been reading my website, you know that I'm a genealogy buff. In fact, one
of the main reasons that I decided to quit my job in Portland in 2001 was to
travel around America so I could research my family's roots. I compiled
much of what I learned during my journey and put it into this section. I'll be adding information to this section as time permits, so check back soon. Here's what I've got so far:
Dad's ancestors included some of the earliest settlers of North America,
arriving in Massachusetts in the 1620s.
Here are some of their stories:
My Mother's Side
Mom's ancestors were mostly from Norway and Germany who emigrated to the
U.S. in the late 1800s and became pioneers, homesteading on the Midwestern prairies. Here
are some of their stories:
World War II
In July of 1945, my
father, one of the first U.S. Navy SEALs, was sent to China where he
fought the Japanese with a unique but little-known American outfit known
as SACO. My father, who was an Ensign and later a Lieutenant
Commander, engaged in guerilla warfare against the Japanese and was
placed in charge of training 1,200 Chinese guerilla troops at SACO's
main base near Chungking.
SACO was the first and
only American military unit ever completely integrated into a foreign
military force. Unfortunately, due to wartime secrecy, not much
was published about this highly-effective and fascinating group of 2,500
Americans, so I put together this section describing them.
Dad's brother Bill joined the U.S. Navy in 1941 at age 19 and signed onto the Navy
oil tanker U.S.S. Neosho (AO-23).
This ship, the largest tanker in the world at the time, had a fascinating
history. Bill was on the Neosho at Pearl Harbor on December 7,
1941 during the Japanese attack and watched the assault while
manning the Neosho's forward gun. Six months later, the Neosho was
furiously attacked by Japanese dive-bombers during the Battle of the Coral Sea. Bill and 122
other men clung to the deck of the listing tanker for five days until they
were rescued by an American destroyer.
people know about the Neosho so I've put together a section describing
this ship. I've posted its fascinating story, several photos and battle maps, and audio
and video recordings of
Bill's description of the battles at Pearl Harbor and the Coral Sea. It
all starts on my
U.S.S. Neosho Home Page.
Above left: Fireman 3rd Class, Bill Leu, soon after he
enlisted in the Navy in 1941.
Above center: The U.S.S. Neosho (AO-23) in Norfolk, Virginia
on August 7, 1939, about three months after it was launched. This was just after
it was commissioned by the U.S. Navy. For a supersized photo, click
Above right: One of the maps I've drawn to illustrate the Battle
of the Coral Sea, in May of 1942.
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