Henry Kiefer (1920-82) made his home on Kings Park, Long Island, as World War II approached. He was a tool and die maker for Liberty Aircraft in Farmingdale. When World War II broke out, his job was considered national security work, and therefore exempted him from active military service. Henry wanted to enlist, however. He requested dispensation from the aircraft manufacturer, who reluctantly consented.
Henry joined the Navy on April 18, 1943, and became a Seabee. He served with CBMU 515 in the Pacific theater. His first service action was on Guadalcanal in an occupation role. Later, CBMU 515 landed with very first wave of Marine assault troops during the invasion of Guam. On Guam, he enjoyed one of his service highlights: a brief reunion with his sister, Elizabeth, an air transport evacuation nurse! At war’s end, Henry had earned the rating of Machinists Mate, 2nd class.
During his service years, he regularly exchanged letters with Mildred Barnstorf, the love of his life. Henry mustered out of the Navy on April 4, 1946, and he and “Sam” were married in Union City, New Jersey a year later.
(These days, 94-years young Sam makes her home at an assisted living center called The Village at Westerville in that central Ohio town. Her application to the VA for Aid & Attendance is pending, with help from PM Josh Wise of Columbus, Ohio.)