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Topic: Nancy Lynne Wagner, Baby on the Utah< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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Chris Johnson Search for posts by this member.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 16 2001,8:15  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The following was written by Budd Nease, USNR (ret.). Budd is the Public Relations Officer for the USS Arizona Reunion Association and a member of the Arizona Memorial Museum Association. It was printed in the Fall/Winter 2000 newsletter of the AMMA.


For several years, a story has been circulating at the USS Utah reunions that a baby’s ashes are interred within the ship. Some of us had dismissed he likelihood of such an unusual story being true. However, Shipmate Harry Kamman personally knew someone who could vouch for the authenticity of the story.

The amazing story of that baby’s ashes interred aboard the USS Utah at Pearl Harbor is written by the baby’s twin sister, Mary Wagner Kreigh:

Chief Yeoman Albert T.D. Wagner had the ashes of one of his twin daughters, Nancy Lynne, in his locker on board the ship the fateful day of December 7, 1941. He was waiting for a chaplain to come aboard and for the Utah to go out on maneuvers so that her ashes could be scattered at sea in the old Navy tradition.

The urn containing the ashes of the tiny baby went down with the Utah. Frogmen tried to reach Wagner’s locker to retrieve the urn, but the ship was too badly damaged. Therefore, there is a bay aboard the USS Utah being guarded by 57 of the Navy’s finest.

"Those are the facts," explained Kreigh. "I never got to know my sister. I know we were identical, so when I look into a mirror, I always feel as though she is with me. We were born prematurely in the Philippines and Nancy only lived two days.

"It would have been wonderful if she had lived, but since she did not, I feel nothing but pride and pleasure that she is in such magnificent company. I could not ask for anything better than for her to be tenderly, carefully looked after by America’s Finest."

"Whenever I go to Hawaii, I always go to Ford Island," Kreigh continued. "The scene is breathtaking. The Utah lies on her side like a metal giant guarding her cherished treasures entombed within her bowels like a mother guarding her children. She is protective. She is magnificent.

"She is at peace, as are her charges-57 gentle men and one tiny baby. Her bed is an azure carpet of blue, her blanket is a gentle breeze, and her lullaby is a mixture of a whispered wind and the delicate sounds of songbirds lulling her and her children to sleep on into eternity. Noting could be so beautiful. Nothing could be so wonderful. And as I quietly release a fragment floral lei out to her as an offering of gratitude and love, I can’t help but whisper: ‘Aloha, my little sister. Thank you my brave warriors for taking such good care of her.’"


Just though that I would toss this story out there since many people don't know about it.

Regards!

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USSBOWFINSS287 Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 18 2001,10:10 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Being one of a set of twins...I think that story is WONDERFUL!!!


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William Hughes Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 18 2001,11:04 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The story of baby Nancy Lynne Wagner's ashes is indeed amazing.  We Wish to thank Budd Nease for bringing it to the attention of Chris Johnson

At May 2000 reunion of the USS Utah Association shipmate Harry Kaman advised me, William Hughes, USS Utah surivor and Webmaster of the USS Utah Association web site, that he was personally acquainted with the twin sister of the baby whose cremains were interred on the Utah.

I immediately contacted Mary, and she readily confirmed the story.  It was then that we published said story and some photos on the USS Utah Association web site.

A Honolulu Star Bulletin reporter (thanks to Mr. David Akin) contact Mary via me, and she filled him and provided more photos and additional story contact.

Although tragic family history for that family is revealed here, there are some happy notes; Chief Yeoman Wagner experienced a fabulous Navy career; Mary is a happy, articulate learned lady, living on the "left" coast of the US of A.  An art major, she is now a busy and productive member of the USS Utah Association, and is an avid computer enthusiast.


(Edited by William Hughes at 11:36 am on Mar. 22, 2001)

(Edited by William Hughes at 11:38 am on Mar. 22, 2001)

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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 22 2001,12:43 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic.    QUOTE

Thank you Bill and Chris for your kind words regarding this story. I do want to make it clear though, that I am not the writer of this story. The credit goes to Bill Hughes. Unfortunately, when it was published in the AMMA, credit was not given as I requested.

This story touched me deeply when I first read it. I felt it should be made available from as many sources as possible.

As many of you know, people know the facts about Pearl Harbor, but few know the personal side. I have enjoyed working with Bill Hughes as well as members of the USS Arizona Reunion Association to try and bring a more personal side to the story. So many of these stories would go untold.

I hope we can all continue to work together to help answer questions as best we can and to continue to keep the memory of Pearl Harbor alive so that it does not just become a footnote in our history.

Sincerely,
Budd Nease, USNR Ret.
Public Relations Officer
USS Arizona Reunion Association


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 22 2001,10:36 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Aloha, Budd and Thank YOU for your service to our country!!

Unfortunately, not only are there those who don't know the "personal" side of PH, I don't think that there are all that many people who even know the "facts" of the issue!!  
I am thankful that my family is one that respects and honors those who have served our country!  I am thankful AND grateful that my father and uncles survived their service as so many families can't claim that!
I earnestly hope that the films such as "Saving Private Ryan" and "Pearl Harbor" open up a desire in the youth ("moldie oldies", too!) to take a closer look at the sacrafices made to preserve and protect our freedom!


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 07 2010,5:19 Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

Of the 58 Utah Personel lost-6 Officers/52 other ranks-
11 {4 known/7 unknown} were buried ashore. {one of the 4 known was a seaman who survived the sinking-only to be killed by accident}
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