Jake Massey

Editor’s note: World War II officially ended Sept. 2, 1945, when the Japanese signed surrender terms. We’re honoring the war’s area veterans over the next several months with these brief profiles.

Jake Massey
Date of birth: April 10, 1922
Dates of service: 1944 to 1946
Hometown: Clovis
Lives in: Clovis
Theater and location of service: Pacific, Honolulu
Branch: Navy
Rank: Mailman (MAM) 3rd class

Unit and specialty: US Navy Post Office; Honolulu. Mailman
In his words: Reporting to Santa Fe for his physical after receiving his draft notice, Massey said “most were asking for the Navy and I went along with the crowd.” While he recalls that many of the other men were not granted Navy service, he was.

Leaving a good job with the railroad and his wife and young son behind in Clovis, Massey was sent to Honolulu to serve in the post office there and spent his time “keeping records up to date on transfers and keeping records on the Navy men. The men were transferred all the time and we kept their addresses up to date.” His responsibility was to be sure that wherever the men went, their mail followed them.

Life in Honolulu was good, Massey recalled, as the men came there for their leisure time. “We had a good time,” he said. “I have nothing to complain about.”

In addition to his postal duties, Massey found time to work a second job in a furniture factory that built things for the Navy and also ran a newspaper and magazine service along with three partners.

“We didn’t make much money but we met a lot of people,” he said, explaining they would greet the men as they came off the boats, offering their newspapers and magazines. “They (Navy officers) didn’t mind. I was serving some purpose helping to entertain the guys as they came ashore.” It wasn’t about the money, he said, but about the experience of meeting new faces.

When his time in the Navy drew to a close, he returned home to his wife and son, taking some time off to build them a new house before returning to his job with the railroad.

World War II profiles are compiled by CNJ staff writer Sharna Johnson. Contact her at 763-6991 or by e-mail:
sharna_johnson@link.freedom.com