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Monday, May 28, 2018

Memorial Day: Praying for all those who gave their lives for us -- and remembering my dad.

RADM R.J. Schneider, USN
1917 - 1985
He survived World War II or I would not be here -- nor would eight of my ten brothers and sisters. Daddy was a Pearl Harbor survivor on the USS Detroit, one of only two ships to get out of the harbor that day. As an ensign, he was the ranking officer on board because all of the other officers were on shore that Sunday morning.

My oldest brother was among the youngest of the Pearl Harbor survivors since he was in my mom's womb during the attack. Many of Daddy's classmates (USNA 1940) lost their lives that morning. I'm sure that influenced his decision to stay in the Navy after the war. He went on to devote his life to the defense of the country. One of his first acts of defending his family was to escort the ship evacuating my mom and brother from Hawaii back to the west coast where they remained for the duration of the war.

Thank you, Lord, for my dad. And thank you, Daddy for your service to our country and our family.

May Daddy rest in the peace of Christ with my mom and all of our family members who have gone before us including my brother Tom. I have confidence that Daddy ran to embrace his great grandson Brendan and welcome him home on May 2nd.

Daddy died on July 5, 1985 the day before Brendan's mom celebrated her sixth birthday. I spent the last few days of his life by his bedside sewing the body sculpting of a Cabbage Patch doll for Tara's birthday present. The doll sits in a cabinet in our family room and I always think of my dad when I see it.

May the Divine Assistance remain always with us and may the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen


  1. Your father obviously did good.

    Are you aware of the other ship that sortied that day? During the attack a signal was given for all ships to sortie & find the Japanese fleet. The destroyer USS Henley did just that. However, her skipper & XO were ashore, so out of the harbor she went, with a LTJG and 3 Ensigns as the only officers on board. Between the 4 of them they had a total of 14 months experience. Fortunately, the Holy Spirit (& a few CPOs) were with them that fateful day. In hindsight, it is probably good that they didn't find the Japanese - 1 destroyer vs 6 aircraft carriers would not end well.

    I also remember today my grandfather's older brother, who was killed in France in Oct 1918. Last May I went & visited his grave at the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery in France. This had been number one on my bucket list for a long time.

  2. I didn't know that interesting bit of history. Thanks for sharing it.