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Captain Herschel A. Pahl, USN, (Ret)
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Capt. Herschel A. Pahl, USN, (Deceased)

Navy Wings of Gold

Navy Wings of Gold

In Memoriam

Herschel Arnold Pahl
15 April 1920 - 17 October 2010

90 Years, 6 Months AND 2 Days

and Wife of 67 years...

Bonnie Bette Lawrence Pahl
4 March 1920 - 14 January 2011
90 Years, 10 Months AND 10 Days

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A Yeoman's Farewell
A Farewell Message by his Yeoman,
Jake Jaccard, YN3, USNR (Retired)

As time wears on all mankind, and bodies grow old and tired, this same old trend that has been mankind's bane since the beginning, has also worn on Hersch Pahl, but this time, being too weakened by hip replacement surgery at too late a time in his long life of 90 years*, he succumbed to his final battle in life and then willfully and resolutely, surrendered himself over to the Will of God.

Here passes a Naval War Hero, which none can deny his worthiness to bear such a title. He was modest enough to say that he was no hero at all, but was just doing his part, as most other heroes of WWII felt. But bystanders who have read his history; and more particularly, those who knew this gentle hero, they would have to disagree with him on this final note. Herschel Arnold Pahl was truly a hero and he would not be able to protest this final analysis of his life. Love and respect often does this to fallen Veterans.

Most all able-bodied Americans of Hersch's Era arose to the occasion to go sign on the dotted line at their local Recruiter; to do their part as they felt called to serve. They loved their families, their country and their freedom that much, having been blessed to live in this wonderful country, to go fight the enemy who would destroy our way of life, and force everyone to live their way. The thought of such a defeat would never float in any American's heart and mind. They had heard of Nanking; no such horror would Americans desire to face. It was all or nothing for America. We just were blessed to have a Nation of true Patriots living in that Era that America today struggles to find amid our complacent youth or the far left.

I believe that this same quality inborn in all true Americans still exists; they just don't know it yet. Our youth today, with their thoughts on playing computer games such as the X-Box or Game Boys, etc., don't realize that these games are just preparing them for future battles. The Heart of every American knows the Call to Serve; they just don't know it exists inside of them.

That was the same nature that the men and women of the past generation were born with and demonstrated.

Captain Herschel Arnold Pahl is now gone, but his spirit lives on in his record, and I know of no other man who deserves the honor of being called a true Hero and Record Keeper than Hersch Pahl! Everyone who knew him, can equally agree with me on this one point: Hersch kept his logs! He seized every opportunity to record everything he experienced as he lived the adventure, day-by-day. He collected every Photo Op or note and kept his Squadron Mate's Flight Logs. He was a true Archivist - and also possessed a Yeoman's heart.

I, being a Yeoman by Rate, probably could also say, "by nature", can understand this quite easily. Every Yeoman is an Officer's Scribe. I was much too young to be Captain Pahl's Yeoman in WWII, but became a "Captain's Yeoman" during the early days of the Vietnam War. However, I lived Hersch's adventure vicariously through him; for as a Yeoman in the United States Navy, I can attest to the fact that a Yeoman's duty is to write for their Captain their thoughts, words and deeds. We kept their Service Records and typed their Fitness Reports (FitReps). We had a unique and unparalleled relationship with these Officers, which rarely is experienced by other Enlisted Personnel.

This Website is the culmination of many months of sitting at the Yeoman's Desk, writing what his Captain dictated to him to write. From his light-hearted short accounts of his pals experiences, to the down and often bloody battles they all fought; this Website tells it all.

Hersch never did anything totally for himself; it was for his Shipmates and Squadron Mates, that he always did anything, and many of these things were truly noble, never done for self, but for his Shipmates. He was a man's man, possessed of great leadership skills, but more so, the abiity to care and show it. He was never selfish, or made anyone feel unimportant or insignificant. Even if one was just a boot Seaman, he felt Hersch's ability to speak on his level, to understand. Hersch Pahl was a "man for all seasons" but he was one of the most modest men I ever knew; he'd never take such credit nor such accolades easily or at all, yet, speaking for myself, I felt them in my heart, and it is now my opportunity to write about how I felt. After all, I am still his Yeoman while he is TAD!* which means, Temporarily away doing Additional Duty.

