Monday, November 11, 2013

Honoring A Veteran

Of the few aunts and uncles who were part of my life when I was growing up, I was closest to my mother's youngest sister, Marjorie Bower, and her husband, Warren Degel, a veteran of World War II. As I was looking through some of the info my aunt had saved of Uncle Warren's service in the U.S. Navy, I realized that I am so much like her--documenting and recording important events!

Aunt Midge kept track of Warren's military experiences in His Service Record where she filled in pages titled Reported for Training, He Came Home on Leave, Friends He Made in the Service, Visited Him, Ships or Stations Assigned to, His First Cruise, Places He Visited and Personal Notes and Photographs. Below are some of the pages from this journal.

Last month after reading about Quilts of Valor in the Quilt History List, I decided to do my part and make a patriotic quilt for a veteran :) There's a sneak peek at the end of this post.

Warren Clifford Degel received his orders to report for duty on December 22, 1942. "You are advised to bring with you only toilet articles and not over $6.00 in cash. Bring no clothing with you other than what you will wear. . . "

The cover page from His Service Record kept by Marjorie Bower from December 22, 1942 to December 12, 1945.

Photographs of Warren Before Entering Service and His First Picture in Uniform

Reported for Training:  December 24, 1942 at Camp Green Bay, Great Lakes, Illinois

Friends He Made in the Service: "Warren's buddy in the Navy went through all the tough times until end of war. Richard J. Clarkson from the mid-west."

Interesting and Prominent People He Met or Saw: "Rear Admiral Downs visited Great Lakes Naval Training School. . . Celebration of Henry Ford's 81st birthday, Dearborn, Mich. Passed in review."

Three I.D. cards--Notice of Classification, U.S. Navy ID, Certificate of Satisfactory Service.

Visited Him: Norfolk, Va. October 14-17, 1943

Ships or Stations Assigned to:
December 24, 1942 Ford Plant, Dearborn, Mich.
March 27, 1943 Naval Landing Force Equip. Depot, Norfolk, Va. 
August 25, 1943 Solomons, Maryland
August 1944 Pearl Harbor, Marshall Islands
January 1945 Luzon, Manila, Leyte, Philippines

Promoted to:
Fireman 3/C on March 11, 1943
Fireman 1/C on August 17, 1943
MOMM 2/C (motor machinist's mate, second class) on October 27, 1943

Newspaper Clippings and Mementos: (left) Naval Training School, Dearborn, Michigan, Welcoming Dinner for the Incoming Draft, Saturday, March 27, 1943. (right) Naval Training School, Dearborn, Michigan, Graduation Dinner Saturday August 14, 1943. (lower) U.S.S. McCracken Chow Pass.

Aunt Midge and Uncle Warren were engaged March 8, 1943 and married the following year in Leonia, NJ. 

Warren was honorably discharged from the USN Personnel Separation Center, Lido Beach, Long Island, NY on December 12, 1945. 

I am so excited about making this quilt for Quilts of Valor! I'm now on the 4th border. I have a bit more designing to do to get it to the recommended size 60" x 80."

Thank you, Uncle Warren, for your service. 

Copyright 2013, Barbara Schaffer

1 comment:

  1. Dear Ms. Barbara,
    You have done a wonderful job honoring your uncle. My father (Robert W. Pace, GM1/c) also served on the USS McCracken as a gunner;s mate. He was born in 1922 and died in 1978. I was 12 when he died and I have spent many years trying to put together a service record of my father. Would you have any pictures or diary entries by your uncle of his time on the McCracken? I would be so grateful for any assistance you could provide me. My email is: I am now a professor and although I know much about chemistry, I can never hear the memories of my father's service in WWII. Thank you in advance for any help you could render me.