July 4, 1941 – Keith and Marjorie get married…

On the 4 of July, 1941, my father, Keith B. MacDonald married my mother, Marjorie Fay Boardman, in Coeur D’Alene, Idaho. Coeur D’Alene was like the Gretna Green of England. In the book by Jane Austin, Pride and Prejudice, references are made to this location in England.  The laws in Idaho were a little less strict back in 1941 regarding a waiting period.

The Justice of the Peace

The Justice of the Peace in Idaho, typical photo taken by my Dad…

They headed back to Seattle stopping in Selah to visit the McDonald’s who had gathered at sister Jean’s home.

Keith and Marjorie July 5, 1941

Keith and Marjorie July 5, 1941

Dad liked the American Gothic portrait and mimicked it over the years, I actually saw the original at the Art Institute in Chicago:



McDonald Family 1941: LtoR – Roscoe, Jean, Hilary, Vivian, Gordon, Miriam, Marjorie and Keith, sitting – Ronald, Katy and Nellie with little puppy…Eddie may be taking the photo…

For more information about Keith and Marjorie’s marriage go to the blog: The Boardmans and Browns of Winnipeg where there is more details on this event and a little more from my mother’s perspective.  You will note that my mother was 30 and my dad was 31 when they married.  A little late for those times.  The migration to Washington State for the McD’s is complete, Uncle Gordy, the last of the family has made his move from Minneapolis to Seattle.

Posted in Boardman surname, Gordon McDonald, GRACE & RONALD MCDONALD, Hilary M. McKanna, Idaho, Jean McDonald Davis, Keith B. MacDonald, Marjorie F. Boardman, Miriam McDonald, Selah, Vivian McDonald McKanna, Washington State | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Naval Air Station at Sandpoint – April 1941 to 1942!

Keith about 1940

Keith about 1940

On April 9, 1941 Keith was reassigned according to a Separation Report.  It does not say where?  Based on what I can figure out, it looks like Boeing released him for reassignment and he headed for the U.S. Naval Air Station at Sandpoint located in Seattle on the shores of Lake Washington and not to Alaska.

History Link once again has a great article giving an overview of the history of this military base.  The Naval Air Station is long gone. It has turned into many things over the years and one of which is a park that is really cool.  http://www.historylink.org/index.cfm?DisplayPage=output.cfm&file_id=2249 and http://www.seattle.gov/parks/magnuson/

Warren Magnuson Park wetlands

Warren Magnuson Park wetlands, my visit in 2014

Warren Magnuson Park at former Naval Air Station

Warren Magnuson Park at former Naval Air Station

I drove by Sandpoint on occasion to go to NARA (National Archives at Seattle) to do research or attend a PS-APG meetings. NARA has now closed their doors on Saturdays and are only open Monday through Friday, hopefully in the evenings. The Seattle NARA now houses parts of the Alaska NARA collection due to the closure of that branch office. NARA is our Federal records archive.  The Seattle Genealogical Society is across the street from NARA.  The highway that you take is called Sandpoint Way and the Children’s Hospital is along the route as well as several shopping areas that are really cool. Eventually it curves around to find the University Village Shopping area which was up scaled years ago and it now a very fancy place to shop.  The University of Washington dominates the area.

Keith writes about his Air Mechanic General work at the U.S. Naval Air Station at Sandpoint during this period of 1941 to 1942.

Lead Mechanic, instructor and assistant foreman. dismantling of aircraft, repairs of aircraft, assembly and rigging, engine installation, preflight, test flight, rework.  inspection of Naval aircraft being overhauled and repaired. Estimates of work to be done. Inspection of major and minor structural and installations, inspection of aircraft both complete, preflight and delivery, inspection of process shop material, establishment of inspection procedures and forms. Instruction of both inspection and production personnel. This period covered a very broad area, in fact, it covers the 22 components of an aircraft and all parts of its components. Types of aircraft: PBY, F2Fs, F4FS, OSSU, JRF’s, Soc TBFs. Also it includes power plant and electrical and radio (for correct secure installation). Due to the state of expansion and inexperienced personnel, I was also involved in establishment of production routines.

