Gerald Bird 

   
 

 Gerald Bird and Ken Scutt

 Gerald Bird                            Gerald with George Parker

 



 

Does anyone remember my brother?

 

My Brother Gerald Bird Mus2c   Hello, My name is Rosalie (Bird) Doolittle. I am the youngest sister of Gerald H. Bird, Mus2c. He was aboard the U.S.S. Lexington on November 5,1944, when a kamikaze plane hit the ship. Gerald was among the 47 who died that day and was buried at sea. He had taken over the radar room assignment from a gentleman named Ken Scutt, who played in the ship’s band, but also served as an assistant to the ship's Chaplin. It was to be Gerald’s first and last day on that assignment. Needless to say, Ken Scutt led his future years with great purpose and became a professional musician with the Philadelphia Orchestra. My brother was a member of the ship's band as well. At that time, I was just 2 years old. I have an older brother, who was 7 years old at the time. In December of 1999, I visited The Lexington in Corpus Christi, TX, and was greatly surprised to see our oldest brother's name memorialized on bronze plaques and in a special room that displayed the names of those that died November 5, 1944.   Does anyone Remember

 

Mus2c

 

    Hello,

    My name is Rosalie (Bird) Doolittle.

    I am the youngest sister of Gerald H. Bird, Mus2c.

    He was aboard the U.S.S. Lexington on November 5,1944, when a kamikaze plane hit the ship. Gerald was among the 47 who died that day and was buried at sea. He had taken over the radar room assignment from a gentleman named Ken Scutt, who played in the ship’s band, but also served as an assistant to the ship's Chaplin. It was to be Gerald’s first and last day on that assignment. Needless to say, Ken Scutt led his future years with great purpose and became a professional musician with the Philadelphia Orchestra.

    My brother was a member of the ship's band as well. At that time, I was just 2 years old. I have an older brother, who was 7 years old at the time. In December of 1999, I visited The Lexington in Corpus Christi, TX, and was greatly surprised to see our oldest brother's name memorialized on bronze plaques and in a special room that displayed the names of those that died November 5, 1944.

     

    In December 2000, my brother, Cyril, and I returned to Corpus Christi, and visited the ship together. The experience of knowing our oldest brother in this way was an unusual bonding experience for both of us. It was humbling to see all the various displays of articles that people had donated to preserve the memory of their family members.

    We made contact with Ken Scutt, a flutist in the ship's band in 1944. He and his wife now live in Sarasota, Florida. We spent an afternoon together over lunch and then went back to their home for a visit. I had a picture of my brother and another sailor. My family never knew who that person was until that moment. Ken Scutt told us that the person's name was George Parker, Mus2c. He had the same classification as my brother, Gerald, and played in the band as well.

    Would anyone know if George Parker or any of his family is still living and where I might contact him? Since the picture showed the two, George and Gerald, standing arm and arm, it appears that they were good friends. I would like to talk to Mr. Parker or any of his family, if possible. This is the only way I've been able to get to know my brother. Since I was so young at the time, I have no memories of him. Does anyone know if any other members of the ship's band are still living other than Ken Scutt?

    Our mother was so devastated at the time and on through the years, that

    the tragic event wasn’t discussed. When Gerald's box of belongings came back from The Lexington, it remained stored away in a small closet for as many years as I can recall. It was a painful reminder.

    Our mother lived to be 98 years old, but passed away 5 years ago. For years, she would stand at the front door and look down the road. Today, I realize she was looking for a familiar face – perhaps the war department had made a mistake and he would come home. Of course, that hope was not to become a reality. The news was final.

    Two years after Gerald was killed, our father was killed in a tragic accident. And a year after that, my mother's own father passed away...she lost her first-born child, her husband, and her father all within three years. I have vivid memories of her grieving while standing over a hot-air register too keep warm. She raised four of us by herself and never remarried.

         

    I extend grateful appreciation to Patty Cannon Vido for her vision and inspiration to honor her father, Riley Cannon, and all the sailors who served on The Lexington. Riley Cannon’s story has been so inspirational.

     

    I can honestly say, I was very excited to stumble across this website during my research efforts. It’s so appreciated that my letter, in search of information about my brother, has been posted for all to read.

    I would like to commend and thank Judith Whipple, historian for the U.S.S. Lexington Museum. She was most helpful during our visit to the ship and she gave us a personal tour of the various areas that honored my brother, Gerald.

    I have been tracing leads and doing research to uncover my brother's life and the ways he interacted with others for several years. I can be reached at the e-mail addresses indicated at the end of this letter. I’ve retired now from Ford Motor Credit in Dearborn, Michigan, and reside in Heber City, Utah.

     

    Any communication from family members of those that served on the U.S.S. Lexington would be appreciated. As time passes, the memories fade, but I keep hoping that I’ll hear from someone who remembers my brother.

