Posted by: SJS | July 17, 2012

Dress whites in ’44

Since most of his USN training took place on the East Coast, Red was able to make it home to Philly almost every time he was issued a furlough.  In this photo, probably taken in 1944, Red poses with his parents George and Mary Stahley in front of their home on Fishers Avenue in North Philadelphia.  Not knowing where he would be sent or how long he would be away at war, time at home was a very precious commodity.

Red with his parents 1944

Red and his parents 1944

In addition to seeing Red in his whites, this photo is unusual because it features his father, my grandfather, George “Pop” Stahley.  In most cases, Pop was the one behind the camera snapping the photos.  How lucky we were that someone else took was enlisted to take this photograph which captured the whole family.

At the time the photo was taken, Red was probably not yet 20 years old and his parents were just turning 40.  It is staggering to remember just how young everyone in the family was during those stressful days of World War II.  Seeing their only son in uniform, preparing to embark on his career as a PT boat crewman must have been overwhelming and frightening for my grandparents.  Photos like this one help me to remember some very, very important details of their life.

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