Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Work on the Indianapolis

Late in March through early April 1942, still at Pearl Harbor, my dad Frank Dolan, was temporarily transferred to the heavy cruiser, USS Indianapolis, for repairs. He didn’t remember the specific work he completed as the Indianapolis was one of so many ships requiring repairs following the Pearl Harbor attack and subsequent naval battles in the Pacific. On this job, he was helping with temporary patching for a trip stateside for an overhaul.

Later in the war, Indianapolis was ordered on a secret mission to deliver to Tinian, in the Northern Marianas, the component parts for the “Little Boy” atomic bomb to be dropped on Hiroshima. On her way to Leyte, Indianapolis was torpedoed by an enemy sub and sank in what became the greatest single loss of life at sea in the history of the U.S. Navy. About 300 of the 1,196 men on board died in the attack. The rest of the crew of nearly 900 men, floated in the water without lifeboats rescued 5 days later.  Only 321 crewmen came out of the water alive, and 317 ultimately lived. They suffered from lack of food and water, exposure to the elements, and horrifying shark attacks.

Sources: Frank L. Dolan's Service Records, March 1942; USS Indianapolis Muster Roll, March 1942

Dealing with Disappointment: Wisdom from George MacDonald

It sounded like a welcome already overshadowed with the coming farewell. As in all sweetest music, a tinge of sadness was in every note. Nor do we know how much of the pleasures even of life we owe to the intermingled sorrows. Joy cannot unfold the deepest truths, although deepest truth must be deepest joy (from Phantastes).
The paradox of today's pleasure already intermingled with tomorrow's sorrow... In every anticipated moment of joy in this life, there is already a seed of sadness sown. Maybe the connection of joy to sorrow is simply God's way of reminding us of our eternal home, where He will wipe away every tear in that endless day (Rev. 21).

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

New Blog: Great Grandfather Oakes and the 32nd Miss. Infantry

150 years ago, my great grandfather, Nathan Richardson Oakes, served as a private in Company D of the distinguished 32nd Mississippi Infantry Regiment in the Army of Tennessee. He participated in many great campaigns, including the battles of Perryville, Murfreesboro, Chickamauga, Atlanta, Franklin, Nashville, and Bentonville. I am writing about his engagements as well as some details about fighting for the Lost Cause. I hope to honor him and commemorate the events and individuals that contributed to making the 32nd Mississippi Infantry Regiment a renown unit in the Confederate Army of Tennessee.


To view my blog about Great Grandfather Nathan Oakes and the 32nd Mississippi Infantry Regiment, visit: