The Uncle I Never Met

Robert Maurice Oldham Grave MarkerIn November of 1944, in the US, Franklin Roosevelt had just won his fourth term as president. In Western Europe, Allied forces were gradually retaking land from the Nazis (the Battle of the Bulge began the following month). In the South Pacific, US planes were bombing Singapore and Tokyo while US aircraft carriers (Lexington, Intrepid) were being attacked by kamikazes.

Also, in November 1944, a Private (First Class) in the US Army Signal Corp died in an accident, a gas explosion in the South Pacific (a not uncommon occurrence in military contexts). His name was Robert Maurice Oldham. He had just turned 21 (his birthday was Sept. 11).

He was also my uncle, my mom’s older brother.  I was born in 1962, so I never met him. He is buried in the Lexington Cemetery in Lexington, Kentucky, next to my mom’s parents.

Dad at Oldham Grave SiteSeventy years after his death, in November of 2014, my father and I visited his grave site and that’s when I took these photos.

On Memorial Day, my family and I remember his service to our country.

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