Thursday, November 11, 2010

Happy Veterans Day, Dad!

Hard to believe that one's own parent could ever have been nineteen. In my dad's case, he was one of the many 19-something-year-old farm boys who fought in WWII with courage and conviction.

Today, dad is 84 years strong and he loved and continues to love his country as any true-blooded American should. And so on this Veterans Day, I just want to say, THANKS Dad, for your sacrifice and service!

Donald Orin Webster. Germany, Spring of 1945. Dad was a Master Sargeant in the 8th Armored Division, Company A.

Oct. 1943. Dad, a high school senior at the time. Finleyville, Pennsylvania.

1943. Dad, my grandfather, and Uncle Harold (on leave). Finelyville, PA.

USS General Harry Taylor. Transport ship that brought my Dad back to the U.S. from Bremerhaven, Germany in January of 1946.

January 1946. USS General Harry Taylor.

I've got tons more pictures that my dad took from the war, and hope to compile them one day into a book. Until then...


  1. What fabulous photos! My grandfather served in WWII, and was in the Battle of Kohima. He was never the same, and never really spoke about the war. They all sacrificed, even those that survived sacrificed so much, both during, and after the War. I only have one war-era photo of my grandfather. Cherish the pictures you have. I think a book is a wonderful idea, and self-publishing is so easy these days. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Great pictures of your dad. Nice way to honor him. My father did not serve. I am so thankful to all those who did.

  3. These photos charm me, charm me. Something magical about seeing our parents as kids. They seem unbelievably vulnerable.

    (I, too, had an Uncle Harold.)

  4. Clare, when I was a kid, my dad never spoke much about the war either. But these days, I'm more inclined to ask him about his experiences, and he's actually been quite forthcoming. I hope to chronicle as much as I can.

    Thanks, Elena - I, too am grateful to all those who served.

    Altadenahiker, I know what you mean. Seeing our parents as kids only brings home the fact that they were actually once kids. Imagine that!

  5. Hello,
    My name is Roy Pfennings and I live in Montfort, Holland. I own a museum with a private collection of WWII stuff. I put up this museum to honour the men who liberated us more than 65 years ago, so it won't be forgotten in the future. In 2009 I was in the US at the last reunion of the 8th Armored Division to speak with the veterans (I don't know if your father also was there) and hear their stories. In Montfort, Holland where I live, the 8th Armored had their first Divisional actions of WWII (Linne, Montfort, Posterholt, Roermond area) I try to collect as much information and stories of veterans as I can to pass on to next generations. Maybe your father want to share some of his stories or other information. Hope to hear from you.
    Best Regards, Roy
    the Roertriangle museum

  6. Hello Roy, I'm amazed you found my post all the way from Holland! That's the beauty of the world wide web. I've been compiling photos, letters, memorabilia, and WWII stories from my dad for the past couple years and would love to share them. He's been very involved with the Veterans of Foreign Wars for more than 40 years, but I don't think he was ever aware that the 8th Armored Division had a reunion. In the meantime, do you have any specific questions for my dad regarding his wartime experiences that I can pass on to him? My email address is

    Best, Arleen

  7. I was a passenger as a kid on the Gen Taylor.
    By chance.......??
    Any photos??
    Thank you.

    1. Hi there - I don't know much about the history of the USS General Harry Taylor after WWII, except that (according to Wikipedia) it was used as for military transport in the 1950s and in 1957 transported Hungarian refugees to Australia. Years later, in 2009, it was sunken off the Florida Keys for use as an artificial reef.

  8. My Dad also came back from India on the AP-145 U.S.S. General Harry Taylor. I have the original copy of the Thanksgiving Day Menu when the ate at the Rock of Gilbraltor off the coast of Spain in January 1945. Also a copy of the Embarkation papers from the Aviation Corps signed by all his buddies...If anyone is interested in having a scanned copy email me at: the page..!!!

  9. Hi, are you a member of or do you know of the 8th Armored Division Association? If not, you should look up the website and Facebook group and join up. We'd love to see your dad's photos and ad them to the division archives. Let me know if you have any questions and I can help you out. Feel free to email me at
    Anthony Adamsky