Memorial Day

My husband wrote the following on his facebook. I thought I’d repost it here, without his knowledge or permission. Of course.

Few may know that my son, Spencer, is named in honor of the USS Spence (DD 512) which was lost in the south pacific on December 18, 1944 during one of the greatest naval losses suffered during the war not caused by enemy action.

On that destroyer my grandfather, who was exempt from the draft and was serving his country voluntarily as many of the greatest generation did during WW II, was working below decks and was not able to escape along with most of the remaining crew.

Being a native of Iowa he naturally joined the Navy. He left San Francisco harbor in October 1944 never to return leaving a wife and three young children. Though he saw minimal enemy action, he was doing something he felt was right and was a responsibility as a citizen of his country.

Whenever I use the shortened name of my son when calling to him, I always have the USS Spence and the men who served on her on my mind.

R.I.P. noble sailors, sleep well and on this Memorial Day thank you again for your service and know your sacrifice was not in vain.

The bronze plaque in the photo is on the Fort Dodge, Iowa county court house honoring the local war dead of WW II, as thousands of rural court houses do across the country. The grave is that of my father who I lost at a very young age, which also contains an inscription honoring his father lost on the Spence when he was only a baby. I am forever grateful to my grandmother and my mother for having that inscription added on my father’s marker to memorialize my grandfather lost at sea. I’m sure my father would feel the same.

Take a moment and visit a monument or memorial and read a few of the names or all of them (whether or not you have a personal connection to any who served) to keep the memory of great sacrifices made by common people for a greater good.


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6 Responses to “Memorial Day”

  1. Very touching story, stopping in from SITS to say hi .)


  2. citymouse says:

    What a touching post. Please express my gratitude to your husband for his grandfather’s contribution. My son Matthew is currently serving in Iraq, finishing up a one-year tour there. It is the stand and commitment of men like your husband’s grandfather that give my son and the other men and women serving in our armed forces today the vision to carry on.


  3. Rose says:

    Hi – visiting from SITS – Beautiful post.


    Amy Reply:

    Thanks so much for stopping by. I love what my husband wrote. So proud of him.


  4. Kellie says:

    I found this site after Googling “Survivors of USS Spence”. My grandfather died on the USS Spence too. Maybe your husband’s grandfather and my grandfather were friends on board together. :) I love that you named your son Spencer. I didn’t know much about my real grandfather nor the USS Spence b/c my grandmother remarried and had 5 more kids. I know that grandfather. My mom was the only child of George McQuerry who died on the Spence. Thank you for this site. :)


    Amy Reply:

    Thank you so much for your comment! It means a lot to me and my husband.


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