This year I remember my father, William Paul Thien. He served as a civilian working for Douglas Aircraft in Eritrea and Ethiopia during WWII.
While en route east on the U.S.S. Chateau Thierry, between May 29, 1942 to July 24, 1942, he assisted the ship's company in "operating, maintaining and protecting this vessel...during which time the ship passed through hazardous waters."
"The United States then being in a state of war, this voluntary service on his part was in accordance with the best tradition of the United States Navy, therefore, as Commanding Officer of this vessel, I take great pleasure in commending and thanking him for his services as a member of the lookout and plane watch, which were beyond the normal call of his duties".
The commendation for my dad, dated July 24 1942, is on the letterhead of the U.S.S. Chateau Thierry and signed by B.W. Cloud, Commander, U.S. Navy, Commanding, and attested by G. F. Prestwich, Lieut. Commander, USNR, Executive Officer.
After Africa, my dad was transferred to Wendover Air Base, Utah, to complete some modifications to the B29s. The war ended shortly after I was born in Wendover.
Thank you to all the civilians.