Local war veteran hoping to reconnect with former crew mates

Posted at 6:42 PM, Jul 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-14 09:34:29-04

Fred Handy flips through his scrap book with ease.

He points to every picture and can recall the stories behind them as if they just happened yesterday. It’s an impressive feat for the 93-year-old man. But it’s not the most impressive thing about his life; not by a long shot.

“Its function primarily was to escort convoys, provide anti-submarine and anti-aircraft protection,” Handy recalled.

Fred was one of more than 100 men on board the USS Gallup during World War II. The Gallup patrolled the Pacific Ocean up until 1945.

"I was probably one of the youngest on the ship at the time,” Handy explained.

Handy has been married for 74 years. He’s a father, a grandfather and a great-grandfather. Yet over the years, he’s lost contact with his fellow crewman.

Now his family is curious about who’s still around. 

"I thought, ‘Oh my goodness! I wonder if any of grandpa's crew mates are still alive,’” remarked Helena Curtis, Fred’s granddaughter.

Now Fred is another mission. With the help of his grandchildren, he’s searching Facebook for any surviving crewman.

The post is simple enough. But there’s enough there to catch your eye. It’s Fred and his crew information next to his wife smiling big for the camera.

"He's got so many stories to tell,” exclaimed Curtis.

So far the picture is still floating around. But if there’s a hit, Fred wants to reunite and fill in the blanks from the past 70 years.