Chapter B - Tom Mackie
Published online by Cambridge University Press: 13 January 2023
Family Background and Experience
Born in September 1946, I was one of the early “baby boomers” my father having returned home from duty in the Pacific theatre in late 1945. There was little family history, oral or written, or significant memories while growing up involving military experiences or service. My parents’ generation served in World War II (WW II), as part of their duty and obligation with little fanfare or storytelling to their children.
Both my parents had left home in their late teens, met in a “neutral” location and at the end of WW II settled in the south side of Chicago, 500 miles from the nearest relative.
My father (Thomas W) was born and raised in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. My grandfather (Angus) was a butcher, as was his father, who was also born in the Soo. My grandmother, Adeline Matilda Shunk, was born in Ontario. Both their families were primarily farming families and had emigrated from Scotland to Canada via Prince Edward Island one or two generations prior. My grandmother had died before I was born, my grandfather soon after. There was the migrant attitude of moving to where there was work that became apparent in my father, as well as many of his offspring.
My father had one brother, Uncle Jim, who served in the Army in WW II in Europe. As far as I am aware, neither my father's father, nor earlier generations served in the military.
My father's sister, Kay, married another man from Sault Ste. Marie. They migrated to California at the start of the War where her husband Homer was initially stationed after enlistment in the Navy. She stayed there when he went to the Pacific, and they remained there when the war ended. They later became surrogate parents/grandparents when I returned from Vietnam and was stationed in California for 13 months.
My father graduated from the local Sault Ste. Marie High School in 1931 and found work in marine construction, going to work for a dredging company. By the late 1930s he had worked himself up to being captain of a hydraulic dredge working in the waterways near Hancock, Michigan in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.
My mother was born and raised in Concord, New Hampshire. Her mother's family (Roby/Jones) can be traced back to New Hampshire and Massachusetts in the late 1700s but with little detail other than names and dates.
- Military MemoriesDraft Era Veterans Recall their Service, pp. 37 - 58Publisher: Anthem PressPrint publication year: 2022