched a history show on the bomb(s)....

 

"Grampa, do you feel bad we did that to Japan?"

 

"Brian, I feel bad we didnt drop 150 of those bombs on them"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
View Postmy grandfather was in WWII, as a marine...word for word exchange with him when I was like 6 years old..we had just watched a history show on the bomb(s)....

 

"Grampa, do you feel bad we did that to Japan?"

 

"Brian, I feel bad we didnt drop 150 of those bombs on them"

 

 

 

Wow, very similar to my dad, he said he wished we dropped them a lot sooner.

 

I'll never go to Shea Stadium or watch a BC home game without thinking of John Shea and saying a prayer for him and his loved ones.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My father was in the Navy during WW2, In the Pacific. When the war ended he was in Tokyo Harbor for the signing of the Armistice. His ship was a light cruiser (USS SanDiego). They drew less water so they entered the harbor first in case of mines. cwm13.gif

 

My mother had found out they were steaming home (before being sent to Tokyo) She went to California by train only to find out the ship would be 3 weeks late in arriving. She had time to get all tanned before dad got home.

I was born 9 months after the ship docked. wink.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
View PostShe had time to get all tanned before dad got home. I was born 9 months after the ship docked. wink.gif

 

 

I bet you can find lots of folks, who's dads were in the Navy were born nine months after a long deployment.

 

I do recall when after my first Med run, '76-'77 our crew family list grew as several of the married guys wives were expecting. To bad for some of them, missed the birth of their child, we redeployed for within nine months of returning home.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to register here in order to participate.

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.