James and Margaret Haynes

James Carlton Haynes and Margaret Pauline Worcester Haynes

The Armed Guard and the WAVE

My father, James Carlton Haynes, was born October 20, 1925, in Guinea, Caroline County, Virginia. He was the fifth and youngest child of James Lewis Haynes, a tenant farmer, and Beatrice Sale Haynes. My dad always said that growing up on a farm during the Depression wasn't all that bad because you always had something to eat, and they got electricity in 1939!

At the start of World War II, my grandfather Haynes was a widower; my grandmother had died in 1939. His oldest son, William Lewis (known as "Buck") was working as a machinist in an aircraft plant, his next son, Cephas, was in the U.S. Marine Corps, and his youngest son, Carlton (my dad) had quit school in hopes that he would get parental permission to join the Navy. He didn't get it. So Dad worked in construction on the Pentagon, worked at the PX on the new Army base just five miles from Guinea, Camp AP Hill, and as a call boy for the RF&P Railroad. At some point my grandfather gave in and signed the permission slip, because my dad enlisted on February 18, 1943, four months after turning 17.

My mother, Margaret Pauline Worcester (Haynes) was born January 10, 1924, in Millinocket, Maine, the sixth child of Frank George Worcester and Florence Hodgkins Worcester. Unlike my father, my mother's memories of growing up during the Depression weren't all that pleasant. Her father was a papermaker and the mill rarely ran more than two or three days a week. They didn't live on a farm and life was indeed a struggle.

At the start of World War II, my Worcester grandparents had their oldest son Donald working for a defense contractor building airfields in Newfoundland, their next oldest son Fred on active duty with the Maine National Guard, their next oldest son Bill poised to join the Army, and my mother, a 1941 Stearns High School graduate, working as a clerk in the War Department in Washington, D.C. She soon transferred to Newark, New Jersey, still working for the War Department and still waiting to turn 20 to meet the minimum age restriction to enlist in the WAVES.

My father completed boot camp at Bainbridge, Maryland, and was sent to the Armed Guard School on May 14, 1943, at Camp Shelton, Virginia, for gunnery school. After gunnery school, he was transferred to the Armed Guard Center, Brooklyn, New York. His first sea duty was on the T-2 tanker GREAT MEADOWS. His next ship was the GEORGE W. CHILDS, followed by the THOMAS SIM LEE, which included a trip to Russia. On September 15, 1944, he returned to the Armed Guard School at Camp Shelton to attend the 5"-38 caliber maintenance course.

On May 9, 1944, my mother enlisted in the WAVES. She reported for active duty on June 15, 1944, and was sent to boot camp at Hunter College in Bronx, New York. After boot camp, she was assigned as a clerk in the ship's store at the Armed Guard School in Camp Shelton, Virginia.

Some time during the fall of 1944 neither my mother or father ever said exactly when they met at the ship's store, on about my fathers tenth trip through the check-out line to buy a pencil. My mother did say that she thought it was very strange that this sailor kept buying one pencil!

After the course was completed, my father stayed at Camp Shelton as an instructor in the same course he just completed. Then it was back to sea duty on November 13, 1944, this time on the JOHN B. ASHE for a trip though the Panama Canal and on to Guam. That trip was completed and he was back in Seattle, Washington, by February 28, 1945, on orders to the Hog Island freighter LIBERTY GLO. That was his last sea duty with the Armed Guard. On September 26, 1945, my father got 25 days leave with a reporting date of October 23, 1945, in Washington, D.C., for his next assignment. He finished out his World War II service with a stop at the Dam Neck Gunnery School (no one could figure out why he got assigned there as a student!), then on board the sub-tender USS PROTEUS at New London, Connecticut. He was discharged on March 1, 1946.

My mother was discharged on May 15, 1946 and her first stop on the way home to Maine was in Guinea, Virginia, to get engaged to my father! My parents were married on October 19, 1946, in Millinocket, Maine.

After World War II my father held a number of jobs in Maine auto mechanic, photographer, mill worker and sales before he was recalled to active duty in November 1950. He served aboard the destroyer WC LAWE (DD-763) and the destroyer escort BLAIR (DE-147) before being released from active duty in 1952. Having no prospects of employment in Maine other than the paper mill, my parents moved to Richmond, Virginia.

My dad spent his entire career after the Korean War in the insurance business, first in sales and later in management. He was an avid hunter and fisherman and loved camping. He stayed in the Boy Scouts longer than I did! After I left home at 18, he and my mom had a camper on the river and he would spend nearly every weekend on the water. They lived in Richmond from 1952 to 1978, when they moved to Wakefield, Virginia.

Dad died in 1981. My mom spent the next 25 years of her life doing volunteer work at the local Veterans Administration Hospital and staying active in her church. She died in 2008.

(Contributed by their son, Bruce Haynes, May 2009)

photograph of James Carlton Haynes photograph of Margaret Worcester Haynes

James and Margaret Haynes


James Carlton Haynes and father 5 inch 38 caliber gun maintenance class class Margaret Worcester Haynes and two friends

James Carlton Haynes and his father (left); 5"-38 caliber gun maintenance class (center); Jean Walker (Leray), Margaret Worcester (Haynes) and unidentified friend, Camp Shelton, VA, 1945 (right)


Armed Guard crew aboard Liberty Glo Armed Guard crew aboard Liberty Glo Armed Guard and merchant marine crew aboard Liberty Glo Liberty Glo Armed Guard crew members in Reciefe, Brazil, 1945

Left to right: Armed Guard crew aboard LIBERTY GLO (two photographs); Armed Guard and merchant marine crew aboard LIBERTY GLO, 1945; LIBERTY GLO Armed Guard crew members in Reciefe, Brazil, 1945 (far right)


Jim and Margie Haynes, honeymoon, October 1946 Jim and Margie Haynes, 1980

Jim and Margie Haynes, honeymoon, October 1946 (left); Jim and Margie Haynes, 1980 (right)

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