William Thomas Slade was a native North Carolinian who
was born October 10, 1923 and died a hero along with 88 fellow crew members aboard their ship the USS Rich in the Atlantic ocean near Utah Beach at Quineville in Normandy, France as they cleared freedoms path.
The USS Rich DE-695 was a Buckley Class Destroyer Escort; 1673 tons, 306'length, 36'10" beam, carrying 15 officers and 198 enlisted personnel.
She was commissioned in 1943 and lost along with 89 of her
crew on June 8, 1944 off the shores of Normandy. The USS Rich
was an escort ship which accompanied many aircraft carriers and transport ships across the Atlantic to England.
Shortly before the invasion of Normandy, many ships were called into this action. This was to be one of the crucial moments in the entire war and of all of human history. This battle had to
be won and the enemy had to be overpowered. The USS Rich swept through the dark waters of the English Channel on that great day. The Germans had planted mines and the American and Allied fleet knew it, but these obstructions had to be overcome. Some
ships had to pay the price so others could get through. The USS Rich and its men were one of the sacrificial victims.
"All Who Would Valiant Be" ~ by Daniel G. Koenig
Heartfelt thanks to: Doc's Patriotic Graphics ~ http://geckocountry.com/milgraphics.htm
WWII VETERANS of the US NAVY
William Acree Harrell
George Thomas Harrell
James Alton Osborne ~ Boatswain's Mate First Class USN
J.A. Osborne was 22 years old at the time of this photograph and was already nearly a five year veteran of the US Navy stationed in the Central Pacific. He was a veteran of the sinking of the U.S.S. Kearney Destroyer which was the first US Navy casualty of WWII. The U.S.S. Kearney was attacked by a German Submarine in the North Atlantic in October 1941 ~ which is believed to be the act that began the United States full, however undeclared, Naval campaign of War against Germany.
MoMM3c USN Ruppert Hoggard Harrell
A native of North Carolina joined the Navy at the age of 17 and attended boot camp
1941-42 at Great Lakes, Chicago Illinois. Following basic training
he was attached to: Sub Grp 1 Pac Flt Float - Naval Station San Diego, CA.
It must have given him a strange sense of irony and pride to learn upon arriving for battle at Okinawa that his older brother George was already there fighting with his USN battalion for control of Okinawa. MoMM3c R.H. Harrell was a member and participant of the JOINT TASK FORCE ONE - Atomic Bomb Test -
HARRELL, Rupert H. MoMM3c USN ~ having participated in OPERATION CROSSROADS order by the Joint Chiefs of Staff to test the effect of the Atomic Bomb on naval vessels and conducted at Bikini Atoll, Marshall Islands. 25 Jul 1946 U.S.S. MENDER (ADS-D2).
MoMM3c USN Rupert H. Harrell was also a card carrying member of the Naval REALM OF THE GOLDEN DRAGON (Far East duty) and the DOMAIN OF NEPTUNUS REX (crossing equator).
WWII VETERANS of the US NAVAL RESERVES
Aviation Ordnanceman Third Class USNR William Edward Osborne
USNR South Pacific.
WWII VETERANS of the US NAVY WAVES
HA2c Sarah Jane Westphal
Sarah Jane Westphal received her military training in Hospital Corps work at the Great Lakes Navy Station, IL., and received her permanent assignment at the Brooklyn Navy Hospital, in Brooklyn, NY. She worked directly with patients on the wards who were hospitalized with various injuries and disabilities. HA2c Westphal received an Honorable Discharge from the USNW in March of 1946 and has derived enormous lifelong satisfaction from her Military service during WWII.
A tale begun in other days, when summer suns were glowing ~
A simple chime that served to time the rhythm of our rowing ~