Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Meet the Greatest Generation - My Family

During World War II, everyone pitched in. If you were a farmer, you worked longer and harder to grow more food for civilians and the military. If you were a miner, you dug more coal. If you were a little kid, you collected rubber and metal and saved aluminum gum wrappers. Women moved in droves to Washington to work as clerk typists, including my Mom, for the princely sum of $1,440 per year.  But if you were a male between the ages of 18 and 35, there's a good chance you were in uniform. From left to right: Uncle Joe, Aunt Mim, Uncle Tom, Aunt Ann, and friend.

Uncle Joe was on Omaha Beach on D-Day and Uncle Tom was on the USS Pompoon that was sunk off of Cuba. He survived, but most of his shipmates didn't. Aunt Mim and Aunt Ann worked as clerks in Washington. After the war, Mim went to work for the State Department in Berlin where she met her husband who had fought in a tank in the Battle of the Bulge. My father's cousin, Patrick Faherty, died when his ship was sunk off the Carolinas. Unfortunately, there is no picture of him. These are just a few of the dozens of pictures I have of my family's contribution to the war effort.

Uncle John (fifth from left) on Omaha Beach
D-Day +1

Uncle Joe (top left) with his crew on a B-17 bomber
Mom getting ready to leave Minooka, PA for
a job in Baltimore with defense contractor, Bendix
When she married my dad, she moved to D.C.
Aunt Mim in Berlin

Uncle Bobby - Army Air Corps


  1. Gorgeous photos Mary! Really conjures up an image and takes you back to an earlier time...

  2. I love this - thank you so much for sharing!!!!!

  3. Thanks, Ladies. So glad you stopped by. I only have 3 aunts left from that whole generation, and they accomplished so much.

  4. Do you think you look more like your mom or your dad?

  5. I have been told that I am a near duplicate of my paternal grandmother (except I don't have red hair). Anna Faherty Lydon died when she was only 38 of septicemia following a miscarriage (her eighth pregnancy), so I never met her. But I have my mom's dark hair and dark eyes. A person does change with age, and I think I'm looking more like my mom as I get older. Thanks for asking.

  6. I'm so glad you have photos of almost everyone. Very sad about your father’s cousin, Patrick Faherty; I didn't realize that the war was so close to home, off the Carolina coast. Thanks for sharing your family with us.

    1. Hi June. The German U-boats target the oil tankers and the ships protecting them coming from the Gulf of Mexico. Because blackouts were never really a part of American defense, the Germans had a field day firing at industrial facilities all along the Atlantic coast.

  7. These are great photos, Mary. Thanks for sharing them. The history of your family is very interesting. I too, have photos of my father and some uncles during the war. We have something in common, I look more like my paternal grandmother except I do not have red hair as she did! Thought that was neat when I read your statement!

    Can't wait to read your book. I know it will be excellent!

  8. Hi Janet. That is a coincidence. I met a friend of my grandmother's when I was a teenager, and he came over to me and asked if I was Annie Faherty's granddaughter, and when I told him "yes," he said I looked exactly like her and that he was one of her friends. Of course, I interrogated him!

  9. Hello Mary, My uncle Sylvester Warden was also a survivor of the Pompoon, one of four I think. Do you have any additional information on what happened to him. My uncle never talked about the experience much, the only information I ever got was from my grand dad. My email is Please feel free to write. Thank you for posting this.


    John E. Rowe ME1

  10. Thank you for sharing and preserving this family history, I was very happy to stumble upon your blog!