Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Dad I Never Knew

William Robert Blades  1923
My Dad, William Robert Blades, was born May 23, 1923 in Boston, Massachusetts. He grew up mainly in West Roxbury, a neighborhood of Boston. He had 4 sisters and 2 brothers.  He joined the Navy in November 1940 and became a navigator. He did several expeditions with Admiral Byrd to Antartica and traveled all over the world. As you already know from the last blog, he and mom married in 1950 in Washington, DC.                  

Shortly after they married, they transferred to Boston where Dad grew up as a boy. My sister, Sharon, was born at Chelsea Naval Hospital. When she was a couple of months old, they transferred to Cuba for about 2 years. Dad was on a ship nearby and mom got a job as a telephone operator. After they transferred back to the states, they had four more children. We were Military babies each born in different states (except for the Twins). Westy was born in 1954 at Portsmouth Navel Hospital in Virginia. Debbie was born in 1960 at Bethesda Naval Hospital.

Daddy 1941
Daddy in 1964.  This is a rare
picture of  him out of uniform.

Finally, after Dad transfered to his final Duty Station at Little Creek Amphibious Base in the early 1960's, Paula and I were born. We were the first set of twins born in 1966 at the Little White Hospital (Dispensary) located on base.  Daddy retired in December 1969 from the Navy, after 29 years of service.  He died two and a half months later on St. Patrick's Day 1970.  Paula and I were three years old.  I don't have many memories of him, just stories that Mom, Sharon, Debbie, his brothers and sisters have told us over the years along with his papers and pictures I have found.

Daddy hard at work

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