Sid's N T I N S Locker
Remembrances of Gil Raynor's FATHER IN WWII
Posted on the Submariner BBS of Ron Martini's Naval Submarine World Network
by GIL RAYNOR on December 06, 1997.
Pearl Harbor Day via Research
Being a baby boomer, I personally do not remember Pearl Harbor as all of you old folks do, but allow me to share some memories I have regarding Pearl Harbor. In the chair cubby hole of my father's roll up desk, he kept a wooden box that had a lid and in this box, he stored some things that were to have a great impression on me. My dad served on the USS KITKUN BAY CVE-71 (commonly referred to by his children, much to his chagrin, as the Kitchen Bay). He survived the Battle off Samar and several kamakizi attacks on the CVE.

As the oldest of 9 children, we were always running thru the house and playing games and of course hide and seek was one of them. When I was small and only had a small number of siblings, we could get into small spaces. I would hide in the chair well of the desk and pull the chair in, sitting on this box.

As children are wont to do, eventually I decided to explore this box but there was nothing in it that I wanted. Just some old clippings, some old books with some kind of stamps and so on.

One day, my father saw me with the box open and he asked me if I would like to know what was in it. I did not really care all that much, but something about the way he asked made me say yes.

And this little wooden box was to be the beginning of my real interest in this Great Nation of ours and our history. My dad first took out the yellowed clippings and explained to me the day America was attacked. He told me of the shock and anger and of the rise of patriotism. He would later tell me of the changes in our country, the internment of the Japanese and of his joining the service.

Also in that box were little books of rations stamps. There were stamps for butter, sugar, gasoline and rubber. At this time, there were no synthetic rubber compounds from which to make all the military equipment, real rubber was used and it had to come from overseas. Rationing was accepted as a fact for my parents and others of WWII, it was just what was done to win the war.

In that box also was my fathers first class crow. He was supposed to sew it on the day he got discharged at the end of the war. I saw pictures of him in his whites, traveling by train to the West Coast to catch his ship.

There were his ribbons, packed away, in his mind another day, another time, in many ways a time all wished had not come for it changed the soul of America and showed her vulnerability to attack from afar. It showed America that she had real enemies who could carry the attack to our very shores.

Within this box of history were a few more items, one was quite curious, it was a round metal casing and had some darken leather inside. There was a little clip to hold something and a handle that when turned rotated the disc inside the metal housing. I picked it up and wondered aloud what it might be. That, my father explained is for sharpening razors. During the war we could not buy as many razor blades because metal was needed for the war, so we used this to resharpened the blades so we could use them longer.

Over the years, as I learned more of my father's story and as I learned that my mother had worked in a defense plant, I developed an even greater appreciation of the effort that went into saving this Nation. And it was an effort not all that different from the one entered into by our founding fathers. With the declaration of Independence, our forefathers, the signers signed their death warrants and they pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor.

In this little box of memories was an example of my father's pledge of his life, his fortune and his sacred honor in the name of Freedom.

How much I learned from that little box and how appreciative I am of all who contributed in any way to provide us with the country that we have today.

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