Often but especially today, I remember a true gentleman and others of that "Greatest Generation". Although he never mentioned his service, Al couldn't ever return to Oahu. Stationed in Submarine School harbored just across from Battleship Row-Pearl Harbor, he escaped physical injury and death-more than 2,300 dead and nearly 1,200 wounded. Shell-shocked-no doubt, he and other survivors worked feverishly at "rescue and salvage"operations. You can fill in the sights, sounds, smells, burning eyes, the touches and raw and lasting emotion of those minutes, days, weeks, months and years.
Later June 1944-January 1945, as a Yeoman1st Class, he experienced two significant submarine patrols-aboard SS-395 USS Redfish, sinking four cargo and transport ships and later nearly being sunk as the SS-213 USS Greenling suffered through several hours of powerful and destructive hydraulic shock-being knocked down a further 60 feet by the closest detonating depth charge. Damaged and shaken the Greenling eluded the Destroyer escorts limped safely to Saipan.
SS-213 USS Greenling
SS-213 USS Greenling "Boat Flag". Al (20 Years Old) pointing down.
SS-213 USS Greenling "Sunshine Boys". Having survived the Ryukyu Island patrol, the 12th and final for SS-213, the crew enjoyed peaceful passage nearing the Panama Canal en-route to Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
Later, Harold Edward Stene "Al" behind my mother Edith Mae Schwab "Edie" (gray dress with black tie). Note. After Saipan, Greenling traveled back to Pearl Harbor, then to San Francisco, stopping in Monterey. The crew had "liberty" there. So Al, being from Minneapolis, met Edie from New Monterey while dancing at the USO (Del Monte Beach).