LOWNDES COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI)-When we sit down this Thanksgiving, many of us will look back on some special memory from days gone by. Now a Lowndes County man has an even more special reflection, knowing exactly where his father was and what he had for Thanksgiving 68 years after four years of fighting in Europe during World War II.
After the deaths of his parents, the son of World War II army air corps sergeant Earl Adkins stumbled onto a very important Thanksgiving menu, from dinner served aboard the Coast Guard ship that finally was bringing him home.
“I came across this menu and I just was floored by it. After thinking about what the boys went through and five years of the occupation in France and coming home on Thanksgiving Day,” said Robert Adkins, Lowndes County.
Ernest Adkins was a fueling expert and mess hall sergeant during the war. On that Thanksgiving sail home, he and his fellow soldiers feasted on young roasted tom turkey, turkey noodle soup, and all the fix-ins. It was a way for the men on the USS Monticello — and their country — to say thank you for your service.
“I’m assuming that when he came home on the ship and this dinner was served to him, he just saved the menu, because that’s what he did,” said Adkins.
The USS Monticello was on it’s way to Boston. Although a mess sergeant, the elder Adkins was wounded during the war. He also received the occupation Germany medal, good conduct medal, and oh yes… he also got a badge.
“He had a little button that came with one of the medals said “kick em in the axis,” said Adkins.
Four years earlier, Congress had declared the fourth Thursday in November as the official Thanksgiving holiday. For those who victoriously fought on land, air, and sea, and others who paid the ultimate sacrifice, that day in 1945 was extra special.
“One Thanksgiving that none of them forgot I’m sure, on their way home from France and so many thousands killed,” said Adkins.
Sergeant Adkins later fought in Korea. And yes, he brought back a special menu from Thanksgiving Day 1953.