     

    God bless all our sailors, both past and present. If it were not for the efforts of Patty Cannon Vido, none of this would have surfaced for people like me. I am deeply grateful to her and everyone who has posted information, pictures, and stories. It gives me a mental picture of what navel life was like for my brother and his friends – a time that is gone, but not forgotten.

     

    Most Sincerely,

     

    Rosalie (Bird) Doolittle

    4555 Palamino Drive

    Heber City, UT 84032-4228

    rdoolittle4555@wa

     

    My name is Rosalie (Bird) Doolittle.

    I am the youngest sister of Gerald H. Bird, Mus2c.

    He was aboard the U.S.S. Lexington on November 5,1944, when a kamikaze plane hit the ship. Gerald was among the 47 who died that day and was buried at sea. He had taken over the radar room assignment from a gentleman named Ken Scutt, who played in the ship’s band, but also served as an assistant to the ship's Chaplin. It was to be Gerald’s first and last day on that assignment. Needless to say, Ken Scutt led his future years with great purpose and became a professional musician with the Philadelphia Orchestra.

     

    My brother was a member of the ship's band as well. At that time, I was just 2 years old. I have an older brother, who was 7 years old at the time. In December of 1999, I visited The Lexington in Corpus Christi, TX, and was greatly surprised to see our oldest brother's name memorialized on bronze plaques and in a special room that displayed the names of those that died November 5, 1944.

     

    In December 2000, my brother, Cyril, and I returned to Corpus Christi, and visited the ship together. The experience of knowing our oldest brother in this way was an unusual bonding experience for both of us. It was humbling to see all the various displays of articles that people had donated to preserve the memory of their family members.

     

    We made contact with Ken Scutt, a flutist in the ship's band in 1944. He and his wife now live in Sarasota, Florida. We spent an afternoon together over lunch and then went back to their home for a visit. I had a picture of my brother and another sailor. My family never knew who that person was until that moment. Ken Scutt told us that the person's name was George Parker, Mus2c. He had the same classification as my brother, Gerald, and played in the band as well. Ken Scutt passed away in 2005 in Sarasotaa, Florida. He had returned from a trip around the world with his wife, Carol. They were expert photographers of wild life and traveled at the expense of Wild Life Foundation. When they returned, Ken had picked up an illness on their travels and never recovered.

     

    Would anyone know if George Parker or any of his family is still living and where I might contact him? Since the picture showed the two, George and Gerald, standing arm and arm, it appears that they were good friends. I would like to talk to Mr. Parker or any of his family, if possible. This is the only way I've been able to get to know my brother. Since I was so young at the time, I have no memories of him. Does anyone know if any other members of the ship's band are still living other than Ken Scutt?

     

    Our mother was so devastated at the time and on through the years, that

    the tragic event wasn’t discussed. When Gerald's box of belongings came back from The Lexington, it remained stored away in a small closet for as many years as I can recall. It was a painful reminder.

    Our mother lived to be 98 years old, but passed away 5 years ago. For years, she would stand at the front door and look down the road. Today, I realize she was looking for a familiar face – perhaps the war department had made a mistake and he would come home. Of course, that hope was not to become a reality. The news was final.

    Two years after Gerald was killed, our father was killed in a tragic accident. And a year after that, my mother's own father passed away...she lost her first-born child, her husband, and her father all within three years. I have vivid memories of her grieving while standing over a hot-air register too keep warm. She raised four of us by herself and never remarried.

         

    I extend grateful appreciation to Patty Cannon Vido for her vision and inspiration to honor her father, Riley Cannon, and all the sailors who served on The Lexington. Riley Cannon’s story has been so inspirational.

     

    I can honestly say, I was very excited to stumble across this website during my research efforts. It’s so appreciated that my letter, in search of information about my brother, has been posted for all to read.

    I would like to commend and thank Judith Whipple, historian for the U.S.S. Lexington Museum. She was most helpful during our visit to the ship and she gave us a personal tour of the various areas that honored my brother, Gerald.

    I have been tracing leads and doing research to uncover my brother's life and the ways he interacted with others for several years. I can be reached at the e-mail addresses indicated at the end of this letter. I’ve retired now from Ford Motor Credit in Dearborn, Michigan, and reside in Heber City, Utah.

     

    Any communication from family members of those that served on the U.S.S. Lexington would be appreciated. As time passes, the memories fade, but I keep hoping that I’ll hear from someone who remembers my brother.

     

    God bless all our sailors, both past and present. If it were not for the efforts of Patty Cannon Vido, none of this would have surfaced for people like me. I am deeply grateful to her and everyone who has posted information, pictures, and stories. It gives me a mental picture of what navel life was like for my brother and his friends – a time that is gone, but not forgotten.

     

    Most Sincerely,

     

    Rosalie (Bird) Doolittle

    4555 Palamino Drive

    Heber City, UT 84032-4228

    rdoolittle4555@wasatch-wireless.com

 

 

 
 
Copyright 1998 by Patty Cannon all rights reserved