I got a special birthday gift this year, (November 25th) you might say from heaven. I was looking for a picture of my Mom and Dad for my brother when I came across a “Thanksgiving Day” menu from the “United States Ship Mississippi-November 25, 1943.” My Dad Carson T. Campbell was a 20-year-old sailor. Here is what he had 78 years ago to the day.
Thanksgiving Day Dinner
Creamed Tomato Soup
Ripe Olives Cranberry Sauce
Roast Young Turkey
Whipped Potatoes Giblet Gravy
Creamed Green Peas Buttered Asparagus Tips
Carrot & Apple Salad Sweet Mayonnaise
Parker House Rolls
French Apple Pie Ice Cream
My Dad hardly ever talked about the war. I ran across their love letters to each other. They loved and missed each other and could not wait until they were together again.
After reading a little about the USS Mississippi, I learned my dad was on that ship and took part in operations against Kiska Island, in the Aleutians and the capture of the Gilbert Islands. November 29, 1943 four days after that Thanksgiving dinner, a turret explosion aboard the ship killed 43.
Repairs were made and they participated in the capture of Kwajalein in February 1944, bombarded Japanese held islands and later were part of the force that invaded Peleliu and Leyte and defeated a Japanese task force during the Battle of Surigao Strait.
In January of 1945 the Mississippi provided gunfire support for the Lingayen landings and for the conquest of Okinawa. The battleship was damaged by suicide planes in both operations. It was after my Dad passed away that my mother told me dad was present in Tokyo Bay on September 2, 1945, when Japan formally surrendered. That is a special day to me, my husband Lamont Meaux was born on September 2, 1945 and we were married on September 2, 1999.