He says that he left the above position in June of 1942 because he was promoted to inspector by request of his supervisor Lt. Com. Brunton.  I don’t think this change went easy based on what I have tried to piece together in his notes and work papers.  He was learning about the politics of work.

If you want to know what airplanes he worked on just put the letters and initials into the Google search engine.  Do something like this:  “F2FS Airplanes” and see what you get, it is really interesting and fun!

I have posted a time line of Word War II on the right side of this blog because I thought it would be interesting to see how the events mirrored my father’s time in the military as well as where he was when WWII started.

On December 7, 1941, Japan attacked the United States at Pearl Harbor.  So my father was working at the Naval Air Station when this event took place. I wonder if all the workers were glued to the radio, which was the way it was done back then, When Kennedy was assassinated and when 911 hit, I was glued to the TV.

The United States was now officially at war by the 11th of December.

USS Arizona 1941

USS Arizona 1941


Behind War Effort

Behind War Effort

NOTE:  I actually met a man who was a survivor of that day at Pearl Harbor and he told us his story.  I have also visited the memorial in Oahu and seen the cemetery there.  It is not the same as actually being alive at the time it happens.

Posted in Keith B. MacDonald, King County, Naval Air Station at Sandpoint in Seattle, Seattle, Washington State, World War II and More! | Tagged , | Leave a comment

April 1941 – Pacific Alaska Airways offers Keith a Job….

On April 5, 1941 Pacific Alaska Airways offered Keith a job as an a mechanic.  He would have to approach Boeing an ask for a transfer and plus pass a physical examination.

This would have made an interesting story.   Just think if my dad had gone to Juneau to live! I would have been born in Alaska!  It would have been a whole new experience of growing up.

This airline was part of the Pan American Airways System.

April 1941 Pacific Airways offers Keith a job...

April 1941 Pacific Airways offers Keith a job…

Here is a website with pictures called Everything Pan Am.  I didn’t start flying on airplanes till about the 1990’s so I missed the Pan Am experience.


Posted in Alaska, Keith B. MacDonald, Seattle, Washington State | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

January 1941: End of Military Life – using his skills here on the homefront…

At the beginning of 1941 Keith was working at Boeing.  He received a form letter in the mail dated 4 January, 1941 titled Headquarters of the Ninth Corps Area out of San Francisco.

Keith in Seattle

Keith in Seattle

It stated in Item #2


Section 3b. If you desire discharge on the grounds that you are a necessary individual in an industry or occupation essential to the National Defense, you should immediately request your employer to furnish you with a statement in writing showing the nature of the work performed by you, and its connection with National Defense, and you should then forward the state with the enclosed form requesting your discharge from the Regular Army Reserve to this headquarters. 

As a result he moved quickly and was able to get an Honorable Discharge on the basis that his employment was essential to the National Defense.

On the backside of his Honorable Discharge it reads: Reservist served in an inactive status during this enlistment. Under Prior service there is a mention of “Character Excellent” in several places. Capt. Gwyn P. Rees signed his form on 24 January 1941.

On January 24, 1941 Keith was Honorably Discharged from the Regular Army Reserve.

On January 24, 1941 Keith was Honorably Discharged from the Regular Army Reserve.

Keith was now a civilian. This Honorable Discharge was the end of his military career. Although he had been inactive since 1939.

Several Events would take place in the next months:

1) He would leave Boeing and go the U.S. Naval Air Station at Sandpoint on the shores of Lake Washington in Seattle.

2) He would get an offer of a job from Pan Am.

3) He would get married in on July 4, 1941.

4) The United States would declare war on Japan after Japan bombs Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 and then war on Germany would follow.

Keith was 31 (if says he was 41?) when he was Honorably Discharged so he was of the right age to serve in military actions. His heart was with the airplanes so I think he made the right choice.

His military career was now over.  He was a civilian, but he would work with airplanes and other aircraft for the rest of his life.

Posted in Honorable Discharge from the Regular Army Reserve, Keith B. MacDonald, Keith B. MacDonald's Military Service, King County, Seattle, Washington State | Tagged , , | Leave a comment