The Great Depression & WW II
Read about how one Nashville family found out about their loved one's death.
Percy Von Schmittou and his young daughter, Lois, were out in their front yard in 1943 when a military car pulled in front of their neighbor’s house. Two uniformed men got out of the car and walked up the sidewalk.
The neighbor, Mrs. Verna Goldsby, came out to her front porch to meet them. She listened to them and then fell on her knees and started crying out her son’s name. Her teenage daughter, Ruth, ran out of the house, and then sat down, put her head in her hands, and started crying too.
It scared Lois, so she ran up to her father and asked him, "Why is Mrs. Goldsby crying and carrying on like that?" Percy stood for a moment and then picked her up. "Honey, Mrs. Goldsby just found out that she’s lost her baby boy. You’re my baby and if I lost you, I would cry and carry on too.”
Nearly 50 years later, Ruth Dale Goldsby Brown, who had been 17 years old when her brother died, got tears in her eyes remembering that terrible day. Her brother, Lt. Lawrence Goldsby, had died in an airplane accident while in training. He was 22 years old. Mrs. Brown simply said, “My mother never got over his death.”
- Air Cadet Larry Goldsby standing beside his sister, Ruth Goldsby, while at home in Nashville on leave. Goldsby later died in an airplane crash in 1943. Courtesy of Ruth Dale Brown. Tennessee State Museum Collection, 91.904
- Larry Goldsby as an air cadet in his flight suit. Courtesy of Ruth Dale Brown. Tennessee State Museum Collection, 91.904
The Great Depression & WW II >> World War II >>