In the beginning, this website was only designed to be his Book Sales website. He had to his credit, at least two published books he wanted to share with others, one of which now is out of print ("Stroke Survivors"). His first triumph and the backbone of this Website is his one inch thick book he called, "Point Option" which was the name given the the coded process the Aviator would use to plot the navigational coordinance he would need to find his moving Carrier once his Operation was completed. This position was plotted on their personal Plotting Board, which they took along on any Sortie so they could find their way back to the ship. (Go Here to learn more about this Navigational Process Here).

His other triumph as an author was his book, "Stroke Survivor! Living a Joyful Life after a Stroke" which sadly is now out of print, and there is no plan by the family for a reprint of this book. One might find it as a "used book" on Amazon.com, if interested.

He learned this lesson himself vicariously through his beloved wife, Bonnie Pahl, who suffered a serious stroke in the late 80's which left her totally without words which condition is known as "Aphasic". This ordeal for both of them was a monumental learning experience, but Hersch, as I have intimated previously and as one discovers when reading the content of this Website or in reading his book "Point Option", never surrendered to any defeat. He grabbed this opportunity to learn which was Standard Operating Procedure" (SOP) for Hersch Pahl in his life: He learned how to care for and communicate with his beloved wife Bonnie, who had lost that ability. This knowledge he felt would be worthless except for himself, unless he would write about it and teach others how they can live with Stroke, whether they are the victim or the care-giver. This too, was SOP for Hersch. He also was a great "Educator" in his life, not only to those men he had under him, in his Naval career but this ability just came natural to him.

Because of this great ability, which the Navy recognized, his final Duty to the Navy was a Professorship at the Naval War College at the University of Nebraska campus.

Hersch learned this lesson well, and Hersch and Bonnie Pahl lived a joyful life together with her Stroke until they parted upon his death. Bonnie was the receptor of Hersch's loving patience and his ability to mount up against this adversity, and help Bonnie to have as meaningful a life as humanly possible, given the terrible odds working against her.

Again, Hersch would not be defeated and the Book he wrote is a lasting legacy of such a triumph for both of them. Hersch and Bonnie had enjoyed a marriage of over 67 years. Few will ever know the emptiness that his passing had left in Bonnie's heart and soul; but she was a strong person of faith, and knew that there is no good-bye's allowed for those whose bond of love had been so strong: Such a Bond bridges time and is part of Eternity. True Love can never end; it just goes through the obstacles of life, and if strong enough, carries on forever. Both are now together in our Father's Kingdom; there would be no sad good-byes ever again for this loving couple.

My intention here, as his Yeoman, is to notify all his readers that the ordeals in his life are now over, and that he has received his orders to a Higher Muster Call; to a Much Greater Captain and Commander, even our Father in Heaven, but he must first Muster himself before his Captain and Commander's 1st Lieutenant, even Jesus Christ, the Creator and Executor of all things. He must Muster there as do all of God's children who must give an accounting of their lives along with all their successes and/or defeats; nothing will be withheld from our 1st Lieutenant, but Hersch has no need to fear that Meeting. His life is as pure as the freshly fallen snow. How is that you ask? Because he has known His Lord all his days, and being a true disciplinarian, he has learned Godly Discipline foremost in his life. True Religion and Faith are Action Verbs. His long life is a token of that Discipline. I have absolutely no doubt about this at all.

Yes, Captain Hersch has nothing to dread, for he is merely returning to that Place he knew before, and meeting up once more with the same 1st Lieutenant he knew before, who sent him on his life's journey with his "Battle Plan" in hand.

To me, his Yeoman, it has been a wonderful journey these past three years, as I have come to know and appreciate this man who kept such a wondrous record of his own experiences, and the records of many he lived close to and loved so dearly. He chose to tell their brief stories in his Dedications on this Website, because each and everyone he mentions here meant so very much to him; they had become people who influenced his life in so many ways. To Hersch, it would be totally unconscionable to not write their stories down, and share them with everyone who has an interest in learning about those who secured their freedoms in this great country of ours.

