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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • HIS MASK KEEPS HIM ON THE JOB
 

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Home at Last: 1945

Home at Last: 1945

This photo was taken in California right after my grandfather got back from the WW II Pacific campaign. He was a Sargent At Arms in the 47th SeaBees. Going from right to left, my grandfather James Frederick Lawrence (and his ever present cigar cupped in his hand), my paternal grandmother Mildred, my great-uncle Doug, and my great-aunt Emerald. James entered the service on Armistice Day, Nov 11, 1942. He was gone from home (Tulsa) for 3 straight years with no leave. He had been a police officer in Tulsa, and would later go on to be Police and Fire Commissioner as well (1948-1950). He looks pretty good for having survived a severe case of malaria overseas. He could be a bruiser, but he had a soft heart too. He passed away February 7, 2001. My grandmother passed on April 23, 2002. View full size.

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Right Arm Rates

On first glance it appears that the rating insignia is on the correct arm (left) by today's standards. However prior to April 2, 1949 members of the Seaman branch (Boatswains Mate, Turret Captain, Signalman, Gunners Mate, Fire Controlman, Quartermaster, Mineman, and Torpedomans Mate) wore their rate on their right sleeve and were called "Right Arm Rates". After April 1949 all rates were worn on the left sleeve.

The BM1 (Boatswains Mate 1st Class) pictured is wearing his rate on the correct sleeve for 1945, but as noted the negative is definitely reversed and it thus appears to be on his left sleeve.

Polka Dots

I like how the man's polka dotted tie matches the woman's dress.

Reversed image

Certain clues reveal that this image is reversed.

Wedding ring and watch on grandpa's right hand/wrist.

Grandpa's service ribbons belong on the left side of his jumper, not on the right.

Uncle Doug's suit coat buttons the wrong way.

The placket on Aunt Emerald's buttons the wrong way (she is a stunner, though!).

Nice looking couple

You Grandparents was an attractive couple. I hope he realized how much his work overseas was appreciated. You were blessed to have had them so long.

U. S. Navy title

I believe the correct term is "Master-at-Arms", meaning an enlisted person responsible for physical security. The U. S. Navy has no "Sargents".

[Nor do they have sergeants.]

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