Blog Master G

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Grandpa Elmer & the USS Prairie

Sunday, September 23rd, 2007 · 2 Comments


Though he passed away when I was away at Vassar and I never really got to know him in my adult life, my Grandpa Elmer (my Dad’s Dad) was a great, admirable man. He was quiet and caring, and had a deep, booming voice. He had lots of grandchildren, but he had a way of making each of us feel special and loved.

(He’s the guy who looks obviously like a grandpa on the far left in the above photo with my little bro as a baby in his lap; I’m the toe-headed kid on the far right in my dad’s lap with my mom behind us.)

I remember when Peter and I were kids how he’d take us to the playground in Marin. And later in life, we’d enjoy visiting him and Aunt Nora in Bodega Bay. We loved Grandpa and spending time with him.

One thing I always wished I knew more about him was his service in the U.S. Navy. But being part of “The Greatest Generation” and a World War II veteran, he never really talked about his military service.

Recently, my Dad did some research online to learn more about the ship Grandpa served on during WWII — it was a destroyer tender called the USS Prairie:


Though never a military man myself, I’ve always been proud to know that my Grandpa served our country in the Navy during wartime.

We miss you, Grandpa, but your legacy will always live on.

Tags: anecdotes · photos

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Kathy // Dec 22, 2013 at 6:07 pm

    My Papa was also on the USS Prairie during WWII. Though he only died less than 2 years ago, he also never really talked about his service. Another of the many ways he was so humble. I never wanted to ask many questions, not wanting to bring up any traumatic memories for him… Oh how I wish I had! There doesn’t seem to be a lot of info out there, at least not that I’ve been able to find. Maybe if we keep searching, more will pop up online over time. From what I’ve learned so far, I’m more proud of all of them than I ever thought possible. What brave heroes they all were (and are).

  • 2 Blog Master G // Dec 23, 2013 at 12:44 pm

    Thanks for the comment, Kathy, and that’s great that your Papa was also on the USS Prairie! Definitely proud of them.