family traditions ... and the habits of nations
I first wrote about this pic in 2014, but as I’m suffering a bit of writer’s block (AKA life is busy), I thought I’d take one more opportunity to give a nod to both of my Grandfathers who served in the Navy in WWI.
My maternal Grandfather never left CONUS, but my paternal Grandfather did - he served on the USS ARKANSAS (BB-33) through her service Battleship Division NINE as part of the Royal Navy's Grand Fleet's Sixth Battle Squadron. I've blogged about ARKANSAS a few times, click here for a review if you wish.
Sadly, I don't have any pictures of him on the ship ... just paper records. Thanks to our friends at NHHC, we do have access to some of the archive of pictures and I have found this one.
Pops was on the ARKANSAS at this time. A very small chance he is in this picture, but his Shipmates are. Those he went to war with for that short, quite, but important deployment at the very end of the Great War. At least one of these young men would have recognized Pops if he walked by him ... that is good enough for me.
As we, guilty party here BTW, occasionally throw barbs at the hesitancy and apparent selfishness of our allies in conflicts from Afghanistan to Ukraine, we should try to humble ourselves with the knowledge that we have the same habits of pause, delay, and late arrival in our history - review of Battleship Division NINE demonstrate that well.
That is part of our history too ... but for now, I just want to take a moment to give a nod to my Pops and his Shipmates, and the unmitigated glory it must have been being at sea with ARKANSAS, WYOMING, TEXAS, NEW YORK, & FLORIDA (NB: DELAWARE was replaced by ARKANSAS).