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Doyle "J. D." ... Navy Man
(Playing ~ "Anchors Aweigh")

 

James Doyle McDaniel
(March 8, 1925 ~ August 31, 2000)

Doyle had been a member of our family for more than 51 years when he died.
He and my sister Patricia Ann (Springer) were married on May 20, 1949.

 

Pat and Doyle
(Doyle was called "J. D." by many of his friends and his Navy buddies.)

 

In addition to my sister Pat, Doyle was survived by their two sons, Tommy Ray and David Andrew and their wives,
and the grandchildren and great-grandchildren:

Tom and Patti ... and children Teddy, Brooke, Jennifer, Tommy, Jr. and Benny
Andy and Mary Jo ... and children Jonathan and Trevor

Brooke's children ...Tristan , Tyler and McKenzie ... husband, Danny
Jennifer's children ... Braydon and Jacob ... husband, Chad
Teddy's wife, Brenna

I always looked upon Doyle as a brother. Indeed, he always seemed like one.

 

Pat and Doyle

 

Doyle seemed always to be in good spirits and was a happy outgoing person.
He loved music, had tremendous rhythm, loved to dance and had a good singing voice!
He also ventured into a little musical comedy acting with an amateur group for a time.

All of us, including Mother, agreed that Doyle was the best cook in the family.
(I have a couple of his recipes in my
Recipes section, although he rarely used them for his kind of cooking.)
His mother died while giving birth to his sister, who also died ... Doyle was an only child.
He had a Cherokee Indian heritage on his mother's side.

He was raised by his grandmother and aunts. He learned about cooking from them and found
he had a natural knack and love for it.

 

Doyle at 13 .... already a handsome fellow!

 

His talents and interests were many.

Doyle loved to hunt and was an excellent bird hunter. He often took sons Tommy and Andy
with him when he went hunting.

He was an avid fisherman, his favorite being crappie fishing, and he also taught Tommy and Andy to fish.

 

Doyle with the "catch of the day"

 

He was a dedicated and excellent golfer, having wonderful coordination. He had many holes-in-one
over the years and 5 were recorded in the Chattanooga newspapers. On his 70th birthday he shot 70 ..... par.
(Son Andy also followed in his father's footsteps and became an excellent golfer.)

Adding to all the other interests, he was an excellent softball pitcher. In fact, he pitched while he was in the Navy,
pitching 2 no-hit games back to back during one tournament in Norfolk, Virginia.

Actually, he loved all sports and enjoying watching them.

He was a gifted artist and excellent cartoonist.

He was gifted at working with his hands and could build anything without needing a blueprint.

He and Pat never needed to call a repairman to the house as Doyle, like my father, seemed to
have an inate ability to fix anything.

Doyle retired from the Volunteer Army Ammuntion Plant after 21 years of service.

Doyle would be the first to tell you he hadn’t always lived as a Christian should. But, he had a very special friend ……
a friend that he met almost every morning for coffee and doughnuts for a very long time …… that friend is Bill Owens, pastor of
our home church in Chattanooga,
Ridgedale Baptist. Doyle and Bro. Bill forged a lasting friendship and had great respect for each other.
In Doyle’s final months, Bro. Bill came to see Doyle and prayed and talked with him about his relationship with God. I don’t believe another
person could have done this. But he found solace through Bro. Bill’s talks, prayers and visits, and before Doyle died he had made his peace
with God. That is certainly a comfort to all the family. Bro. Bill brought the message for the meaningful and touching memorial service.

 

 

The following information and pictures are about Doyle's Navy service.

He served in the U. S. Navy during World War II in the Pacific Campaign.
His rate was GM2 (Gunners Mate 2nd Class).

 

USS Halford DD-480 ~ during Doyle's service in World War II

The Halford was torpedoed while Doyle was on board. This necessitated their return to San Diego where they dry-docked
for repairs. Although the ship was heavily damaged, it was repaired and put back out to sea.

 

There are now two websites for the Halford so I have removed the link from the photos of the ship.
You may enter the two sites from the following links. Use your browser's back button to return here.

Many thanks to Bob Ross and to Hamilton Agnew for adding a link to this site from their respective Halford sites!

Bob Ross' USS Halford DD480 Homepage

USS Halford DD480 Official Homepage and Memorial

 

Doyle "J. D." on the bridge of the USS Halford DD-480
He is in back, second from the right, Navy cap on back of head.

 

The following information concerning the above picture was sent to J. D.'s son Tom in an e-mail
from John MacDonald on March 24, 2001:

"This photo was taken on the starboard side of the flying bridge. This particular location was a favorite place for
a memento-type picture because it in effect was a sharing of our combat record represented by the painted scoreboard.
It had to be taken subsequent to October 30, 1944, because the battleship was painted on the scoreboard following
the Battle of Surigao Strait, October 24th. That battleship was the Yamashiro, the 3rd largest in the IJN.
While our steaming records record the time of and number of torpedos the Halford launched, and that we were
able to discern hits, the Halford was never given actual credit."

