My dad, Donald L. Hodges served in the US Navy for 38 of his 56 years of life. He was still working the Seabees Reserves until he passed away in 1982. My dad claimed he saw every state in the union and over 32 countries around the world. He lied about his age and joined the last year of WWII at 17. When the Navy found out he wasn’t of age they sent him home to Cheery Creek, NY to graduate high school. When he turned 18 the war was over, and he rejoined the US Navy.
The best part of his career was in 1952 he was aboard the USS Baltimore as the Admiral’s assistant and he attended Queen Elizabeth II’s Coronation. The Queen’s duty was to review the world’s navy ships most of which were battleships. The USS Baltimore was the first ship for the Queen to review in the harbor and my dad stood proudly next to the Admiral. The picture with two men in front of the flag is my dad on the left with his friend. The pictures shown are proudly displayed in my living room to honor him. To this day I still have the newspapers and other mementos he collected during the week-long coronation review he attended in England.
He also served extension time in the pacific such as Guam, Philippines, etc. and his favorite place in the Pacific was Hawaii. Especially Pearl Harbor.”