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- Kcwhippet - 05-30-2012 12:23 AM

My dad passed away last night. He was just short of 95 years old, and his age just caught up with him. He was a true American hero. He was at Pearl Harbor on 12/7/41, and was set to embark on the 8th for Wake Island with his unit. A lot of what Ben Affleck did in the movie Pearl Harbor was based on what my dad did - not all, but quite a bit. He made it back to the States in June, 1942 and went through flight training in Pensacola and New Orleans where he married my mom. I was born 10 months after their wedding. Verne, and maybe Gil may be the only ones here who might remember Kitty Carlisle, but she was the maid of honor at the wedding. My dad then went back to the Pacific where he remained until the war was over. He finished the war as the squadron commander of VMR-252, a transport group. I know this because he's in a book "History of Marine Corps Aviation in World War II". He won a Silver Star for two actions. He was the first plane to land at Iwo Jima and the second plane to land at Okinawa. Both times there was still intense fighting going on and both airfields weren't yet fully secured. His cargo in both cases was ammunition and drums of aviation fuel. He showed me pictures of his plane after both runs with many, many bullet holes in the fuselage. He ended up with 20 years in the Marines and then went to work at Raytheon, where he finally retired at 81 with 40 years there. His full military funeral will be Saturday, apparently with many dignitaries set to attend. It somehow seems appropriate that he should have passed on the day we've set aside to remember our American heroes. We had many differences over the years, but he will forever be my hero. If you find a spare minute, please say a prayer for his soul.


- Thomas - 05-30-2012 01:57 AM

Bob,

That was a fine tribute to your father, and it's clear how proud you are. 95--he had a long and full life, and for that I know you are grateful.

PS: I remember Kitty.


- winoweenie - 05-30-2012 02:22 AM

My heartfelt condolences. Fortunately or Un-F the war ended as I was 3 weeks from finishing advanced so I didn't see the hard stuff like your dad. I know you were exteremly proud of him and if my kids and yours had any similarities it was the differences. It comes with the territory. There were many heros like your Dad who were never given their due in that conflict. God Bless and I done sent a biggie upstairs. BPR, VB(WW) ( And I too was a huge fan of the beautiful and talented Kitty)


- Drew - 05-30-2012 07:10 AM

Bless you KC and, wow, what a tribute to your dad. I'll remember him in my prayers.
I also remember Kitty.

Drew


- hotwine - 05-30-2012 01:54 PM

What a heritage! Our heart-felt condolences for your loss, Bob.

Yes, I remember Miss Kitty...


- TheEngineer - 05-30-2012 04:00 PM

My condolences for your loss Bob. What a great tribute you wrote about a great man and the fact that you and his family were proud of what he gave must have meant more to him than anything else, though the silver stars are an indication of a grateful nation as well. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I will definitley say a prayer for his sole. I wish to express my gratefulness to the generations before and those like your father who sacrificed and gave so much. It is indeed a humbling notion.

You are right to be fiercely proud of a man like that, a man like your father.


- Innkeeper - 05-30-2012 04:56 PM

We will pray for his soul too. What was his name? Unfortunately we a losing all the great Americans.


- Kcwhippet - 05-30-2012 06:23 PM

Carl,

He was Nicholas A. Sisak, Colonel, United States Marine Corps (Ret.)

I believe my dad and his brethren in World War II truly were the greatest generation. In less than four years they defeated two large powerful war machines, and now how long have we been in Iraq and Afghanistan?


- Jackie - 05-31-2012 05:51 AM

So sorry to hear of your loss. My Dad is 85 and also served in the WWII Pacific theater in the Navy. Their generation truly served with honor. My prayers go out to you and your Dad. I can imagine how much you must miss him. God bless.

BTW, I remember Kitty Carlisle too... on TV in Black & White.

Jackie


- TheEngineer - 06-01-2012 03:05 PM

I started to read about yoru dad, his squadron and all things that the did during the war. Your dad was a Major when he was Squadron Commander ( http://www.marinebattleherk.com/apps/forums/topics/show/3618887-commanding-officers-1928-1987).


- Kcwhippet - 06-02-2012 11:26 PM

We buried my dad today. The graveside ceremony was most impressive. It began, as usual, with several words and passages from several clerics, including an Air Force Colonel who is also a Roman Catholic chaplain. The military part followed with an 18 gun salute by a Marine Corps fire team. After the salute we heard a USMC bugler playing Taps. Then the flag team raised the American flag off my dad's casket and went through a ten minute procedure to fold and tuck the flag. The fire team laeder then came over and inserted three spent shells into the flag. The USMC team commander, a Brigadier General, then gave the flag to my dad's wife. That finished the ceremony. Interestingly, I learned later from the BG that the flag was to be presented, by protocol, to the eldest living blood relative. That would have been me, but I didn't want to rock the boat, so I let it go. Anyway, it was a very poignant and stirring ceremony. I am so glad my dad was honored by all the folks he worked with in the military and afterwards. He would have been impressed. I miss him!!! I saw many relatives, including his younger brother (92 yo) and cousins I haven't seen in about 15 - 25 years. A nice day.

Thanks to all for their kind words and thoughts.


- winoweenie - 06-03-2012 01:17 AM

Impressive and well reported. Again my friend heartfelt condolences. WW


- Georgie - 06-03-2012 01:42 AM

Truly one of the greatest generation as was my dad. He too, was in Okinawa. These were the men who were true heroes to be looked up to for their service, bravery, patriotism and sacrifices. Very fitting that your dad should pass on Memorial Day. I know you will miss his presence in your life, but his spirit and the lessons he passed on to you will live forever. God bless you and your family.
P.S. I hate to admit that I remember Kitty Carlisle. Did Don Amici attend as well?


- Kcwhippet - 06-03-2012 02:57 PM

I just remebered something else from yesterday. There was a reception after the internment at the Nashawtuc Country Club in Concord, MA, where my dad was a founding member 52 years ago. Anyway, when we got to the club, the American flag was flying at half staff and this was the only time in the club's history they've done this. The club manager told me they wouldn't ever do it again. They also flew the Marine Corps flag beneath the Stars and Stripes. One of the VP's from Raytheon who was there told me their flags were also at half staff. Very poignant, and a tremendous honor bestowed in my dad's memory. This has been quite a week.


- andrawes76 - 06-08-2012 03:42 PM

My condolences KC. You dad was a hero and a father to you. He was a hero to everyone in America. Not too many people like him these days and a role model for the younger generation to hopefully look up to. Memories will ensure that his legacy will last. Wish you well... Alex