Category Archives: WWII
On the seventy-fifth anniversary of D-Day, a blog from a fellow historian has me wondering about how we communicate to the next generation the meaning of war and conflict. How do we show them that there is a process to determine whether or not a war is needed or just wanted?
Explaining World War II and D-Day is relatively easy… good versus evil. Nazis, Imperialists, and Fascists wanted to rule the world. D-Day began the final crusade to destroy the evil. But how does that translate to today? Or does it?
And when looking for a single moment to define the idea of war and sacrifice, what can we see?
In 1944, a submarine slid sideways into the Manitowoc River near where it empties into Lake Michigan. As she kissed the water, some 1500 miles to the west, a young man who wanted to be a farmer heard the clarion call of his country, left his home in Ogden, Utah and joined the US Navy. After a detour through Connecticut and New Guinea, he would arrive in Manitowoc and report aboard that new submarine.
Commissioned in September, the USS Kraken (SS-370) would sail down the Mississippi River, through the Panama Canal and on to the Pacific Ocean where Wendall would make all four combat patrols of USS Kraken, and eventually leave the Navy after the war ended. He would return to Ogden and become well involved in farming. Kraken would be decommissioned and placed in reserve until she was needed again.
The United States Submarine Veterans exists “To Perpetuate the memory of our shipmates who gave their lives in the pursuit of their duties while serving their country. That their dedication, deeds and supreme sacrifice be a constant source of motivation toward greater accomplishments. Pledge loyalty and patriotism to the United States of America and its Constitution.”
In 1982, almost 38 years after she touched the waters of Lake Michigan, Kraken was scrapped. Last year, Wendall passed away, after a long and fruitful life.
I just thought that you might like to know their stories…