Carl Fitzgerald

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November 22, 2009
Here's an email exchange I had recently with Kathryn Lancaster, daughter of Santa Fe Marine Carl Fitzgerald.  Kathryn has provided me a CD containing scans of the pages in a journal Carl kept while he was aboard the Santa Fe from 1943 to 1945.  I've cropped and enlarged the scans to make them easier to read.  Thanks, Kathryn, for this excellent addition to the website.
Bill Anderson


November 5, 2009

I hope this reaches you. I am writing on the behalf of my father, CL-60 USS Sante Fe marine, Carl Fitzgerald. His health is declining and I would like to email some information regarding his service from 42 -45. Please write back so I can inform you. Thank you for your anticipated return message!

Kathryn Lancaster


Hi Kathryn:
My Dad's health hasn't been great lately either, but he's hanging in there.  Now I knew he knows your father because I've heard him talk of "Fitzgerald," and when I called him a minute ago to tell him about your email, he got REALLY excited! "Carl Lyle Fitzgerald!  He was a bugler, and a good one too! And he was a friend of mine!"  So yes, Kathryn, my Dad would love to hear from yours.  Is Carl up to taking a phone call?  My Dad wants to know his phone number.  Will that work?
Bill Anderson

November 7, 2009

Hi Bill: I am so excited to hear from you!! I just looked through my notes I've made from my visits with my dad (he is in Sebring, FL and I in upstate NY) and as we browsed the website of the USS Santa Fe, he saw the pic. of your dad, Frederick Porter Anderson, known to his shipmates as "Andy". Dad said he knew him well and he remembered him to be in great shape, working out every day and having a "muscular build". He never smoked, drank, or chewed tobacco. Dad said, "if you didn't like him, you didn't like anybody." He and his friend, Walt Whitby were from Memphis, TN.

I am amazed the details of things he remembers from the war. It is fascinating to me and I am trying to keep the memories alive in my personal journal. I also wanted to let you know of a special gift my dad gave me last Christmas. Unbeknown to  me or my mom, dad had kept a journal while on the ship from '43-'45 when he was discharged. In it, he recalls all the invasions, dates, casualties, etc. He told me that if he had been caught with this journal "I would have been thrown in the brig."  It it truly a personal account of the happenings of the USS Santa Fe while at war. It is very precious to me and would like to share it, somehow, with those who are interested. It is all hand written in pen.

My dad is in poor health at the moment and diagnosed with bladder cancer, and COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease). Since I live in NY state, and working as a teacher here, I have been seeing him every 3 months and staying there at the Palms for a week. I stayed longer last summer with him and signed him up for a vet disability pension. His care is expensive and this will help him. His address is: Carl Fitzgerald  245 Oak Ave. Apt. 306  Sebring, FL  33870. He would be floored if your dad called or wrote to him. Every time I come down to FL we look over all the websites and naval archival pics. He always recalls so many details of the war, which when growing up, I never knew. My dad will be 89 Dec. 15!! God Bless these brave men as they are truly, "The Greatest Generation."  Sincerely, Kathryn Lancaster


November 9, 2009

Dear Bill,

    I called my dad at noontime today and before the nurse went to get him she told me that he had rec'd the call from your dad. She said he shot out of his seat when she told him he can a phone call from a marine buddy. I doubt much information got transferred, as he is somewhat hard of hearing and I have to talk quite loudly on the phone to him. He would probably send him a letter if you could send me his address. Since sight is your dad's disability, your mom could at least read it to him. His writing is hard to decipher, but it might be our best bet.
    Dad and I have perused all the website and reunion pics. He used to attend the reunions and back in the 60's, my parents attended the reunion in Santa Fe, NM when they dedicated the bell (?). After my parents divorced in 1980, he attended most reunions alone. I've tried to show him things on the computer so he could see for himself, but it is too overwhelming for him. We have been watching the 6 CD series by Ken Burns, *The War,* when I come. I happened to catch it on PBS and ordered it for him for Christmas and brought it with me when I visited 12/26 through the New Year. The footage is amazing. Very hard to take in and very graphic, but still amazing. He learned things about the war he didn't know.
    My husband is going to attempt to copy the journal on our machine and see how it turns out. That might be easier than scanning it, then you could decide to share it or not.  I'll keep you posted on the progress!

Till we talk again...Kathryn


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