Friday, May 22, 2015

Remembering Albert Post

By Casey Gamble

On Monday, May 25th, we will celebrate Memorial Day to honor the many fallen soldiers who have served our country. The Clarke Library has many war-related letters. This Memorial Day we decided to celebrate one collection in particular, the correspondence of Cary Albert Post.

Photo of the U.S.S. Halligan taken in March, 1945
He was a soldier in the U.S. Navy during World War II, and he signed his letters home simply Albert.  Assigned to the U.S.S. Halligan, a naval destroyer, he lost his life tragically on March 26, 1945 when the Japanese sank the Halligan off the coast of Okinawa. He was 29 years old at the time. He left behind his wife Leila, and two children Darrel and Sharron.  Before he died, Albert wrote home to his wife every day, but unfortunately most of the letters were lost in a house fire. His letters that have survived, were donated to the Clarke Library, where they could be properly preserved.

Cary Albert Post
Through these surviving letters, we are able to appreciate the kind of man that Albert was and how much he cared for his family. On April 21st, 1944 he wrote to Darrel:

"Now son I know you will take care of mother and Sharron lei for Daddy and here is a little something for you to buy mommy and sister something nice from you and Daddy. And here is something you can tell mother Daddy gets out the 23rd of May. That's the day I am scheduled to graduate. I love you Son,

Your dad Albert."

A letter, decorated with a beautiful sketch of Leila and Sharron, was sent home to his family March 1st, 1945, just 3 weeks before the sinking of his ship.

"Another day has passed and I'm that much closer to coming home to you someday. Boy! I just want them to fly by all of these dreary days and lonely nites. The faster they fly by the better I will enjoy them. I always try to keep my mind occupied and myself busy; but my every thought, my every dream is still of you my children and home. 'I Love You So!'"

Albert, Darrel, Leila and Sharon, 1944

The collection was donated to the Clarke Library by Sharron and Darrel, who were comforted to know that these memories of their father will be kept alive for a very long time.

In these preserved letters and pictures, we are able to experience the love this man felt for his family and the strength that love gave him while fighting for his country.

As a closing statement to any researchers who may use this collection, Sharron Post said this:

"I was given the opportunity to hear our father speak through the letters, and he became much more real to me. We hope you enjoy your research, and understand how much a family can mean, and how much it did mean to a G.I. far away from his loved ones during World War II."