Meet Dad
Your story on the history of “The Jeep” [by Jon Guttman, May 2020] got me looking for this picture of my dad, U.S. Army Pfc. Philip E. Kelly, who served in the 498th Medical Collecting Company in Europe during World War II, including during the Battle of the Bulge. Here he is next to the Jeep he used as a messenger in one of his assignments.

Phil Kelly
Lake Frederick, Va.

My father (Edward T. Woolverton) was wounded on D-Day and died on July 8, 1944. I’m 82 years old, and I saw him for the first time in my life a couple of months ago when we discovered this picture of him on the internet.

Edward D. Woolverton
Spokane, Wash.

Your letter prompts us to share internet tools we use to research people mentioned in our magazine

Editor responds: What a gift to find this wartime portrait of your father, Cpl. Edward Theron Woolverton, of the U.S. Army’s 234th Engineer Combat Battalion, who is interred at the Normandy American Cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer, France. Your letter prompts us to share internet tools we use to research people mentioned in our magazine. Your father’s portrait appears on FindAGrave.com, which lists cemetery information worldwide, including photos of headstones and other images. Digging deeper, we turned up your father’s draft registration card on Fold3.com, a database of U.S. military records stretching back to the American Revolutionary War. Another invaluable resource for genealogical research is FamilySearch.org, a free database maintained by the Mormon Church, with links to a range of records sources, including U.S. Census records with images of original documents. Such tools enable us to plumb history and may lead other readers to lost or unknown relatives. Thank you for sharing your discovery.

Ships, Ahoy!
Regarding your May 2020 issue: What an informative update on recently found wrecks from famous naval battles! Thanks for the information in “Checkmate in the Baltic,” by Gregory A. Thiele; “Finding Kujawiak,” by Timmy Gambin and Lucy Woods; and items in the News section.

I do have one comment re. Graf von Spee and his squadron [“Scharnhorst Found off Falkland Islands,” by Brendan Manley, News]: The German armored cruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau were outdated antiques, not modern dreadnaught-class capital ships challenging the Royal Navy for control of the sea-lanes. As such, their actual mission was commerce raiding, not “domination at sea” as indicated. The armored cruisers of both sides had proved unworthy in the battle line, and both sides suffered heavy losses in both squadron-level combat and the fleet-level Battle of Jutland.

Thus the Dec. 8, 1914, Battle of the Falkland Islands did not determine which country would have sea control in World War I. Jutland determined that in favor of the British, even though the Germans sank twice as much tonnage than they lost and killed more than twice as many enemy sailors as they lost. While the Germans had superior ships and gunnery, they were outnumbered in capital ships, and the Royal Navy blockade bottled up their surface fleet in the Baltic for the duration. As a result Kaiser Wilhelm II and his admirals turned to submarine warfare as their primary strategy—but that is another story.

Col. Wayne E. Long
U.S. Army (Ret.)
Haveford, Pa.

Farewell to a Dear Friend
We at Military History are very sad to announce that our friend and colleague Paraag Shukla passed away on Jan. 28, 2020, at the age of 37 after a valiant two-year battle with cancer. He had served our country in Afghanistan, and in addition to being a talented writer and editor, he was among the most caring, intelligent and outgoing people it has been our privilege to know.

 

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