My great-grandmother Ethel Dee Sloan Pennington had three sons fighting in World War II: Fessie M. Pennington (my grandfather) and his younger brothers Gaylord and Frelon. If you've been reading this blog for a while you probably remember Fessie's naval adventures in the Pacific Theater of the war. Gaylord fought in the Pacific too but was in the Army instead of the Navy and was with the troops that recaptured the island of Luzon in the Philippines. Frelon saw action in Europe, lots of action. He was a career soldier, joining the first time around in 1940. Frelon fought in some of the most intense battles of the war, beginning in Northern Africa and up through Italy, France and into the Rhineland.
Needless to say, Ethel was worried about her boys. Never mind that they were grown men, two of them with families and children of their own, she was a born worrier. Some might say that she worried herself to death. She died in September 1945 just after the war ended. Although son Frelon was home at the time, she didn't get to see her sons Fessie and Gaylord return from the war.
The banner pictured above was provided to families who had someone serving in the war. Ethel's banner had three stars to signify the service of her three sons, and the banner was displayed proudly for all to see.