Eugene George Faulhaber
Boarded before launch
precommissioning - 1946
Known to his Bennington friends as "hashmark" or "jeep"
Thu, 14 Dec 2000 08:02:09 -0500
Talk about your good or bad luck, depending on your view. I just learned about your website and how I wish I had known of it earlier.
No doubt you know of the term "plank owner", well, my father would be an even higher ranked owner. Right after boot camp, he was sent to New York to work on the Bennington because he had been a welder in civilian life. He was then assigned to the shakedown crew and later became a permanent member. He was honorably discharger in 1946.
Over the years, I learned little of his war years. I understand that those who served seldom talk of their experiences. He did tell me several stories of the war, no doubt some are true, others exaggerations, and still others out and out lies told to entertain an eight-year old kid intrigued with the stories of such an adventure. He tells me he served the five-inch gun and was a tail gunner on the "water buffalos", and later on the dive bombers. I remember all his old stories.
So now the bad news. What has brought this to my mind is that my father died on November 20, 2000. While going through a lifetime of nick-knacks (sic), I found the warbook each sailor was given when discharged. This book has the history, pictures and crewmembers names that served in WWII. It is in very good condition. There are even a few personal photos, including the one of the entire crew on the fantail and one of the airgroup he served. I was curious enough to check the internet to see if there was anything on the USS Bennington and found your site.
My computer skills are less then the best when it comes to the internet and I would like to see my father added to your crew list. He served God, country and crew with honor in wartime. He remained a faithful and loving husband for fifty-three years. He was a devoted father and dedicated to his family. How many others can claim such a legacy? So here is the data I do know. Hope its enough.
Name: Eugene George Faulhaber
Rank: Seaman First Class / honorable discharge
Time of Service: Pre-commission to the end of WWII - 1946
Place of Birth: Baltimore, Maryland
If there is any way I could help your group, such as making the book available, you can let me know by contacting me via e-mail. As I do not spend that much time online, I get to check my home e-mail only once a week. However, be assured that I do answer all correspondences. May this be my way of honoring my father's memory and his devotion to doing what was always right.
I do make one statement about all of these stories. Each is the truth as told to me many times over the years and is truthfully reproduced here. As to the validity of the stories themselves, I personally believe they fit all three categories of stories: fact, exageration, and fiction. Should you want to know which one applies to the story being read, I have no way to tell.
As I went through the mountain of material that a person accumulates in their life, I found my father's plank certificate, several photos of him and other crewmembers, and the historical warbook published by the government about the Bennington and its missions. This book was issued to every sailor when he was discharged from the service. Should you want an electronic copy of this document, which includes the names of everyone who served on the Bennington during WWII, let me know and I will see about having the material transferred to an electronic format.
E. Matthew Faulhaber -------- son