One of the things I love the most when helping a family declutter and combine homes. Mom moves in with Son-in-Law and Daughter, the items that are gone through produce not only memories but snippets of stories from long ago.
We’ve all heard stories of young men going off to fight in WWII. It was one of the few times that our country was totally behind our boys and willing to ration what they had to keep the war effort alive. This war story is unlike anything I’ve ever heard before.
It began with my friend bringing down a WWII Navy Uniform. It is in PERFECT shape. In fact, it appeared it had never been worn. As far as we know, it was never worn in active service. Curious? I sure was.
Wayne and Marion were a young couple in the summer of 1944. He was a butcher for a local grocery chain. Marion stayed at home with their 3 children and that fall to have their 4th child.
One day in the summer of 1944, The draft board informed Wayne that his name and number had come up and to report to the local armory. He must have passed his physical with flying colors because he was given his military required clothing (including the dress blues) and given a date to report.
I cannot imagine how Marion must have felt. We hadn’t reached the 2 year anniversary of Pearl Harbor. They had 3 young children at home. The 4th might very well be born with her husband overseas.
In a strange turn of events, the War Department realized after a review of his Draft Card that they had made a mistake. Wayne should have been given a III-B deferment. Deferred because of dependents and engaged in work necessary to the national defense.
Needless to say, the formal blues were never worn by him. His wife carefully stored the uniform and passed it on to her daughter who did the same. Today it remains in perfect condition without any flaws – as if it were a piece waiting for a museum.
At this point, the family does not want to part with this proud piece of history. I have not been able to find an actual comp for this uniform. They’ve been worn, have names and awards attached, and have not been stored with the level of care this has.
This uniform really is the definition of “priceless.”