"Amburgey Last Seen Manning Deck Gun, Officer Writes," is how the obituary read in the New Castle, Indiana Courier Times newspaper. I could not count the number of times I'd read that yellowed clipping through the years. Attached to the article was this photograph of a sailor in uniform. He had a distinct look in his eyes as he balanced a pipe in his hand. I often wondered if he really smoked that pipe. Then there was the ring on his finger; I wonder what was inscribed on it? But it was "that distinct look", the look of a seasoned sailor who had sailed in "harms way" that fascinated me.
I was always saddened by the fact that I never had the chance to know him. I always wondered what he was like. All that I had to go on were some letters he wrote home and the stories my Mother and Aunt shared with me. While growing up in New Castle, Indiana, I remember visting the cemetery and seeing the headstone that read, Guy V. Amburgey "Lost At Sea". There were so many questions a young boy didn't have the answers to, but I knew some day I'd have to find those answers.
The questions were always with me, wondering about his ship, his Navy career, his ultimate sacrifice that fateful day of April 14, 1945. My search began when I typed in the name Sigsbee in my computer and that launched me on a journey that soon became a labor of love. I ventured North, South, East, and West in my quest for answers. Through numerous visits to the library, many phone calls, letters, and visits to sailors homes, I began compiling information that began to fill my Memorial Book.
I began to realize something else was happening on this journey as I went about the business of searching for answers. It was apparent that I was being rewarded in a way that could not be measured. Along the way I met some of the most generous, warm, and interesting individuals I've ever had the privilege of meeting. It became evident to me by their hand shakes, their comments, and their thanking me, that they were grateful someone cared about their generation and their time in history.
I would like to thank all the veterans (and family members) who responded to my calls and letters. You shared with me your photographs, your "Navy Days", and your Sigsbee stories. You made me feel welcome and accepted me into the "Sigsbee Family". Attending the 1998 reunion in New Orleans (despite being chased out of town by a hurricane) and the 2000 reunion in Virginia Beach was the highlight of my search.
God Bless all of you for your sacrifice and service to our country. Through your kindness and your generosity I will no longer have to wonder about the inscription on that headstone. Because of your help this Memorial Web Site to the Sigsbee has become a dream come true for me, and because of you, I now know more about the uncle that I never had the opportunity to meet. I learned about his ship, "your ship", a ship that sailed in harms way.
Posted 12-31-2012: It's hard to believe that I posted the above some twelve years ago. The size of this web site gives you an indication of the extent of my research. It's been a wonderful journey attempting to honor my uncle, his ship, and his shipmates. Thanks to my dear friend and Sigsbee veteran Billy Roberts, fellow DesRon 25 planners John Chiquoine and Dave Schroeder, and all the other Sigsbee family members who contributed photos and information. With your help you've made this web site what it is today.
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