1936 — New Jersey
*** LEO *** This is "Leo's Story" :) as told to Barbi Ennis Connolly, WWII Historican Researcher. PRINCESSBARBI_B25@msn.com Additions, Corrections????
Photo's and information with stories from his proud son Leo. 4 June, 2013
US Navy; US Dubuque (PG-17) 6470943 - GM1c V6 2 March, 1942 - 5 May, 1944 (Report on 30 June, 1944)
I have attached a photo of my Dad, Hilaire "Leo" Meire from his second term in the Army. My Dad had the strangest military career you ever heard of. He was in the Army twice, and in the Navy twice. He enlisted in the Army in 1936 and was stationed at Schofield Barracks in Hawaii. In those days you went out and back when a ship was available. When his enlistment was nearly up he was given a "short discharge" and sailed back to the mainland. Around 1940 or 41 he was called up again because his service hadn't actually been a complete 36 months. My mother wrote a letter to - get this - General George Marshall explaining that he shouldn't have to go back in the Army because they discharged him, after all. Amazingly, General Marshall actually wrote back AND got him out of the Army. At this point I know what you are thinking, but no, that letter they did not save. I have receipts for water bills they paid in 1956 and car registrations for vehicles that were junked decades ago, but that one - no dice. (!) After Pearl Harbor (my parents were married the Sunday after, Dec. 14, 1941) my father knew he would have to go in the service, so he enlisted in the Navy for the duration. He always said, "At least I'll have a place to sleep until they shoot it out from under me." After the war was over and he was discharged from the Navy, it was hard to get jobs so he went back in as a ship keeper at the Brooklyn Navy Yard for another year more or less. So there is the capsule history of Dad's weird military service. Oh - his name. He was born in Belgium (March 1914, in Flanders, just before the Kaiser's Army invaded in August). He came over to the US in 1922. When they sent him to school, the priest said he couldn't have a name like Hilaire, so he just backed up by one more Pope and decided that his name from then on would be Leo. This is probably a whole lot more information than you really need, but once I get started..... Thanks again for everything. Leo Yes, some of the strangest stories are actually the most amazing, from our Greatest Generation who had no idea how to be anything but hard-working, honest, inventive Patriotic and Oh, LOTS more! Barbi