 

 

USS Eaton DD-510 ... during Doyle's mid-1950s cruise
(You may enter the Eaton's website by clicking on the picture. Use your browser's back button to return here.)

 

The Eaton was rammed on May 6, 1956 by the USS Wisconsin during heavy fog. The ship was heavily damaged
but was repaired and put back out to sea. The USS Eaton was the first war-type ship to enter and go
through the Suez Canal. Doyle was on the Eaton during both those events.

This interesting note below was sent recently to Tom by Brian Kenedy, a shipmate friend of Doyle's:
"After we were rammed by the Wisconsin, we both ended up in the same shipyard in Newport News. We challenged
the Wisconsin to a game of softball. Bear in mind we had 300 people to pick from; they had about 2,000.
Well, your Dad pitched a one-hitter and we won 1-0. I hit a home run in the 7th inning. The whole ship's company
at the game ran on the field like we had won the world series. No question it was J.D.'s pitching that did it."

Doyle "J.D." mentioned the incident about the hedgehogs that misfired from Weapon Able, going straight up. I found
an entry about this event written by John Witchey, on April 2, 2000, in the old guest book on the Eaton web site, and then
I talked to my sister and my nephew to clarify the story as J. D. had talked about it. This happened at his gun mount …..
he knew the gun, what it could do and that it had misfired previously. He stepped out of his position just as the gun misfired,
knowing it would come back down right where he was standing. This saved his life and only one person
was killed instead of two. It went through the deck and killed a seaman below who was sitting in a chair. None of
J. D.’s superiors said anything to him about moving from his post as any reasonable man would have done the same.

J. D.’s son Tom said he believed his dad may have been one of the first sailors to fire this weapon as he remembered
his dad talking of attending school to learn about the weapon and of mentioning one of the men who invented
the weapon being onboard ship. Also, while J. D. was assigned to that weapon, one of the designers was onboard,
a man from the Pentagon.

 

One thing is certain about Doyle. He lived life to the fullest!

 

He was buried at Chattanooga National Cemetery with full military honors.

I can no longer hear Taps without remembering the awesome gravesite ceremony.

 

Click here to hear ..... "Eternal Father," the Navy Hymn
You may refresh/reload page to return to "Anchor's Aweigh."
Also .... if accessing this music takes you to your Windows Media Player,
you may minimize it to continue on Doyle's page.

 

Click here to read messages re Doyle's tribute page
from his shipmates, family and friends

 

A SAILOR'S CHRISTMAS

Twas the night before Christmas, the ship was out steaming,
Sailors stood watch while others were dreaming.

They lived in a crowd with racks tight and small,
In a 80-man berthing, cramped one and all.

I had come down the stack with presents to give,
And to see inside just who might perhaps live.

I looked all about, a strange sight did I see,
No tinsel, no presents, not even a tree.

No stockings were hung, shined boots close at hand,
On the bulkhead hung pictures of a far distant land.

They had medals and badges and awards of all kind,
And a sober thought came into my mind.

For this place was different, so dark and so dreary,
I had found the house of a Sailor, once I saw clearly.

A Sailor lay sleeping, silent and alone,
Curled up in a rack and dreaming of home.

The face was so gentle, the room squared away,
This was the United States Sailor today.

This was the hero I saw on TV,
Defending our country so we could be free.

I realized the families that I would visit this night,
Owed their lives to these Sailors lay willing to fight.

Soon round the world, the children would play,
And grownups would celebrate on Christmas Day.

They all enjoyed freedom each day of the year,
Because of the Sailor, like the one lying here.

I couldn't help wonder how many lay alone,
On a cold Christmas Eve on a sea, far from home.

The very thought brought a tear to my eye,
I dropped to my knees and started to cry.

The Sailor awakened and I heard a calm voice,
"Santa, don't cry, this life is my choice."

"Defending the seas all days of the year,
So others may live and be free with no fear."

I thought for a moment, what a difficult road,
To live a life guided by honor and code.

After all it's Christmas Eve and the ship's underway!
But freedom isn't free and it's sailors who pay.

The Sailor says to our country "be free and sleep tight,
No harm will come, not on my watch and not on this night.

The Sailor rolled over and drifted to sleep,
I couldn't control it, I continued to weep.

I kept watch for hours, so silent, so still,
I watched as the Sailor shivered from the night's cold chill.

I didn't want to leave on that cold dark night,
This guardian of honor so willing to fight.

The Sailor rolled over and with a voice strong and sure,
Commanded, "Carry on Santa, It's Christmas, and All is Secure!"  

              ~ the above poem is an altered version of a poem by
former Lance Corporal James M. Schmidt,
stationed at Marine Barracks, Washington, D. C., 1986

                                                                   

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