BABY'S REMAINS INTERRED ABOARD THE UTAH
For several years a story has been circulating at USS Utah
that a baby's ashes are interred within the ship. Some of us had dismissed
the likelihood of such an unusual story being true. However, Shipmate
Harry Kamman personally knew someone who could vouch for the
authenticity of the
story. And can they ever vouch!
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
and we are honored to publish it here.
A "SMALL" ADDITION TO THE STORY OF THE USS
Chief Yeoman Albert T. D. Wagner had the ashes of one
of his twin daughters, Nancy Lynne, in his locker aboard ship on that 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
girl 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
baby girl aboard the USS UTAH being guarded by 54* of the Navy's finest.
*Four Utah casaulties are known to be interred on
Those are the "facts". 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. 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 American's Finest.
Whenever I go to Hawaii I always go to Ford
Island. The scene is breathtaking. The Utah lying on her side like
a magnificent 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 - 54 gentle men and
one tiny baby. Her bed is an azsure carpet of blue, her blanket is a
gentle breeze and her lullaby is a mixture of a whispered wind and the
delicate sounds of song birds lulling her and her children to sleep on into
eternity. Nothing could be so beautiful. Nothing could be so
wonderful. And as I quietly release a fragrant 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
Mary Dianne Wagner (Kreigh) - the "other"
Photo At Right: Albert T. D. Wagner, Chief Yeoman aboard
Retired USN 1951
Center: Mary Dianne Wagner (Kreigh) - The
Read this story as it
appeared in the Honolulu Star Bulletin on September 29, 2000.
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