Sunday, February 21, 2010
Sentimental Sunday - Getting Dad Home
The letter is addressed incorrectly to "Mrs. Esther Shoemaker", but it doesn't matter. The news it contains was what my mother had been praying for and waiting to hear for way too long. My father had been stationed in Japan and his tour of duty had been complete for some time, but the Air Force could not seem to find a way to get him home. He had not been well and homesickness was taking it's toll. My oldest brother had been born while he was gone and there had been precious little time with family since then. Both he and my mother were at their wits end. Out of sheer desperation, my mother and grandparents had contacted the office of their congressman, Paul F. Schenck of the 3rd Congressional District in Ohio, to see if he could offer an help. They soon received an answer.
His response had been written 1 June, 1954 and it states, "I have received a message from the Far East Air Force Command regarding your husband's rotation to the United States and am pleased to relay this information to you. They report that his return has been delayed because of a shortage of transportation facilities which, of course, you already knew. However, they also say that if they do not find space for him on a ship coming to the United States by June 5th, they will let him fly back and use him as a crew member on the plane. I am also informed that he will be assigned to Lockbourne Air Force Base on his return. It has been a pleasure securing this information for you and if I can be of further to you at any time, I hope you will feel free to call on me. With kindest regards, I am.......Paul F. Schenck."
On the 11 June, 1954, my father sent the following telegram, "Darling, leaving for Fuchu on the 14th. Will see you soon. All My Love."
He flew home on an airplane that was going to be taken out of service because it was no longer safe. I guess he figured it was worth the risk to finally be home!