Family of Arthur and Lillian (Konvalinka) Weeks
|Lillian Marie Konvalinka b: October 21, 1885 in Brooklyn, New York d: March 11, 1968 in Westhampton, Long Island, New York||Arthur Millard Weeks b: Abt 1880 in Patchogue, Long Island, New York d: May 30, 1954 in Patchogue, Long Island, New York|
|Stephen Weeks b: January 17, 1921 in Patchogue, Long Island, New York d: abt 1927 in Patchogue|
|John Sanford Weeks b: February 12, 1922 in Patchogue, Long Island, New York d: July 15, 1945 in the South Pacific Ocean|
|The family of Lillian and Arthur weeks is one of the sadder chapters in
the recent Konvalinka family history. Their first son, Stephen, died as a child of
spinal meningitis. Their second son, John, (photo at right)
was a U.S. Navy pilot who was shot down and lost in action only a month before World War
II was over.
The loss of both their children, and the anxious year of waiting, from the time John was declared missing in action until it was finally concluded that he was never coming home, brought a great sadness into their married life.
Telegram (Aug 8, 1945) to Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Millard Weeks:
I deeply regret to inform you that your son Lieutenant (JG) John Sanford Weeks USNR has been missing in action since 15 July 1945 in the service of his country. Your great anxiety is appreciated and you will be furnished details when received. To prevent possible aid to our enemies please do not divulge the name of his ship or station unless the general circumstances are made public in news stories.
Vice Admiral Randall Jacobs, The Chief of Naval Personnel
(Official letter from the Secretary of the Navy, 16 July 1946):
My dear Mr and Ms Weeks:
Your son, Lt (j.g.) John Sanford Weeks, U.S.N.R. has been carred on the official records of the Navy Department in the status of missing in action as of 15 July 1945 when the plane in which he was flying, a unit of the Bombing Fighting Squadron Eighty-Five, failed to return from a fighter sweep over Hokkaido, Japan. All available information has been forwarded to you by his Commanding Officer.
In view of the probability that you son lost his life while in the hands of the enemy, or while he was in the in the water, because no offical of unconfirmed reports have been received that he survived, because his name has not appeared on any lists or reports of personnel liberated from Japanese prisoner of war camps, and in view of the length of time that has elapsed since he was reported missing in action, I am reluctantly forced to the conclusion that he is deceased...
I know that little solace the formal and written word can be to help meet the burden of your loss, but in spite of that knowledge, I cannot refrain from saying, very simply, that I am sorry. It is hoped that you will find comfort in the thought that your son gave his life for his country, upholding the highest traditions of the Navy.
John L Sullivan, Acting Secretary of the Navy
Distinguished Flying Cross
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Flying Cross to Lieutenant, Junior Grade, John Sanford Weeks
for services as set forth in the following Citation:
"For heroism and extraordinary achievement in aerial flight as a (Corsair) Pilot in Bomber Fighter Squadron Eighty-Five, attached to the U.S.S. Shangri-La in action against enemy Japanese forces in the vicinity of Otaru Harbor, Hokkaido, Japan, July 15, 1945. Courageously participating in a vigorous attach on enemy shipping, Lieutenant, Junior Grade, Weeks plunged through a curtain of shattering anti-aircraft fire from ship and close-range shore batteries to press home a bold rocket attack at perilously low altitude, scoring several direct hits on an enemy tanker and contributing immeasurably to the ultimate success of the mission. His superb airmanchip and indomitable fighting spirit in the face of grave peril reflected the highest credit upon Lieutenant, Junior Grade, Weeks and the United States Naval Service."
For the President: James Forrestal, Secretary of the Navy.
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