Monday, February 06, 2006

What have the Twins Done To Support Their Daddy's War?

I was going to title this post, "more lessons for Eleanor," but I've already used it a while back. Have a gander at this paragraph or two from Eleanor Roosevelt's memoir, "This I Remember," and keep the title of this post in mind while doing it. From Page 293 of my copy:
Early one morning in July I was suddenly called on the telephone and very guardedly told that there had been an engagement in which Franklin, junior's ship had been bombed. They thought it was getting into Palermo safely. That was all. I went to my husband's room and asked him if he knew anything more than I had heard. He said he had just been told the same thing, but he would try during the day to find out about it. It was quite along time before I heard all the details. After the ship had been bombed, it was taken into Palermo, where it continued to be shelled at regular intervals. It was tied to another ship, and men were injured on both of them. Franklin, junior, had the good luck to be able to save one boy's life by carrying him down to the other ship's doctor. At the time he did not notice that he himself was hit in the shoulder, but to this day little pieces of shrapnel are there to remind him of it.

Weeks later he let me know that the boy whose life he had saved, but who had lost a leg, was at Bethesda Naval Hospital, so we had him to lunch one day...

...After the repairs on his ship were completed it would have to get home, and he knew it would be an anxious trip becuase the ship would not really be in top-notch sea worthy condition. He felt he could not let the ship go back without him, after all he and his shipmates had been through together.

Franklin, junior, and his father had quite an argument about where his first duty lay; whether to his ship or his father's need of his help in traveling. The ship won in the end and his father gave him a letter of orders to return to it. Young Franklin realized that he could never show those orders to anyone, becuase the security demanded that no one know his father was in the area. He had a very amusing and difficult time getting back to Malta with no orders that he could show to get priority for the return trip.

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