Monday, May 30, 2011

Military Monday: Memorial Day 2011

In honor of Memorial Day 2011 I thought that I would write a little about my grandfather, Vincent "Budd" Haskins.  He served in World War II.  He was in active duty from May 23, 1944 until January 23, 1946.  He was a Seaman, First Class in the United States Navy.

His initial training or boot camp took place at Sampson Naval Training Center which is located in Seneca County, NY.  I didn't learn that this is where he did his boot camp until today when I started asking questions about his military career and started looking at documents and pictures.  Interestingly enough this old naval base is less than 45 minutes from my house and is now a State Park with a museum.  We will soon take a visit to check it out!

After his time in Sampson he went to a Naval Training Station in Newport, Rhode Island and then went on to Portsmouth, Va.  He was on the then newly commissioned  USS Shangri-La. from September 15, 1944 until November 25, 1944.  He was on the ship's maiden voyage. While on board he worked in the boiler room and was assigned bunk and locker number 52.   After his brief time on board,  he was stationed at the US Naval Operating Base in Trinidad BWI.  Here his main job was helping to pull seaplanes out of the water.  Rumor has it he stole or "creatively acquired" as I like to say a large tractor from the sea bees.  As the story has been told, the tractor made his job easier and he was able to pull a plane up on to the beach in less than a minute.  I'm not sure exactly how much of this is true!  I plan on actually ordering his military records to get more of the specifics. Needless to say he served his country proudly and helped to protect the freedom we enjoy today.  I do know that he was awarded the World War II Victory Medal.   Happy Memorial Day Grandpa.


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