The people of the Free world have a debt of gratitude to pay to all of these, our Heroes of WWII; and this was Hersch's way of bringing those he knew into the Limelight enough to remind us all, that Freedom definitely is not free; it has to be purchased by blood, sweat, tears and by the giving of many lives, to understand and possess. And for that same reason, do I wish to remind everyone who reads these words that Captain Herschel Arnold Pahl has now joined with his Squadron Mates who have gone on before him. His earthly cares are over, and he has finally found True Peace, because he has finally Mustered before the Prince of Peace, whose Return is soon to come.

Hersch has, like the Apostle Paul said long ago to his own Yeoman and friend, Timothy, "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: `Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the Righteous Judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing." - 2 Timothy 4:7-8

It has been a true Honor for me to serve my Captain. I do not face this loss without dry eyes. He has become like a father to me, and I know that Timothy also understood these emotions.

It will be difficult to accept that I can no longer sit at my desk and write his story for this Website and his posterity; this association has become one of the shining Highlights of my life. I will miss him the rest of my days, for I had learned to love him like my father, as he taught me so much about life, that I feel I have lived it all thanks to his tutelage. I will miss my Tutor and my Mentor for these reasons, but I also have the assurance that I will see Hersch again one day, and there, we'll embrace as Brothers-in-Arms and Brothers in the Lord.

I hope your visit to this website will make you feel stronger about your freedoms and your love for country. We have been through so very much in our own lives of recent times; but every good Nation of the past has gone through tough times, to rise like the Phoenix to an even greater understanding and appreciation of what Freedom and Peace is all about. Thank you, Hersch for sharing your life with me, personally, and with all your visitors here. I now know why you wanted to tell your story so adamantly and I feel privileged to have been your Yeoman so you could tell it. And now Hersch, your Testament is complete and your record is Sealed.

Hersch loved the poem "High Flight" written by a young Canadian Aviator, John Gillespie Magee, Jr. who penned these words while assigned in England on training in the early years of WWII... and one of those who did not return home...

High Flight

"Oh! I have slipped the surly Bonds of Earth And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings; Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth Of sun-split clouds, - and done a hundred things you have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there, I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung My eager craft through footless halls of air...

"Up, up the long, delirious burning blue I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace where never lark, or ever eagle flew -

"And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod The high untrespassed sanctity of space, Put out my hand, and touched the face of God."

- John Gillespie Magee, Jr

And now, like the late John Magee, Jr., Hersch has also 'put out his hand and touched the face of God'.

Farewell, my friend, and may you Always have a good Headwind to lift you, and a good tailwind to guide you Home.

Hersch Pahl enjoyed an Earthly Sojourn of
90 Years, Six months and 2 Days

"Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints."
Psalms 116:15

"Roger all the way" old friend!

Your Yeoman Always,

Jake Jaccard, YN3, USNR '61-'67
Served in USS Hancock CVA-19, '62-'64
Always On Station
25 August 2010

Memorial Service at Ava United Methodist Church,
Ava, Missouri, 21 October 2010

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Front Page
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Page One
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Page Two
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Back Page Obituary
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You may Download the above Memorial in PDF format Here

Herschel and Bonnie soon after their marriage in 1943
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Hersch Pahl was devoted to his wife Bonnie and she to him, and they had just crossed the 67th year milestone in their marriage, May 15th, 2010. They were nearly inseparable.

They both fought many battles together, including Hersch's final one, and when he passed away in October, her health also began to fail her and lived another 2 months and 27 days before she, too, fell asleep on January 14, 2011, to join her loving husband.

They were so close in their lives together, she was not going to hear of any more long separations like the ones she endured while Hersch was deployed overseas during WWII... she just did as Hersch did, and fell asleep, both in the protective Arms of their Savior, Jesus Christ.

So if you wish, you may Light a Votive Candle for both of these Sweethearts, and find some joy in knowing that there really is no separation for those who have faith in our Lord and Master.

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Light a Votive Candle For Captain Herschel A. Pahl
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The Yeoman will place a copy of Bonnie's Obituary and Memorial Service information once I receive it. Entered 20 January 2011.

"For those who fought for it...
freedom has a flavor the protected will never know!"

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Page last updated
15 January 2017



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Foot notes:

*Hip Replacement Surgery: Hersch was bringing his flag down to half staff to honor the passing of one of his old squadron mates, Cliff Seaver, who passed on June 10, 2010, when he lost his balance and fell, breaking his hip.

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*TAD is an acronym for "Temporary Additional Duty"

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