About This Blog

Daughter Kathie, Grand Daughter Karen &
Great Grand Daughter Alexandra.
Anna Maria Island, FL

This blog began as a mission of honor for three generations of girls making the long voyage North to the Aleutian Islands in search of a place to honor the WW2 mementos of R.C.A.F. Airmen, Robert W. Lynch; Father, Grandfather (Papa), Great Grandfather, from his time served in the region. The mission has changed somewhat, up to now, I, the granddaughter have been traveling and they, the daughter and great granddaughter,  have been supporting me in every step. Since I began this journey, the blog has blossomed into something much bigger than I could have envisioned for it.  It serves as a sounding board of tributes to what life was like for the coward-less military that braved the cold, isolated North in defense of our freedom.  A place where people can learn about the campaign, get to know those who were stationed there what life was like for them and to follow my personal pilgrimage to discover it all.  
 
So, although this blog started as a place to honor my Papa, it quickly morphed in to a place to share the stories of countless other  WW2 Veterans who served alongside him.  This blog is about them for they deserve every bit of recognition given.


How did this all start?

I get asked this A LOT.   It began in 2012 with a conversation over a glass of wine with my friend and neighbor, Terry Green- an aviation enthusiast about the campaign and my grandfather's role.  This then lead to a secondary discussion with my mom who suggested that we donate some of my Papa’s WW2 memorabilia to the war museum where he served- in the Aleutian Islands. I knew that if we were going to donate his things,  then by golly, I was going to deliver them in person,  and my mom and my daughter would come along too!  And with that,  the research and fun began!  I have always been fascinated with that part of him, having only found out about his Air Force service after he passed in 1996.  But like many humble WW2 vets, he never spoke of itIt was something I had to discover through what he left behind.   My Papa- a fighter pilot?  I was enthralled from the get go.  This discovery helped explain a lot of things; for one my love and admiration of planes and two; my strong interest in Alaska.   Somehow I felt like aviation and Alaska connected me to him in some odd way. Plus being from Canada, Alaska always felt like our Northerly Neighbors and that they could relate to our cold weather ways.

L-R My older sister Shannon, cousin Adam, PaPa & me, Karen. 1980
Now after having done many years of research about the Aleutian Campaign it is clear, that this historic battle did not get the recognition it deserves which is obviously, why it is also called the  “The Forgotten War”.  I know that my grandfather felt that way and I now know, that many of his fellow servicemen, both American and Canadian, did too. This is why part of this blog is dedicated to them and their tireless, unrecognized sacrifices, in the bitter cold, under the most treacherous conditions, so we could be safe on our own continent.   It is my way to pay tribute to them so that their sacrifices are no longer unknown. 

I will leave you with this, it is an excerpt taken from the closing paragraph of a letter written by my grandfather, in response to an inquiry by the National Department of Defense Headquarters of Canada in 1980, about his participation in the campaignThis line clearly validated the reason why I am so passionate about what I do and why each post practically brings me to tears.  And even more interesting, was that I did not even discover this document until I was well on my way into the blog, yet somehow when I began,  all I knew was that I had to follow the deep rooted inclination I had that their stories had to be told. 

“I must say that service in the 111F Squadron is an experience I would not have missed.  I feel that the Aleutian Campaign is a forgotten item in the history of the R.C.A.F. and I am happy and appreciative that you are doing something about it. “

It was all so clear after that.   And so I write....
 
L-R Auntie Kay, Papa, his wife Eileen (Snookums or as I knew her- Nana) 1943

If you or anyone you know had family members who served in the Aleutian Islands during WW2, I would love to honor them here on my site. Please email me at kabel56@yahoo.com and please, help me spread the word!!




13 comments:

  1. My father was stationed on Adak during the war. I was also thinking of visiting that site and look forward to posts about your trip when you get back. Thanks for your efforts in following your heart.
    A.M.Billings
    Oak Ridge TN USA

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    1. Thank you for the comment. Do you have any pictures of your father? I would love to honor him on the site. If you do, please email me at the address listed above.

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  2. Fantastic Blog. I am interested in Edwin Merkley, he was killed in a flying accident in Northumberland, UK. I am trying to locate the crash site.

    Would love to hear from any surviving family.

    My email address is jim.corbett@acia.co.uk

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    1. Hi Jim, Thanks so much for the comment. My grandfather was a very good friend of Ed Merkley. I emailed you. Did you receive it?

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  3. I have a couple questions for you! Can you please email me at ecarlson@ktva.com? I'm very interested in your trip! Thanks!

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    1. Hi Emily! So glad you contacted me. Looking forward to meeting you while up there!

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  4. Louis Cochand became a famous ski instructor after the war.

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  5. http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/montrealgazette/obituary.aspx?pid=152641207

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  6. http://www.skimuseum.ca/biodata.php?lang=fr&id=80

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    1. How fabulous to see him post war and in the Olympics! Fantastic! I will add this to his bio. Merci beaucoup!

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  7. http://flyingforyourlife.com/pilots/ww2/cj/cochand/

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  8. Karen

    I have always followed 111 sq. as my Dad flew with them in a Hudson up to Alaska. Check Bill Eull's site.
    Go to my website and look at second painting: https://sites.google.com/site/aircraftpaintings/

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    ReplyDelete