A letter from Steve Carlson:
Hello, I hope this letter finds all of you in good health and spirits. My name is Steve Carlson and one of your shipmates, Charlie Carlson, was my father. Dad often spoke with Great Pride and Affection of his times on the USS Dempsey. He spoke of the "Boys" who boarded the ship in the beginning and of the "Men" who came ashore when the war was over. Dad kept a leather scrap book with all of his "war years" papers and pictures. Over the years, the scrap book became worn and could no longer be fixed. Dad discarded it in favor of a loose leaf note book. Somehow, it wasn't the same. The pictures in it were of young men who went to war like knights of old. They came home older than their years. While holding that scrap book, you could almost feel the emotions that ran through the crew of that valiant ship. Whenever Dad would go through his scrap book, he would get lost in reverie thinking about the fellowship with his shipmates and the ship that was his home for two years.
I can relate to those feelings, as I served four years in the U. S. Air Force, with one of those years (Dec 70 - Dec 71) spent at Da Nang AB in the Republic of South Viet Nam. There is nothing glorious about combat; however, it is sometimes necessary. The fellowship that I enjoyed with the men of my Squadron (366 AMS) and Wing (366 TFW) will never be forgotten. We were brothers, working together to get the job done.
I wish that Dad could have made the reunion, I know he would have enjoyed it very much. Dad cherished the memories of his shipmates and kept in contact with several of them over the years. Dad is buried at the Florida National Cemetery, at Bushnell, Florida, just north of Tampa, Florida. Veterans volunteer their time to ensure "Full Honors" are rendered to ALL Veterans who are buried at Florida National Cemetery. The ceremony was very moving and I know that Dad would have approved.
This web page is dedicated to the memory of Dad, his shipmates and the USS Dempsey. I will endeavor to keep this web page up to date and add new information as it is obtained. This is a labor of love and I am thankful that I can help keep the Memories Alive for all of those who served together on the USS Dempsey, DE-26.
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