Learning the Story of My Dad, A WWII Veteran on the Edison Destroyer

Every Veterans Day I add a little bit more to the story of my Dad  I never heard when he was alive. Like many World War II veterans they rarely talked about their war time years. My Dad was one of those veterans. The terms shell shock, war fatigue, and PTSD was just not discussed, yet emotional withdrawal, depression, and a disconnection of life is now something I can see when I look back on my childhood.

After both of my parents died I found a single photo of my Father from the World War II era. From this photo I started searching records, learned the names of the Navy Destroyers on what he served and this is just the beginning.

WWII Naval Veteran who served on two destroyers

I had an AMAZING phone conversation with not only a WWII veteran who wrote the book Joining the War at Sea, and served on the same ship as my Dad, BUT he was my Dad’s Gunnery officer on the USS Edison destroyer.

You can read the story of how it came to be here, but on this Veterans Day I want to chronological list my Dad’s service records in hopes there are others who served during those time periods or have fathers who served on the same ship or during the early 1950’s when he reenlisted in the  82nd Airborne with Leo Tyrrell.

US Naval Destoryers, joining the war at seaJoining the War at Sea 1939-1945: A Destroyer’s Role in World War II Naval Convoys and Invasion Landings [Paperback] [2009] (Author) Franklyn E. Dailey Jr.

I would love to hear from anyone who had family serve aboard these ships and learn more about my Dad. Maybe your Dad or Grandfather told stories of the days escorting battleships across the Atlantic, firing against the German Nazi’s or dodging the Kamikaze planes in the Pacific.

The dates and locations below are taken from the book Joining the War at Sea 1939-1945 written by Captain Franklyn Dailey. Today he is 95 years old and I am so honored to have found him and spoken to him several times. To think he knew and worked with my Dad as his Gunnery Officer gives me chills.

WWII and Korean War Veteran Ribbons

 Leo T Tyrrell- Date of enlistment branch USNR Sept 23, 1943

Explanation of Service Ribbons

The other pins and patches above are from my Dad’s time in the Army Airborne with the 82nd Airborne, he earned his glider patch and was not only a parachute packer but a quartermaster at the end of his service. I am a little confused about this glider patch though. I vaguely remember my Dad saying he started planes on the deck of a ship by flipping the propellers. This was while watching the WWII television series. While doing history on the patch it seems to be a WWII era patch, but maybe someone can clear it up for me.

Below is a running chronological listing of dates, coordinating them with the ship of record. I will continue to update this list as I find specific dates and events. If you have any information you can add please send me a message at the bottom of this page. Records in bold note a military record which documents a time and place where my Dad was present. If you click on the date it will bring up a PDF report from Fold 3, part of my Ancestry.com subscription.

USS Kendrick DD 612 :  The Year 1943

December 3: L. Tyrrell arrives on the USS Kendrick Benson class destroyer from RecS NYK, Auth CSF Ser. 24043 if 11/20/42 rating S2c from Rec Station NYK, Auth: CSF Ser 24043 of 11/20/43

December 28: Kendrick L.Tyrrell AWOL since 11/26/43 Trans. to R/S Pier 92 NYK. Auth BuPers Cir Ltr 160-42 (this appears to be a typo in the records, or they didn’t know he had been transferred to Edison on the 3rd) 

My Dad stayed aboard the Kendrick from December of 1943-April of 1944 when he went aboard the Edison. From what I have read the USS Kendrick was also involved in the

USS Edison Combat Awards The Edison won six battle stars and my Dad received four

  • 1 Star/Sicilian Occupation 9-15 July, August 1943
  • 1 Star/Salerno Landings 9-21 Sept 1943
  • 1 Star/Anzio-Nettuno Advanced Landing 22-13 Jan 1944, Feb 1944 (L. Tyrrell served)
  • 1 Star/Invasion of Southern France Aug 15-Sept 1944 (L. Tyrrell served)
  • Navy Occupation Service Medal from Sept/Oct 1945

USS Edison DD 439: The Year 1944

52,855 Nautical Miles

I always thought my Dad was at Normandy, he mentioned participating at D-Day, I just didn’t know there was more than one D-Day. For Normandy to be successful, the Allies had to assure a supply line to the British Isles and then wrest back control of the Mediterranean from Germany. He earned four service stars participating in the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaigns, two aboard the Kendrick and the other two on the USS Edison.

