The Handsomest GOB in the Navy

I am 77 years young.   My Husband, Art died in 1996.  We had been married 52 years.


We were married on July 18, 1944 when he came home from the Aleutian Islands.  He had been on Attu.  He proposed to me by mail from Attu and came home for Christmas 1943 on leave.  That's when I got my diamond engagement ring.  He told me that if I'd accept his diamond, he'd get me the biggest one in town.  I accepted and then have had many laughs about there being a real shortage of diamonds at that time.


My husband was a Carpenters Mate 2/C on the APA 159, the U.S.S. Darke.  I was with my husband in Astoria Oregon where the ship was built and commissioned. 


I have such great memories of the men and their wives that I met while my husband was in Bremerton Navy Base,  Seattle and where I worked in Monkey Wards (Montgomery Wards).  Navy pay wasn't that great.


Then my husband went to Tacoma.  I remained in Seattle and I would take the bus after work some night to meet him in a hotel there.  Then I would take the bus back to Seattle for work the next AM. 

Next I went to Astoria, Oregon-took the bus and moved there.  I got a job at a 5 &10 and a room in a private home.  I was waiting for my husband to come home to Astoria.  When he finally got there I was at lunch from work and looked out the window and there he was.  What a reunion


Then he told me that the ship was ready to sail for California and that I should go back home to Pennsylvania.  My husband took me to Portland, Oregon where I got a train.  There were very few civilians on the train-mostly GI's.


The Darke was in on the invasion of Iwo Jima & Okinawa and the Liberation of the Philippines.  It was in harbor in Japan arriving in Tokyo Bay 9-2-45 and anchored of Yokohama City, pulling into dock in Yokohama on 9-3-45.


Art was on the Darke from the time it was commissioned until it returned to the States after the war.  If I remember correctly, the Darke was sunk in an atomic bomb test.  Sunk on purpose in an experiment.  Art was upset re. this action.  He told me about the expensive deck in I think the mess hall.  Said it was all stainless steel and of course he loved his ship.


He told me about being asked to help build or modify a small ship so that the Captain could sail it around the harbor in celebration when the ship returned to the U.S. and how the Captain did just that.  Art was a Carpenter's mate.  I still have Art's letter informing me of this.  He was so proud.


I was with my husband 2 months altogether, and never saw him again until after the war when he was discharged.  He served on the 159 'till he returned to the US in the fall of 1945.  He was discharged from Sampson, NY on November 28, 1945.  


I still have my husband's discharge papers and the medals and ribbons that Art had on his uniform when he was discharged.  I drove from my home in Pennsylvania to Sampson, NY to get Art when he was discharged, spending two days at Sampson.


Thanks to the creator of this site I am once again a young bride married to the handsomest GOB in the navy, at least he was to me.


 I am happy to learn that there is a memorial in New York in honor of these brave men.


My brother Marc was at Pearl Harbor when it was attacked.  He was a Staff SGT.  He told me of finding a guard he'd just posted-dead after the attack.  Oh, I could go on and on.  My other brother, I had two, was in naval intelligence and said he fought the war with a typewriter.


Jeanne Waugaman