My grandfather, William Andrew Cannon, around 1942.
On October 24, 1942, my grandfather William Andrew Cannon enlisted in the Air Force at Camp Shelby in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. He would become a pilot based out of Foggia, Italy during the war. During his time in Italy, he met my grandmother on the Isle of Capri. They married in December 1945 and moved to Meridian, Mississippi in 1946. They would eventually move back in Italy in 1955, where they lived until he retired from government service in March 1990. They moved to Booneville, Mississippi later than year.
On October 25, 2014 (72 years and a day after my grandfather first enlisted), a man named Grant sent me a message through the G&J website. He owns an Ebay store called Circa1941 that specializes in WWII helmets and other military gear. He had purchased a helmet with the name Cannon written on the inside along with the serial number 4357. A quick search of this website told him the helmet belonged to my grandfather. Another quick internet search led him to Gerald & Joan and the blog posts I've written about my grandfather. We connected a few days later, and he offered to send us the helmet as a gift. My grandfather passed away on February 28, 2002, so being reconnected to him in this way is a true gift that means a great deal to our family, especially my grandmother.
There have been times over the past two years that I've wondered what I'm doing with this blog. It has really become more of a family history/photo preservation blog, and while it provides inspiration for my work, it doesn't really do much for my business. When Grant emailed me, I was reminded why I started this business and this blog -- Through my work, I wanted to tell stories, preserve history and share memories. Because of this blog, we were reunited with a piece of our family's history and we're able to honor my grandfather's memory. If that isn't Gerald & Joan in a nutshell, I don't know what is.
Thank you, Grant, for this wonderful gift.
Update: My dad with the helmet!