Today at the Cafe we remember the families who also sacrifice so much and especially those who let go of the ones they love forever.
I especially want to remember my grandfather, John William Ailes III.
|Grandaddy on board ship circa WWII.|
The Navy Cross is presented to John W. Ailes, Commander, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism in the line of his profession as Commanding officer of the U.S.S. Cassin Young in action off Okinawa, Ryukyu Islands, on 12 April 1945. His conduct throughout was in keeping with the highest traditions of the Navy of the United States.
The Navy Cross is the second highest medal that can be awarded by the Department of the Navy and the second highest award given for valor. It is normally only awarded to members of the United States Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard but could be awarded to all branches of United States military. It was established by Act of Congress (Pub.L. 65-253) and approved on February 4, 1919. The Navy Cross is equivalent to the Distinguished Service Cross (Army) and the Air Force Cross.
|Grandaddy with his sons, CAPT J.W Ailes and RADM R.H. Ailes|
Cassin Young was then assigned to RP Station 1 where, on April 12, the ship came under massive attack. Six kamikazes were shot down, but one hit the mast and exploded fifty feet above the ship. One sailor was killed and 59 were wounded.
|Grandaddy and me.|
But to me he was Granddaddy, always ready with a bottle of "Cherry Smash" or to take me fishing or go to MacDonald's. I had no idea about his background when I was growing up - he was just Grandaddy. But you didn't tell him no.
You may visit the USS Cassin Young. It is open to the public and moored next to the USS Constitution in Charlestown Harbor in Boston, MA. Read more about it at the webpage of the Boston National Historic Park. The tour includes Granddaddy's Cabin - restored to it's World War II period. You may see a presentation on the kamikazes attack here.