Luke 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised...

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Beginning June 5th

This day, June 5, in 1952 at 7:00 PM West Coast Time, at Linda Vista Presbyterian Church, Patti P Tinkle and I were united in marriage by the minister of that church. As Patti was given to me by God, every step we took was ordered by God.

I had dated Patti for three years. On February 1, 1952 I joined the US Navy and took my basic training in San Diego California. After spending 10 days leave in Sarcoxie, I returned to San Diego and entered Hospital Corps School at Balboa Naval Hospital. Two weeks after I started school, the Lord spoke to me and told me to marry Patti.

I called her, she agreed and came out to San Diego, California on a train from Sarcoxie, Missouri. I finished Hospital Corps School and was transferred to Oak Knoll Hospital, Oakland California.

Upon my transfer, Patti returned to Sarcoxie Missouri because I didn’t know what was ahead of me. In January of 1953 she joined me in Oakland California. September of that year I was ordered to go to Yokosuka Japan Naval Hospital. Patti was expecting our first and only child, she was almost nine months pregnant, but the Navy went ahead and sent me on to Japan anyway. I recall standing on the ship deck, the US Cape Esperance TCVE 88, looking down on Patti, as we backed away from the pier in San Francisco. I was determined not to cry. I held back the tears, saying good bye; “Love you! I’ll see you again!”

The ship pulled away from the dock, turned toward the entrance of San Francisco Bay and under the Golden Gate Bridge, headed for Japan. That was a strange feeling going under the Golden Gate.

With the ground swells facing us for miles heading out of the bay, and many of the transients getting sick, I was taken and assigned to the ship’s hospital room to assist in dispensing medication. You see, I was a hospital corpsman and by the grace of God I never got sick.

I was fifteen days at sea. On the eighth day I received a communique; Kathy Jane Davidson was born, giving me the date of October 27, at the specified time. I was twenty-one years old and a dad.

I arrived in Japan seven days later and was assigned to a position in Dispensary Services at the Yokosuka Naval Hospital. My senior was the Commander of Medical Forces, Far East under Admiral Callaghan. Soon he was replaced by Captain Cohen, Chief Medical Officer, Far East Command. Hospital Corp Chief, Harry McCarty was my immediate superior. He was Captain Cohen’s Chief of Staff.

After a few weeks I decided I wanted to bring Patti and Kathy to Japan. I talked it over with Chief McCarty and Captain Cohen. They thought it was the right thing for me to do. So, I sent word to Patti, my dad, and my mother, “Here’s what I am going to do.” I had two horses, a mare and her offspring, boarded at my dad’s farm. I instructed him to sell them and purchase tickets for Patti and Kathy to join me. Patti was ecstatic. So, with the sale of the horses, I had everything for her and Kathy to fly on American Airlines to Haneda International Airport in Tokyo. The tickets were bought, and everything was set.

But then I got notice that Surgical Team 15, which I was a part of, was being sent to Korea for duty. I was shocked. I talked to the chief and the captain. After a bit, the captain and his wife met with me and said, “Look, you go ahead and bring her on. And if you must go to Korea, Patti and your baby daughter can stay at our house until you return.”

I suppose I didn’t know the grace of God that was on my life. But within days God intervened and removed me from the Surgical Team and finally the team was dissolved. Now everything looked better. I rented a house in Kamakura and prepared for them to come. On May Day 1954, Patti and Kathy landed at Haneda International Airport on a DC-8, a prop plane. I met them and my God, what a day! I met my daughter for the first time, she was just over six months old. She was so cute! To think they were with me in Japan! I somehow knew it was God, but I did not give him much honor at that time, but I have repented of that since then. It was an act of God. We lived in Japan together twenty months in both Japanese and base housing.

On the 18th of December 1955 we left Haneda International Airport on a Military DC-6, seats turned backward. Six airplanes had already attempted to take off that day, and all returned because of mechanical problems. We were aboard the seventh plane to take off. During takeoff all the engines were shut down. For thirty minutes we idled, then began new starts of the engines, and we took off toward Guam. There we landed, refueled, departed on the same plane, headed for Midway.

After Midway we travelled to Honolulu. There we waited thirteen hours while they replaced an engine that was not working properly. It was in Hawaii where Kathy had her first drink of pasteurized milk, not the condensed milk which she had to drink in Japan. Now we are heading home! We took off after the engine replacement, proceeded toward McClellan Air Force Base, Sacramento, California.

After we had been flying for a while I thought we had an engine missing (a spark plug not firing). So, I asked one of the flight crew, “Do we have an engine missing?” He replied sternly, “Don’t you open your mouth.” I listened to that engine miss all the way to California. Then with land underneath us, we prepared to land at McClellan Air Force Base in Sacramento.

We made three attempts to land in a cross wind. The first two times we had to abort and go back up. Almost everyone on that plane was vomiting, Patti and Kathy included. And there I sat, one of the only ones not sick. I am sure I was praying. On the third attempt we landed. We boarded a bus to San Francisco and were met by John and Dorothy Mitchel, my brother-in-law and sister, at the Federal Building. We stayed with them through Christmas and on the 28th of December I was released from the US Navy Active Duty and put into the reserves for eight years. My mother and dad met us that day at the Federal building. We left from there; Patti, Kathy, mom, dad, me, and started the drive back to Sarcoxie. Needless to say, I did most the driving.

Our civilian life had begun.

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