Daughter Remembers a World War II Veteran Winham E. “Pete” Yeager

Pharmacists Mate Sully Sullivan of Wonder Lake shared the Pacific Campaign photos his doctor took during World War II.

Below this weekend’s comment from a daughter of another Pharmacist’s Mate, Kim Yeager Cutcliffe, I shall publish them again.

My father Winham E. “Pete” Yeager was also Pharmacist’s Mate aboard the Barnwell.

He never spoke of the events he witnessed during his service of WWII in the Pacific.

After seeing the pictures in your blog, I now understand.

I am very proud of my Dad and his service to his country.

There were five Yeager brothers, all served in the US Navy during WWII.

They have all passed now, my Dad in 2002, the others before and after.

The men of this war were a breed of extraordinary gentlemen.

This memorial day, 2014, I want to say thanks to all who have served our United States of America for my freedom as well as my children’s freedom, and God willing their children.

We must keep their memories alive, even though when living, they wished to forget the horrors of war.

My Dad carried in his wallet, until his death, a small I.D. card bearing: The Secret Order of the Deep, longitudes and latitudes. and the year, but not a specific date, upon crossing the equator while on the Barnwell.

Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to post.

World War II Navy Pharmacist’s Mate Sully Sullivan, RIP

Sully Sullivan, U.S.S. Barnwell Veteran, posing so I can get him in the same picture as his WW II license plate.

A Wonder Lake man who went through hell as a World War II Navy Corpsman in the Pacific has returned to his Maker.

Corpsman Sully Sullivan with one stripe.

Official Navy photo of Sully Sullivan.

A school photo of Sully Sullivan.

I met Sully Sullivan at my father-in-law’s kitchen as the two had one of their frequent discussions last spring.

He told me he had been out on Thompson Road collecting money and giving away poppies for McHenry VFW Post 460.

He was so excited that a young woman had stopped to drop some money in his can and thanked him for serving his country.”

Sully Sullivan’s Pharmacists’ Mate stripes were in his box of photos.

Sullivan said he had never been thanked before.

We have all heard the abysmal way Vietnam Veterans were treated when they returned home.

World Two Veterans were welcomed as heroes, the history books taught me.

But, from Sully’s revelation, it seems that expressing gratitude to the men who fought to keep Japanese from obtaining its Emperor’s and generals’ world domination ambitions in check would be appropriate.


Sullivan was 85.

Donald B. Sullivan’s service record as a Pharmacist’s Mate.

Sully was a Navy Corpsman.

The Japanese surrender was a big deal for McHenry County. Until relatively recently, Woodstock held an annual VJ Day Parade. Click to enlarge any photo.

The title then was “Pharmacist’s Mate.”

September 2nd was the date of the surrender signing ceremony on the battleship USS Missouri.

He assisted a doctor who had a camera, the source of the WW II photos you see posted here.

The physician must have been well-placed, as his photos of the surrender of the Japanese place him on the ship where the Emperor signed the surrender papers.

USS Barnwell

The two served on the USS Barnwell.  There is a video tribute to the ship’s service here.  It was amphibious attack transport ship.

An unidentified girl in Hawaii posed for the doctor’s camera.

The sailors seem to have had fun in Hawaii.  There were girls at home who sent their photos with letters to Sullivan.

As the ship crossed the International Date Line, the newbies underwent hazing.

They had fun on the ship, especially crossing the International Dateline.

Haircuts that would not be appealing to the ladies in Chicago were administered during the initiation

It appears there was a wet towel gauntlet during the International Dateline initiation, plus a butchering of the sailors’ hair.

Neptune on the way to the main deck to presidde over the USS Barnwell’s International Dateline ceremony.

Neptune presided over the ceremony.

International Dateline initiates seem to have had to take a swim in a tank of water.

Perhaps someone can explain in the comment section what happens in the Navy when a ship crosses the International Dateline.

The docs on the ship also had some fun.

The doctors on the ship check the health of the amphibious assault ship USS Barnwell.

A dressed up Sully Sullivan poses next to one of the USS Barnwell’s guns.

This photo of what I assume is Sully Sullivan straddling one of the big guns on the USS Barnwell.

The docs had some fun, too.

It appears that even non-combatants posed with the ship’s guns.

Pharmacist’s Mates were apparently lab techs, as well as battlefield assistants.

The article below gave those on the USS Barnwell some publicity:

Sully Sullivan is on the right of the photo above.  Also shown are R.J. Undes, C.F. Kaiser and J.D. Bartlett.

The memorabilia box also had some graphic battlefield photos, which prompted the first sentence of this article.

Before I show them, here are the funeral arrangements:

Visitation – from 4 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, July 26, at Schneider-Leucht-Merwin & Cooney Funeral Home, 1211 N. Seminary Ave., in Woodstock, and from 10-11 before the funeral mass at St. Mary Catholic Church, 312 Lincoln Ave., Woodstock on Wednesday, July 27. Burial will be at Greenwood Cemetery in Woodstock with military honors provided by Woodstock VFW Post 5040.

This conquered Pacific island was not identified.

Dead Japanese soldiers lie on the beach.

A dead soldier lies exposed to the sun.

This appears to be somewhat inland from the beach.

After a battle to take a Pacific island. during World War II.

This photo has a caption: “Marines march off one of very few Japanese prisoners.” Sullivan told me prisoners were stripped to make sure they did not have concealed weapons.

Many dead Japanese soldiers are seen in this photo.

A Japanese bunker than has been cleaned out.

Destroyed World War II Japanese tank.


Daughter Remembers a World War II Veteran Winham E. “Pete” Yeager — 6 Comments

  1. Thank you for publishing this touching article and pictures.

    It exemplifies the true meaning of this special weekend, not just picnics and parties.

    My father always called it “Decoration Day” as he was of the generation who remembered what our country went through in WWII and Korea.

    My husband who served in Viet Nam was cursed and spit on when he returned home in the late sixties.

    I am so glad that we have done a complete circle back to having appreciation of our magnificent country and those who defend(ed)it.

  2. Whatever your views on wars are, we should always support and honor the men and women in them.

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