A few months ago a fellow named Oren Rose of Manassas, Virginia, contacted me via E-mail with some interesting news about a set of pictures he'd acquired at an estate auction. He told me that packed with some other materials, he'd discovered a set of WWII photographs that must have been produced aboard a ship named the USS Santa Fe.
Even though he had no direct connection to the Santa Fe, Oren was curious enough about the photos to check the Internet, and when he came across this website, he sent me a note. As Oren lives only a short drive from my house, I asked if I could see the photos, and on November 10, 2002, I met with him at the Manassas Library to look through his treasure trove. Even better, he has allowed me to borrow his photos, and I have scanned all of them so you can have a look too.
Oren doesn't know the name of the previous owner of the photographs, but he's pretty sure the man lived in the Manassas, Virginia area. I suspect there may be a few members of the Santa Fe crew who can look through these photos and figure out who he must have been.
The subject matter of many of the photos leads me to speculate that the owner might have been one of the Kingfisher pilots, or at least very interested in aviation. I also suspect he was a devoutly religious man, very possibly Catholic. That's total guesswork, though. I just don't know for sure.
So to all the former USS Santa Fe crewmembers, I offer this challenge. Please, look through these photographs, and help solve the mystery of their owner. Even better, if you recognize yourself or any of your friends in the photos, send me an E-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll add photo captions as appropriate. Actually, I've already spotted a couple of people I know -- my father, Fred (Andy) Anderson, is in the background of one of the photos, and his friend Walter (Whit) Whitby is in another.
Looking forward to hearing from you!
And there's Whit
Received this on 11/24/02 from Ollie Biddlecome's daughter Carla:
I am writing this for my dad, Ollie Biddlecome. He says they called him Bidd or Biddlecome on the ship. He was a seaman 1st class on the USS Santa Fe. I am sure that is his picture in the pic that says, "And there's Whit." He is the guy with all the hair. He would be the 4th person over from the arrow. He would be 3 heads over from Whit. It is showing his full face.