Memorial Day (or weekend as it has become for most) is a day to remember the brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. I heard that nearly 85% of Americans don’t even know what Memorial Day signifies. I find it quite sad that so many think of this national holiday as only picnics and barbeques. I will have a family get-together also, but it will be a day of remembrance for those who served and died.
That picture is Uncle Charlie, my Pop’s uncle. He was born in Oklahoma on September 20, 1922. At the tender age of 23, this beloved husband and young father of one, was serving as Fireman, First Class. On April 12, 1945,
EDITED: If any of you follow me on Facebook or twitter, you may recall my frustration with my paid ancestry search results the day before this post. That is because Pop couldn’t recall the ship Uncle Charlie was on or any other details. In trying to honor him, I did the best I could with the limited information I had. It turned out he was not aboard the U.S.S. Abele Mannert. Luckily, his daughter found her way here and shared the true story of his last day and the future of his ship:
Hi Vixen, your father forwarded your blog to me. I am the daughter of Charles Evans Hughes. I really appreciate the tribute that you paid to my father. There are some discrepancy in your tribute. The destroyer, DD777, was the USS Zellars, not the Adele. Four (Jills), Kamikaze’s attacked the ship. Two turned to the forward part of ship the other two toward the aft. Two planes were shot down, the third found it’s target. It carried a torpedo and a fifty pound bomb. Torpedo broke loose and exploded, the bomb did not detonate. Forty-four enlisted and officers died, forty-five injured out of a crew of one hundred twenty-five. The Zellars continued to battle the Kamikaze’s and shot down a third plane.The ship returned to port with extensive damage. After temporary patching, it returned to the States for the major repairs. Returned to service after WWII. The ship was sold to the Shah of Iran. It was still in service as of eight years ago. Now known as the Babar.
Your 2nd cousin
The rest I wrote below is still true. I have actually been to the Memorial in Hawaii and I have a picture somewhere of his name on the memorial, which I why I tried to find out the details to share. Please excuse my previous erroneous information.
44 of the crew were lost with the ship and remain on duty. That includes my great uncle: Charles Evan Hughes. He received the Purple Heart and is memorialized in Honolulu at the WWII Memorial.
Please take a moment during your celebration today, Memorial Day, to remember the lives of all the men and women who gave their lives for our country and freedom.