"Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. " -Helen Keller

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

SHOW AND TELL: my first Marty

The first Marty in my life was my Grandpa (and, yes, that is where my son's name came from). He was such an incredible man. My Grandpa spent 30 years in the Air Force. He is one of the few people that started out as an enlisted man and was promoted to colonel before he retired. My Grandpa fought in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. He was involved in spy missions that the US flew over Russia (not the U2 missions). My Grandpa Marty was even with a squadron that almost got lost in the Bermuda Triangle. He was a true patriot and a hero to our country but, most importantly, he was an incredible husband, father, and grandfather. I remember him hopping into the guest room at their house pretending to be the Easter Bunny one of the last Easters we spent with him. I remember playing Backgammon against him for hours on end and I remember how thrilled I was when I finally got good enough to win. I remember him as a larger than life figure who I miss desperately even though its been more than 26 years since he died. My grandma lived for about 20 years after he died but never found anyone that could even hold a candle to him. Last week when I was down at my parents' house, I had the opportunity to scan a few pictures of him and his flight crew from WWII that my parents had. I'd like to share them with you. Please click on the pics to see a bigger version (they will open in another window).

Great Ashfield England - Jan or Feb 1944
Back row L to R: Radio Operator??, Waist Gunner - Sgt. Foster, Ball Turret Gunner??
Waist Gunner - Sgt. Ramey, Tail Gunner - Jerikus, Crew Chief - Valvano
Front Row L to R: Pilot - Lt. Sr. "Pat" Patrissi, CoPilot - 1st Lt. Ed "Mac" McCreary,
Navigator - Lt. Gilbert "Gil" Shapiro, Bombardier - Lt. Martin "Swede" Iverson...my Grandpa

England 1944
Celebrating the completion of 30 missions
Patrissi, Swede (my Grandpa, isn't he handsome!),
and replacement copilot (Mac was in the hospital)

England 1944
Swede (my Grandpa) and Valvaro
by the tail gun of the "Charlotte Ann"

England 1944
My Grandpa in the nose of the "Charlotte Ann"
This is my favorite picture in the group.

Graduation at George Field, Illinois July 1943
Lt. McCreary and his lovely wife Charlotte...
possibly the namesake of the plane

England 1944
Salvatore Patrissi - pilot of the "Charlotte Ann"


To see what everyone else in class is bringing to SHOW AND TELL, take a trip to visit the Miss Mel, Goddess of the Infertility Blogosphere.


Lollipop Goldstein said...

Isn't it strange--I didn't even know your grandfather, but the stories and the pictures made me feel so wistful tonight. They're gorgeous and you're lucky to have them.

Malky B. said...

Cool! It special that you have these pictures for a great keepsake.

Anonymous said...

What an amazing man. Thank you for sharing a little of him with us.

The Steadfast Warrior said...

What amazing photos! And such a lovely tribute to your grandfather

Sheliza said...

wow! Really neat post and your grandfather was an amazing man!

WiseGuy said...

Beautiful! What great pictures...these black-and-white pics are testimonies of everything past, and are so hauntingly beautiful!

cowboyboot lady said...

This pics are truly amazing! You are really lucky to have them.

My grandfather was an airplane mechanic during WWII and I have nearly identical pics of him and his crew! Isn't it special? My grandmother told me that they did name their planes after their wives...on one side of the plane was the pilot's wife's name and on the other was the mechanic's wife's name (my grandmother!)

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful man. You are lucky to have these photos and memories.

Meari said...

Great photos and stories! Thanks for sharing your first Marty with us. :)

Velda said...

WOW these are Awesome photos, you're so lucky!

Beautiful Mess said...

Great photos and what a great walk down memory lane for you! Thank you for sharing your wonderful grandfather with all of us!

Mrs. Gamgee said...

Those are incredible pictures! I wish I had some pics of my grandfather from his army days.

JuliaS said...

Love the photos and the stories!

I have photos like this of my mom's stepfather - I actually looked to see if he was in yours! They must have posed them all the same way! :0)

Barb said...

I think you and I have talked before about our Grandfather similarities. Mine was in the airforce and a pilot and flew in WWII and Korea as well. It's so amazing isn't it? They lived such large lives. I just lost mine 2 years ago, but it feels quite fresh.

Flying Monkeys said...

I love old photos and those a wonderful! Thanks for sharing.

Limo Charlotte NC said...

excellent points and the details are more precise than elsewhere, thanks.