My mom’s wedding dress sits in the cedar chest in her room.  I remember when I was kid (maybe 10 years old?), I tried it on and she took a picture of me in it.

When we were home this past August, we pulled it out and my two oldest daughters tried it on.


It kind of scares me that it almost fits them.  I don’t feel old enough to have daughters this big!!

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My Papa served as a Marine aboard the USS Cabot during WWII. This is a commendation he received for his service while they were under attack.

U.S.S. Cabot
c/o Fleet Post Office
San Francisco, California,
5 December 1944.


From: The Commanding Officer
To: THORNTON, Alphonso James, Jr. (871916) Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve.
Subject: Commendation

1. You are hereby commended for service as set forth in the following


, while
“For outstanding service and meritorious conduct as a member of the crew of the U.S.S. CABOT on 25 November 1944, off the west coast of the Philippines while this vessel was under attack by Japanese aircraft. During and after a heavy aerial assault he displayed unusual ability, skill, and untiring devotion to duty which contributed to the defense of the ship, quick repair of damage, and aid to the wounded, thus assisting in restoring the ship to a state of highest possible efficiency. His loyalty and devotion to duty was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.”

2. A copy of this commendation will be filed with your service record and a suitable notation made therein.

{signed} S.J. Michael
CC: Service Record

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Napoleon Victorinus Klarstrom was my great-grandmother’s older brother.  I don’t know a whole lot about him.  He was one of 10 children of Carl Magnus Klarstrom and Christina Elisabeth Bennberg.  I posted a bit about him here and here.

I knew from an old letter written by Napoleon’s sister Olga, that Napoleon was a sailor that ended up in Australia – raising goats and sheep apparently.  He was never heard from again though and no one knew what happened to him.  I haven’t found him in any immigration records yet, but I was pleasantly surprised to actually find some proof of the link to Australia.

This was written in the New South Wales Police Gazette, dated 28 Jan 1920 – found on

It reads:

Breaches of the War Precautions Act and Regulations of 1914-1919

Binnaway. – Description of alien, Napoleon Victorinus Klarstrom, who left Hawthorne, Binnaway, about the 12th of November, 1919, and has since failed to give notice of change of abode, – About 40 years of age, 5 feet 8 inches high, medium build, fair complexion and hair, clean shaved, grey eyes, tattoo marks – palm tree on left forearm and girl on right forearm; walks with a limp in left leg; speaks with a foreign accent; a Swede; a labourer. Report if traced. Holds certificate No. 1, issued at Wallendbeen.



I really LOVE this find!  It gives such a great description of him.  A palm tree and a girl on his forearms, a limp, a foreign accent.  I can totally see him as a sailor.

The reason for the article is more confusing to me though.  I know that the War Precautions Act had something to do with aliens registering where they lived (during WWI in Australia).  I don’t know if this means that he got in trouble with the law and had to register, or he simply had to register because he wasn’t Australian.  Any ideas?  World War I ended in 1918 and this was written in 1920.  Any idea why he was still expected to register?

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