Seaman 2nd Class Carl Bernard Smith
World War II Veteran
Carl joined the Navy in 1942 when he was almost 20 years old. He was part of a naval escort for a Merchant Marine ship that traveled in a convoy, taking supplies to the troops. Secrecy was of the utmost importance so the enemy wouldn’t have an opportunity to destroy much needed materiel. At one point, Carl’s family didn’t know where he was or if he was okay for seven or eight months! Secrecy was a wise move, but it didn’t always keep the troops safe. In 1944, Carl’s ship was blown up while it was docked. Carl jumped off and wasn’t badly hurt. He received a leave as a result and used it to return home to marry his sweetheart, Opalene Alexander. Opalene experienced the downside of Naval secrecy twice when she traveled to Carl’s home port of Brooklyn to spend a few precious days with him only to find that his ship had already left. They made up for those separations with a marriage of over 65 years.
JoAnne P. Miller