Posted by: SJS | June 8, 2011

Old friends

Red and Phil, fellow sailors

Phil Cameron and Red Stahley 1945

In addition to the new friends that Red made in the Navy, like Tom Saffles, he shared the wartime experience with many of his buddies from Philadelphia.  Among his closest friends from Northeast Catholic High School was Phil Cameron who enlisted in the Navy at the same time that Red enlisted.  While Phil did not serve on the PT boats, he had a very active Navy career as a crew member on a destroyer.  As this photo indicates, Red and Phil stayed in contact during the war. 

In the years after the war, their friendship continued to grow.  The bond that they had forged in high school was made even deeper by their shared experience in WWII.  

In his postwar career as a house painter, Phil did work for our family over the years and it was always a thrill when “Uncle Phil” came to do a job at our home.  Not only was he a close friend of our father who had also been in the Navy but Uncle Phil had what we considered to be a “dream job.”  An adult who spent all day with paint brushes, rollers and buckets of different colored paint was someone to be admired (and even envied).   

How he managed to answer our endless questions about painting and still get his work done was an amazing thing to witness.  I’m sure that I peppered him with questions about his Navy days but he was always patient and gracious and happy to talk about his days at sea.

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