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  • Writer's pictureLawrence Lore

Thanksgiving Dinner on the Ocean Floor

This WWII wool U.S. Navy Beret belonged to Charles Newton Stansfield. Charles, the oldest son of Harry Cappy B. Stansfield, was born and lived in Lawrenceville until enlisting in the Navy. Charles was inducted on Navy Pier, Chicago; had his "boot camp" at Farragut, Idaho; and volunteered and passed the examination for submarine school at New London, Connecticut. Subsequently he was sent to San Diego and then to Oakland, California where he was assigned to a submarine. On the day that Charles was to leave for Pacific missions, he became ill with scarlet fever. However, through a mix-up, all of his papers went out with the sub and did not return to the U.S. until the war ended in the Pacific. Not knowing what to do with Charles without his papers, he was assigned to janitorial duties for the duration of the war. Charles related that the only time he was in the Pacific was when on Thanksgiving Day, his sub went 25 miles out, submerged to the ocean floor and enjoyed a traditional Thanksgiving dinner.

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