Monday, May 29, 2023

Harold Addison Scribner: Radioman Third Class, U.S. Navy Reserve

Today is May 29, 2023. Memorial Day.

Congress passed a bill in 1971 that was signed into law to make Memorial Day always on a Monday so the Federal holiday could be a three-day weekend. I've read as well that Memorial Day parades are far less common these days than they used to be and that people now view Memorial Day as a day to honor all dead, not just those who fell in service to our country. I figure that if men and women are willing to put their lives on the line to preserve the best of our nation, then at the very least, they deserve their own day of honor, though they're deserving of being remembered the other 364 days as well.

Below are pictures of my Great Uncle, Harold Addison Scribner, who served in the Navy and my grandfather, Harvey E Scribner, Jr, who served with the Flying Tigers in WWII. 

Uncle Harold fought in the Pacific Theater in WWII as a radioman in the Navy. He didn’t make it back from WWII - Pacific theater. I never got the chance to meet him. 

On the night of Feb 16, 1945, the American naval vessels were in the area of Corregidor Island outside of Manila. Uncle Harold was on one of the large landing craft support vessels known as the Mighty Midgets. Around 230 AM, his craft was struck by a Japanese torpedo and started taking on water. A minute later, they were hit  a second time and had to abandon ship.  Of the roughly 75 men serving on board, only 16 survived.  
Two large landing craft support vessels were sunk that night. Another was rendered dead in the water in a battle that lasted only a very short while, but most likely seemed an eternity to the men in the water struggling to survive.
Like so many other brave sailors, Uncle Harold went down with his ship in February 1945. For several months, he was listed as Missing in Action since his shipmates saw him in the water after they were hit, but not after.  
 
This is my grandfather, Harvey E. Scribner, Jr. (or as we called him, GG). Like his ancestors six generations earlier did for the Revolutionary War, he and his brother both served for the American cause.

An Army man, he fought in the Flying Tigers in WWII in the Pacific Theater. Though a changed man upon his return, he at least came home from the war. 
My grandmother, who moved in with her in-laws while GG was in the war told me once how she remembers hearing a blood-curdling scream from Mamaw (GG and Harold's mom, Ella Scribner) one day after the mail came. Because he was still classified as MIA, she'd received the letter first from his shipmates, rather than from the War Department itself.  
Nanny (my grandmother) said that kind of scream could only mean one thing.  
Uncle Harold was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart and his name is on a monument at Fort William McKinley at Manila, Philippines.
Harold Addison Scribner: Radioman Third Class, U.S. Navy Reserve
Remember him. Remember his sacrifice.
Side note: A few years ago, I found the website www.mightymidgets.org which is the website of the organization created to remember and honor the men who served on the Naval landing crafts during World War II.  I contacted them and sent them a few pictures of Uncle Harold.  They asked my permission to forward my Email and pictures on to some of the men who served on his same boat.  To my utter surprise, I received a letter not long after from someone who served with and remembered my uncle.   Such brave men.

Side note #2: Learn more about Uncle Harold's Mighty Midget

My thanks go out to all who have served our nation and my heart goes out to all those who face their losses firsthand. 

Take care, 

- Heather 


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