Monday, December 7, 2015

Remembering Pearl Harbor - Pain & Joy

Seventy four years ago today, Lowell was preparing for Christmas and anxious about what was to come. Many Lowell men had signed up for service and over 200 were on the island of Oahu.

John Baples Lanouette from Centralville was the son of Mr. & Mrs. Henry Lanouette. He had seven brothers and 3 sisters. He was serving in the U.S. Navy in Pearl Harbor.

On December 16th his father received the following telegram:
"Henry Lanouette, 263 West Sixth Street -
The navy department deeply regrets of inform you that your son, John Baples Lanouette, seaman first class U.S. Navy, was lost in action in the performance of his duty and  in the service of his country. This department extends to you its sincerest sympathy in your great loss. To prevent possible aid to enemies do not divulge the name of his ship or station. If remains are recovered they will be interred temporarily in the locality where death occurred and you will be notified.
Rear Admiral C.W. Nimitz, chief of the bureau of navigation"

Second telegram received Christmas morning.
"Henry Lanouette, 263 West Sixth street -
The navy department is pleased to advise you that a report has been received that your son, John Baptes Lanouette, seaman first class, U.S. navy, previously reported as lost in action, is now accounted for and in all probability he will communicate with you at his very first opportunity. The department regrets any unnecessary anxiety caused by its previous message.
Rear Admiral Randall Jacobs, chief of the bureau of navigation"
What amazing news for the family! He stayed in the Navy until he retired in 1961. He married in 1944 and had 2 sons and 3 daughters. He passed away at the age of 81 in Southern Maine in 2002. He is interred in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Hawaii. Thank you for your service.