Looking for Lost Shipmates
The original publisher of this website, in the early days of his computing, began a search for anyone who might still be alive after almost 50 years. Witness below some words of pathos as he began his search.
Carl O. Pfannkuch, of West Palm Beach Florida, spent six years in the Navy prior to Word War II, serving aboard the battleship West Virginia. He enlisted in the Coast Guard prior to the Normandy invasion and trained in an Amphibious Group on the LST 327. On a trip back and forth to Normandy to supply the army, the 327 hit a mine, which blew the crew's quarters away, killing 22 and wounding an additional 22. Out of the crew of 100, only 70 men were left. In 1995 Carl began a search to locate crew members of the LST 327. To date he has located 26.
Ode to a Long Lost Shipmate
'Twas a day so many long years ago,
When I first met some men, whom I grew to know.
It was then at a time when we were at war.
And off went these men to a foreign shore!
For almost two years they share their life.
With man's two worst evils, war and strife.
They lived their lives as close to another,
And became to each one just like a brother.
They fought the long war with all that they had,
Through invasions, bombings and air raids as bad.
Some of these men, death did certainly spurn,
And many to life they did not return.
And then the war was a thing of the past,
They went home to their loved ones, a life to be cast.
Forging through years with their hopes to survive,
And to make the new Democracy thrive.
Many years later in our empty old nest,
A thought came to mind: What became of the rest?
Of those whom we spent every war-time fear,
And to find them, and to share our memories so clear.
After looking through books for many an hour.
Service records and letters we did certainly scour.
And then we found some names long gone by,
We let out a yell, and then we did cry.
So many a month of searching was past.
We had found some shipmates at very long last
For now our lives are finally joined once more.
Together with hope as we returned to this shore.
From men who had left with much unending fears,
Are now enjoying their final fEw years.
Still hope that they have passed along,
Some help to the world they had fought for so long.
That some gave their lives to help us be great,
While others that are left, can only await,
The Time when our GOD does say at the end,
"WELL DONE, THOU TRUE AND FAITHFUL FRIEND!"
Men's Group 1997
L. to R.
Tom "Cookie" Redmond
Ladies Group 1997
L. to R.
and Tom Redmonds friend, Louise
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