I wanted to read this book because Lt. Mears served in Torpedo 8 aboard the carrier Hornet at Midway. I have no indication at this point that we are directly related. The book is a first edition and has a note written by a relative. Boy does that appear to be a minimization.
First, Lt. Mears’ account of his combat service covers not only Midway, but the USS Entrrprise and Guadalcanal. His matter of fact prose described the conditions there. He pays homage to his comrades who were shot down or went down with their ships, and writes about his buddies who got to go home with him on leave. That is where the book stops; not because he intended it to, but because those buddies would be attending HIS funeral. Read the last page of the book, which I have included.
The book does not describe it, but online research indicated he died in an aircraft accident while flying out of the San Diego Naval Air Station in June of 1943.
The book was published with an admonition to “Buy War Bonds.”
There is much more. I had difficulty reading the “relative’s” handwriting. However my online research put it together.
The note is written gifting the book to someone on the event of another person coming home from the war in September, 1945, in honor of Freddy, who won’t be coming back.
My research indicated Lt. Mears’ parents were Colonel Frederick Mears II and Jane Wainright Mears.
Colonel Mears served the Army on the frontier, in WWI, and was instrumental as an Army Engineer in the construction of the Alaska Railway. After retirement he continued on with the railroad. He died in 1939 of natural causes.
Mrs. Jane Mears was apparently a big deal in Anchorage, Alaska society during her husband’s career there. They have schools and/or streets named after them.
There’s more! If you’ve read about General Douglas MacArthur and the Philippines in WWII, you know that when he was ordered out of the Philippines, he left his second in command behind to face the surrender to the Japanese. General Jonathan M. Wainwright had to surrender and survived 3+ years as a prisoner under brutal conditions. He stood with MacArthur on the USS Missouri to accept the Japanese surrender.
The note in the book is by Jane Wainwright Mears…Lt. Mears’ mother, and General Wainwright’s sister. She is commemorating the return of her brother and the loss of her son.
If the note is authentic (more research ahead) then I do have an interesting find and some fascinating history!