Clabe Wilson’s funeral was a year earlier, but the official letters were still addressed to him.
20 October 1947
2/Lt. Daniel S. Wilson. . . .
Dear Mr. Wilson:
The people of the United States, through the Congress have authorized the disinterment and final burial of the heroic dead of World War II. The Quartermaster General of the Army has been entrusted with this sacred responsibility to the honored dead. The records of the War Department indicate that you may be the nearest relative of the above-named deceased, who gave his life in the service of his country.
The enclosed pamphlets, “Disposition of World War II Armed Forces Dead,” and “American Cemeteries,” explain the disposition, options and services made available to you by your Government. If you are the next of kin according to the line of kinship as set forth in the enclosed pamphlet, “disposition of World War II Armed Forces Dead,” you are invited to express your wishes as to the disposition of the remains of the deceased by completing Part I of the enclosed form “Request for Disposition of Remains.” Should you desire to relinquish your rights to the next in line of kinship, please complete Part II of the enclosed form. If you are not the next of kin, please complete Part III of the enclosed form.
If you should elect Option 2, it is advised that no funeral arrangements or other personal arrangements be made until you are further notified by this office.
Will you please complete the enclosed form, “Request for Disposition of Remains” and mail in the enclosed self-addressed envelope, which requires no postage, within 30 days after its receipt by you? Its prompt return will avoid unnecessary delays.
Sincerely, THOMAS B. LARKIN, Major General, The Quartermaster General
Leora had to make the decision, but her two surviving sons and two daughters helped her. She enjoyed children, so was blessed by having six grandchildren by then. The Wilson girls lived with her, and the others lived only 45 minutes from her.
As we remember them, we must realize that their loved ones are confronted with their passing, over and over again.
What a beautiful picture of the grand babies! There you are… bringing some JOY to this heart breaking story.
I wanted to share the official documents but everything was so stark, so sad. Then, rummaging through the photos again, I discovered photos from the same time. God gave Leora us grandkids! Also three more. She was always just so delighted when we’d visit through the decades. (She even managed to visit Guy and me when we lived in Idaho and Colorado.)
So hard. It’s good she had family to help her.
It must have been so hard for Leora to be confronted with pamphlets and government forms to fill out for the final resting place for her son.
I was too small to remember those terrible years. How did she get through them!
From what I’ve come to know of her through your writing, I would say she got through those years for the sake of her family.
You’re right! She said that was the only reason she survived the “Spanish flu” 100 years ago, when she had two toddlers and my mother was the baby. Family is a powerful glue, isn’t it!
It definitely is!