My oldest brother, Donald Moritz, signed up for the Navy on his 18th birthday: Nov. 4, 1944. He was attending Central High School in Lima at the time. He reported Dec. 5 to Fort Hays in Columbus but trained at the Great Lakes Naval base. Someone had stolen his billfold on the trip overseas, so he had no papers, no money, no identification. Neither the Navy or Red Cross would help him since his papers were gone, so his shipmates shared soap, razor blades and other necessary items until he could get money and papers.
The carrier stopped at Pearl Harbor and they saw the destruction, especially the battleship Arizona, on his way to the Philippine Islands. Many years later he and his wife, Jean, would visit the harbor under happier circumstances with the Arizona a national monument.
Donald became an electrician at an airbase on Guivan Island. After the war ended, he stayed in the Navy for another year to do electrical updates on the airstrip there. He said that it was the greatest experience of his life where he learned to be independent. Donald sent letters home that sometimes had sentences blotted or cut out. Mother and Dad always thought that was a time the Navy was part of an attack and didn’t want any information that would alert the enemy. We had a blue star in the window meaning we had someone in the service. A gold star meant they were killed in action. We were fortunate. Donald came home safe and was 92 on Nov. 4 of this year.
Two other brothers would serve in the Korean War: Myron “Mike” Moritz in the Army and Ramon Moritz in the Navy. Myron was a telecommunicator, much like “Radar” on the TV show “MASH” and lived in a tent near the 38th parallel. Much of Ohio is on the 38th parallel and somehow that made Mom feel better knowing the weather wouldn’t be any worse than ours. Myron was responsible for getting supplies and important messages to commanding officers. When he returned home, he worked at Lima Westinghouse Electrical doing much the same thing in production and material handling. Later he worked for Petrochemical. When Myron passed away at 52, he was watching “MASH” with his son, Mark.
Ramon Moritz joined the Navy, was trained as a medic and was then attached to The Marine Corps. He was on the cruiser USS Manchester that went up and down the coast of Korea, patrolling. Myron and Ramon tried to hook up in Korea, but never managed to do that. Ramon became a teacher and later an employee of Ford Motor Co. He died in 2011.
My brothers all wanted to do their duty, and we were so very proud of them. Parents were Fay and Kathryn Moritz.