This is the anniversary of my grandfathers funeral. I miss him terribly.

Unfortunately, I do not know a whole lot about his history other than the stories he told me. One of these days I will absolutely have to make the trip back to Washington DC and St. Louis to take the proper time required to search through the records and piece together more of his history during WWII. Despite all of the stories he told me and the countless hours we spent talking, he did not talk much about what he actually did in WWII.

I have a number of photographs like the ones below and am attempting to locate more, but hopefully I will one day be able to reconstruct more of his history.

Here is my grandfather, Charles William Freesh in the middle with Paul Tibbets Sr. (the father of Paul Tibbets, the pilot of the Enola Gay) on the left and an unidentified gentleman on the right side. I do have one advantage in that my grandfather could request a photographer and interpreter to travel with him at all times, and he made liberal use of those options. Many of the individual soldiers in WWII were forbidden to have cameras but since my grandfather had a photographer, there are a number of photos that I was able to aquire. Many of the photos have other folks in them that I would love to be able to identify and perhaps the Internet is the only way of accomplishing this task. I should really post them all in an archive and provide a mechanism for folks to annotate the images….. Many of the photos are a mechanism for me to partially reconstruct the history of my grandfather in WWII by location and time. Unfortunately, many of his photos were turned into the federal government in 1946 and he destroyed many others, but my goal is to find as much documentation as possible to piece together a cohesive story.

To my knowledge, none of the photos I currently possess, have ever been published before. The Internet is the perfect place to disseminate history and document photographic moments in time at much less expense than is otherwise possible. I know there are shoe-boxes and such full of photos in people closets, attics and basements that really should be made available to historians world-wide. Of course there is the time commitment, but the Internet provides the means to make them available to everyone and I encourage folks that have such archives to make them available.



8 Replies to “Grandfather”

  1. It has been my experience that the less folks talk about their military service, the more they actually did. I still miss my Grandpa quite a bit, but I never doubted how full of a life he lived. Sounds like your Grandfather, too.

  2. Mark, thanks for sharing those. Get any other photographs you may have scanned and onto the web so that we can start to put together history that is slipping away.

    Shadow Wrought, You are likely more right than you know.

  3. Hi Bryan
    Don’t know if you’re still maintaining this blog, I’m a little late to the party.
    I’m your second cousin, Carol. Your grandpa and my dad were best buddies at Moffet Field before their respective deployments in the War. My dad was a glider pilot, Dale, and served in Europe. Uncle Charlie’s exploits in the OSS under cover of being a transportation officer were legendary in our family and we loved his stories, which I’m sure were sanitized for our tender ages. I have a copy of his self published memoir, “North Africa Wheels”, which is such a detailed account of all he encountered in N.Afr., that it should be part of Army archives. Anyone looking for activities of their relative serving in the same theater, may well find them named there, such was the detail of his account.

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