Family At Home

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The Real Chief
Mrs. Eleanor May Mayhugh,
a proud CTM's "Real Chief"
The "real chief" was often a concerned and supportive spouse on the home front. During World War II it was common for many months, sometimes years, to pass without seeing family members.

LEFT: A recently promoted Chief Torpedoman's wife tries on his new uniform in June 1944 (before he could!). She was lucky, as her husband survived and returned after the USS BUSH was sunk April 6, 1945.

News during that time was slower than today. A week or two after the sinking, she heard radio reports that the destroyer BUSH had been lost. The next day, after a sleepless night, a letter arrived from her sailor. While in the States the year before, the two of them had worked out a secret code (since mail was censored) to advise her that he was "okay" should his ship be lost. The coded "postcript" was most welcome and the next night's sleep much easier. A survivor's mail could not discuss the sinking until officially announced by the Navy, which might be weeks after the sinking, and date of loss was not always mentioned.

RIGHT: An image of the "Blue Star Banner" that Mrs. Mayhugh displayed in the window of her home. Such banners were common, with the number of blue stars representing the number of persons a family had serving in the military. Mrs. Mayhugh added the anchor to let others know her serviceman was in the Navy.

The Blue Star Banner is a tradition that began in World War I and is a tradition that continues today. If a family member were killed while serving their country, the blue star would be changed to gold.

Blue Star Banner
Blue Star Banner Example - WWII

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