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“Thankful Generations” WWII Project - Part 6

Cardoza

Here is the completed tapestry of Purple Heart recipient, US Navy Corpsman Joseph Vierra Cardoza. His son, Rod shares more of his fathers' history: 

"One interesting story he related to me was once they were anchored on his ship (an LST) in Milne Bay, Papua New Guinea where they were witness to a mid-air collision of two friendly forces airplanes.  The men on the ship could see that parachutes were deployed and my father asked the officer of the deck if he could take a landing craft to the scene.  The officer acquiesced.  Upon arrival, my father said the wounded pilots had just entered the water.  One was picked up readily.  The other had already dipped below the surface and was sinking due to the weight of his gear and the salt water saturation of his silk parachute.  My father grabbed a long grappling hook in an attempt to snag the parachute and missed it by mere inches.  In the clear tropical waters the would-be rescuers watched the wounded pilot, with arm outstretched, sink ever deeper into the abyss.  My father said he had nightmares about this for years to come."

Cardoza 5

Through capturing and sharing such stories, I am reinvigorated in my efforts to complete this project. I still have a long way to go! The impact WWII had on our world, in big and small ways remains in evidence even today.  Rod’s story of his dad continues, "My father had a major impact on my desire to serve in the Navy.  As a little boy in the 1950's I never tired of hearing of his "War Stories" on a Saturday morning laying in he and my mother's bed.

Is there someone in your life with similar stories? Start a dialogue and see where it leads … you may be surprised at what you find out, even from people you may have known your entire life. 


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