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Finding Grandpa Robertson

July 18, 2009

You know, it’s been 18 years since my grandfather died but it seems like only yesterday.  The funny thing is, that as well as I remember him, and as well as I thought I knew him, I keep finding out the most amazing things!

I knew that he had been a firefighter and I guess I thought that that was just what he had always been.  As it turns out, he was only a volunteer firefighter – his career was as a welder in the shipyards. 

I had been searching the WWII draft registrations for my grandfather to no avail.  Oddly enough, I found my great-grandfather in the “old man’s” draft cards.  I called my dad to find out if he knew why Grandpa wouldn’t have been registered and he certainly did. 

“That’s one of my vivid childhood memories,” he said. “I remember my mother freaking out when the draft notice came, but he was exempted because he was in a vital war job.  He was a welder at the Philly shipyards working on the Liberty ships”. 

Wow!  Now I’m going to have to do some research on what that job was like during that time because I just can’t picture him in that setting.  I guess the hunt for Grandpa Robertson is still on…