  • February  : Edison- Algiers, Oran and Casablanca
  • April : Edison- Mediterranean as a decoy for the German spotters in Algeciras to draw attention from the English Channel
  • Log record notes first received on board April 17, 1944 
2nd Division Gunnery Unit

My Dad is seated in the middle

  • August : Edison- Operation Dragoon, Southern France for the 3rd D-Day (didn’t know there was more than one)
  • August 17-22: Edison- Operation Anvil
  • September 15: Edison- Cape Mortola  took out a bridge
  • September 16th: Edison-at work five separate time, gun emplacement, supply warehouse, storage tank, troop concentration
  • September 17th: 89 rounds to five targets
  • September 22: Edison- Ventimiglia Italy

Sicily-Salerno-Anzio: January 1943-June 1944 (History of United States Naval Operations in World War II) (v. 9)With Utmost Spirit: Allied Naval Operations in the Mediterranean, 1942-1945

  • October 1: L. Tyrrell present for muster roll 

USS Edison 439: The Year 1945

51,979 Nautical miles

  • January: Edison-New York yard overhaul
  • May 8: Edison-New York, received news of V-E Day
USS Edison 439 Ship Party May 1945 in World War II, my Dad served on this Destroyer for two years

Click to see full size photo

Edison SHip Party May 1945

  • June: Edison- Training with USS Eberle Guantanamo Bay
  • June 27: Panama Canal
  • July 6: San Diego San Diego
  • JULY 24: Dad reported declared straggler after being absent over liberty July 9-13, BNP 60 issued, BNP 641 submitted, published deck court. (Appears he was gone the same time as William L Roden and had some fun in San Diego) Information obtained from Ancestry.com military records
  • August 2: Pearl Harbor engaged in Pacific Fleet training exercises
  • September 1: Sailed for Saipan
  • September 12: Rescued a man overboard from USS Dawson
  • September 13: Arrived in Saipan
  • September 16th: Tanapag Harbor
  • September 22: Sasebo Japan
  • Between September and November made port at the following cities
    • Nagasaki, Japan
    • Nagoya, Japan
    • Matsuyama, Japan
    • Mindanao, Philippines
WWII Peace at Last

Stars & Stripes “WWII Peace at Last”

  • October 1: L.Tyrrell present on muster roll Slc SV6 rating
  • October 25: Battle for Leyte Gulf (reclaiming the Phillipines from Japan)
  • November 3: left for Adak Alaska, served as North Pacific weather station

USS Edison DD 439: 1946

4,973 Nautical Miles

  • January 1: L. Tyrrell present for muster roll 
  • January 2: Left Alaska for the Canal Zone
  • April 1: L. Tyrrell present for muster roll 
  • May 18: Charleston placed out of commission

The World War II Memorial: A Grateful Nation RemembersWorld War 2: The Untold Stories81 Days Below Zero: The Incredible Survival Story of a World War II Pilot in Alaska’s Frozen WildernessSoldier’s Heart: The Campaign to Understand My WWII Veteran Father: A Daughter’s Memoir (You’ll Never Know)

I am looking for additional stories of the USS Edison and Kendrick. There is a small community of family members of Edison veterans who would like to hear anecdontal stories aboard ship.  If your Dad, Grandfather or other family member kept a diary, photos I would love to hear more. Please send me a message below.

Remembering World War II Veterans

 

 

 

3 thoughts on “Learning the Story of My Dad, A WWII Veteran on the Edison Destroyer

  1. My father was also a WW2 veteran who fought at Dunkirk but didn’t manage to escape back to Britain. He spent five years as a POW. It is a time he didn’t talk about much

    1. Thank you to your father. He was one of the greatest generation. Most of the POWs don’t talk about it. It wasn’t called PTSD at the time. Thank you for commenting and visiting. Please come back again.

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