|Company 1845, U.S. Navy, United States Naval Training Center, Great Lakes, Illinois|
(October 19, 1944 - click to enlarge)
Daddy passed away this past August and while I was home for his funeral, my brother gave me a picture I’d never seen before from Daddy’s Naval Training Center boot camp graduation in October 1944. When Michael handed the picture to me, it was rolled up tightly. When unrolled, you could see it has several cracks in it. Daddy is in the front row, 10th person from the left. Luckily, the crack that covers his body missed his face. He’s the only person I can identify in the picture.
|Close-up of Samuel Terrell Lankford (center)|
According to the Recruit Training Command web page, there were more than one million Sailors trained at Great Lakes between the attack on Pearl Harbor and the surrender of Japan on August 14, 1945. Daddy was one of them.
The picture shows that this was Company 1845, United States Naval Training Center, Great Lakes, Illinois. You can see a sign in the background that reads 21st Regiment. I don’t know if that relates to this Company or just to the ship photos behind the sailors. The picture was taken on October 19, 1944 so Daddy would have been 18 years old at the time.
Daddy would go on to serve as a cook on the U.S.S. Laffey.
Thank you again, Daddy, for your service!
- History of Recruit Training Command, Recruit Training Command, The Navy’s Only Bootcamp; https://www.bootcamp.navy.mil/about.html#history