He was listed as missing in action, and eventually it was found that he was killed in action. My grandma was in France as an Army nurse, and we have some of the letters that she wrote home to her mother. She wrote about how she was trying to find out information about Donald, but she couldn't find much. It's hard to imagine, in our age of information overload, how difficult that waiting must have been.
I also think, especially today, about the national heroes who came from Waterloo, Iowa. Maybe you've heard of them? The five Sullivan Brothers: George, Francis, Joseph, Madison, and Albert. They all five enlisted in the Navy in World War II, with the stipulation that they serve together on the same ship.
They were all placed on the USS Juneau. Unfortunately the Juneau was torpedoed on November 13, 1942, and sunk soon after. The next January, three uniformed men arrived at the Sullivan home in Waterloo. They said they had news about the boys. Their father asked, "Which one?", already bracing himself for bad news. One of the officers replied, "I'm sorry. All five."
What a heart-wrenching story. You can read more about them here and here. We actually have a replica of their living room here in Waterloo, at the Sullivan Brothers Iowa Veterans Museum. My family loves to visit that museum. I always stop and look at the statue of the brothers. I look into their faces, the features that made them distinctly who they were.
Thank you to those of you left behind this Memorial Day. Your sacrifice and the sacrifice of your loved ones are not forgotten!