After finishing and publishing three books on World War II this year, I took a month and a half long break. Kind of a forced break you could say – where I just could not and did not want to research, read, talk about, or write anything World War II or military. I guess sometimes we just need to step back and stop. Some client work has pushed me back into the research and writing though. I’m happy to say I’m ready to dive back in, just not at the pace I was the last two years. Which was almost non-stop.
I have pieces of a file for a U.S. Navy Officer named George Tyler Howe. This man served from 1910 – 1935 when he was put on the retired list. Then went back into service in 1940 and remained there until discharge after World War II in 1945. His file is gigantic and at some point I will obtain a full copy. For now I have some important pieces of information such as his full record of service including the dates he was placed at various stations and on ship, how many days of sea service he had plus total service. There are medical records, a Bronze Star Citation, and family information.
What surprised me were the letters from a descendant of George T. Howe who had written to the National Personnel Records Center asking for copies of vital records that apparently were in the file at some point. Maybe they still are, I haven’t yet seen the full file. There are also lists of his beneficiaries and family members – both his wife/children and the names and addresses of a few of his siblings.
The file also contains a few handwritten letters written by his wife to the Navy asking about her husband’s health and current station. Can you imagine what it was like to have a husband serving in World War I and beyond and not knowing where he was? This man had a lot of health issues and his wife was concerned about this as well.
Overall the file is quite interesting as it combines records from pre-World War I and beyond to World War II. Add to this military history, the genealogy sprinkled in here and there, and it becomes even more valuable to researchers. And, in researching his service this morning, I discovered his son George Tyler Howe, Jr. served in the U.S. Navy during World War II as a Marine Aviator. George Jr. was lost at sea 25 September 1944 in the Pacific. I plan to learn more about his service too. Stay tuned!