Saturday, November 10, 2012

Granddaddy Vaught heads home

In honor of Veterans' Day, here is a picture of my grandfather, Wiley Beauregard Vaught, with some army buddies on their way back from Europe aboard the Japanese vessel, Awa Maru of "Tokio," March 1919.  He's the one on the far right side of the pic, facing to the side in a dramatic, intense fashion.  It's as if he anticipated the album cover photo pose for male groups by several decades.

Granddaddy Vaught was part of the 6th Heavy Mobile Ordnance Repair Shop of the American Expeditionary Forces. I suppose so were some or all of the guys pictured.  He died before I was born, so I never got to hear his war stories (or any others), but according to my dad, he claimed he & his unit mostly rode around France on trains and avoided any actual conflict.  I assume that's an exaggeration (he went on to be a used car salesman), but I'm sure it felt like that at times.  We still have his cane with a metal point with his name and army affiliation engraved on it.

He clearly had a sense of humor; that is one of the things my mom found so attractive in my father much later.  Not sure if the Japanese sailor knew WHY it was funny for him to pretend to have this American soldier in custody, but he probably figured it out.

Despite what the news clipping headline may imply, he was originally from Stevenson, Alabama, and lived in Chattanooga at the time.

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