My beloved father and hero, Solomon Eisenberg, served on the USS Daly DD-519, a naval destroyer during World War II. He saved two men who fell overboard into the Bering Sea off the coast of Adak, when the Japanese occupied the Aleutian Islands of Alaska after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
My father worked as a machinist’s mate second class in the engine room on the USS Daly and was continually exposed to asbestos for more than three years. He was deployed to Nagasaki to “mop up” after the U.S. dropped the atomic bomb. My father died of adenocarcinoma on June 19, 1978, my sister’s birthday. He was 53 when he died yet his parents lived well into their 80s and 90s. The U.S. Navy would not assume any responsibility for my father’s cancer.
My objective is to explore my father’s military history and learn how other naval servicemen on the USS Daly DD-519 fared. Former U.S. Rep. Ron Barber in Tucson was helpful in retrieving my father’s records from the National Personnel Records Center. In response to my inquiries, my father was posthumously awarded several additional Medals of Honor. He was not awarded a Silver Star Medal I believe he rightfully earned.
I am a researcher in ethnobiology and ethnobotany, currently working in the bush of Alaska on the Bering Sea. I wear, close to my heart, a walrus tooth my father acquired while serving in the Navy in this region.
– Amy Eisenberg, Ph.D.