I got this e-mail last night.
My dad, John Winter Fairchild was an able seaman on the Athabaskan at the age of 17. He died last week but I have lots of stories I can share with you if you are interested, including his escape with Herm from the prison camp at the end of the war.
This is what I wrote back.
Everything you are willing to share I will post on the blog like I did with all the relatives of sailors who shared their fathers’ or uncles’ memories.
This way we pay homage to all these brave men.
prisoners coming home…
Comment from Sherry Pringle…
John Fairchild was a dear friend and great buddy of my uncle Maurice Waitson. Both were able seamen inboard Athabaskan when she was sunk off the coast of France.
The first of April, 1944, John and Moe switched gun detail. John went from B guns to X at the ship’s stern and Moe went from X to B. Moe’s station was near the torpedo strike when Atha B was attacked on April 29, 1944. He is MPD (Missing Presume Dead) and John was taken prisoner.
John and Pam visited our family in May of 2001, all the while regaling us with his many tales as a sailor. We remained in close contact. He did escape prison camp but Herm was not with him. L’Esperance and one other were the other escapees. Herm remained in prison camp until its liberation. My condolences to Pam and family. John has now reunited with Moe and the others in a happier place.
So long John! Until we meet again!