Military heritage

I know I need to be writing down the family history. I know their stories need to be preserved, for my children and the others in the family, and who knows–maybe someone else will be interested.

One of my favorite stories to tell is the story of Robert Turner Cobb. He was serving in the US Navy during WWII. He was part of the battle group that would invade Japan after we dropped the bombs. While he was on his ship, there was 1 (just one!) comic book circulating for the sailors to amuse themselves. Now this is the only comic book for the entire battle group. All of the sailors on all of the ships in this group shared the 1 comic book.

So my grandfather was reading it, and when he was done he was to pass it on to the next sailor. One day he was lying on his bunk, relaxing and reading, when the sirens went off. He knew this siren meant that he needed to report to a certain staircase. He quickly threw the comic at the end of his bunk, and ran for the stairs.

Once he reached the staircase, he realized he didn’t properly stow the comic book. If the other guys saw this, he would bear endless ribbing. If the comic was to be destroyed, he would not have lived it down. So he decided to return to his bunk and properly pack it in his trunk.

While he was away, a bomb hit the stairs. All of the sailors on that particular staircase where killed. Had he not left for a silly comic book, he would have died also

The Star-Ledger in NJ (I think) reported this story when it happened in 1945, but I have not yet been able to find it. If anyone out there in the blogosphere has the ability to find it, I would be most appreciative.

My paternal grandfather was not the only military veteran in the family. My father also served 9 years in the USMC with a tour to Okinawa and South Korea during the Cold War. My great aunt was in the USMC. My maternal grandfather was an Army medic driver in WWII in the North African battles against Italy. I’m sure there are others, but those are the only ones that come to mind.

My great-grandparents on both sides came through Ellis Island from Italy or Poland. Their children served this nation in the armed forces for years. I remember as a child growing up on the Naval Base at San Diego. Most beautiful location in the world, but I could never see myself in the military, except possibly to teach at a DOD school. Yet, I’m glad that my family was able to protect this nation over the years. They gave something back, and I hope that I live up to their legacy.


About jaimeanne

I'm me. Graphic designer extraordinaire, urban master teacher of social studies, former adjunct professor, high school principal, and now most importantly-- Mom to the cutest little girl ever. I try to live by the quote, "Work like you don't need money, Love like you've never been hurt, And dance like no one's watching." I believe in Christ, and sometimes I'm just trying to figure out what He wants me to do. This blog chronicles that journey.
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5 Responses to Military heritage

  1. Great story about that comic book! These little bits of entertainment are still great for morale. You have much to be proud of.

  2. Robert A Cobb says:

    Well…Jaime is correct about my father (her Grandfather) not being the only person in the Military from our family! Starting with myself, (Jaime’s Father), as she said I served nine years in the US Marines. It was a tradition carried on from other family members. Jaime’s Paternal Grandfather served three tours in the Marines during WWII and Korea. His siblings (Jaime’s Grand Uncle and Aunt) Gary and Elaine both served in the US Marines also. His mother (GGMother) Rosina drove trucks for the US Army during WWII in and around Camp Kilmer, New Jersey. She was the first licensed woman truck driver in the State of New Jersey. Jaime’s Maternal 7th GGFather, Ebenezer Foote served in the Revolutionary War as did his father (Jaime’s 8th GGFather). Her 8th and 9th GGFathers, Ensign Nathaniel Foote and Lieutenant Robert Foote both served in the Military of the Connecticut Colony in the middle to late 1600’s. Also her Paternal 5th and 6th GGFathers, Sergeant Ezekiel Cobb and his Father Private Joseph Cobb served during the American Revolutionary War. There were more than a few of the Cobb Family who were “Pioneers” of the State of Florida served in the Confederacy during the AMerican Civil War.

  3. Robert A Cobb says:

    Clarification: My Father was serving in the US Marine Corps with the Marine Detachment aboard the Naval Ship US Ticonderoga. His Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) was both as a Fireman and he manned the 20mm Anti-Aircraft Weapons aboard ship. (Someone had to protect those sailors!) I did speak with my mother about the newspaper article and she believes she has a copy somewhere in the house. I hope she finds it for us.

  4. redhatmandan says:

    boy i’ve got work to do on my geneaology! The best I can do is my great grandfather who I had a chance to meet. I’ll put a picture up soon of him. I need to get more done, though, that’s for sure.

  5. Scott E. Nodes says:

    Your Grandma Nodes has, or had, the article packed away somewhere. I remember reading it quite some time ago. I’ve heard the story from her a few times and she showed me the article. Being as it was old and fragile, she kept it carefully packed away and I am sure that she still has it. But I am pretty sure that you are right about it being in the Star Ledger. Give her a call and I’m sure she’ll be able to help you out!

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