You don’t know what WWII is yet, and I’m not quite sure when the right time to tell you is. But, I do want you to know now about a remarkable man who served in that war. Vincent Fessler is my grandfather and your great-grandfather. He was the tall, quiet type and looked a little like popeye in his sailor’s uniform.
He enlisted right before the United States entered the war in 1941. After he finished his training he was shipped directly to Oahu to begin the clean-up after Pearl Harbor was bombed. He and his crew removed bombs from the water in the surronding areas.
He witnessed a lot of amazing things; he saw death, he saw beauty, he saw injustice, and he saw sacrifice. He made close friends.
Grandpa Vince never spoke of his time in the war, but after he passed away we found photographs of his time on Oahu. They are a window not only in to his past, but our country’s past. Not all of it is pretty, but it is our legacy just the same.
I am proud of my grandfather and I hope that you two will be as well.
1) Vince is the second from the left. 2) Vince and his crew. He is the third from the top right.
3) Japanese internment camp on Oahu. 4) Something has exploded here – firefight? bomb removal?
Photo Credit: They are from my Grandfather’s collection; source unknown