April 4, 1944
The original caption reads: Mrs. Edward Healy and her eight children kneel in St. Mary’s church, Des Plaines, Iowa, to pray for the safety of their husband and father, an aerial gunner reported missing in the Pacific. Healy, who participated in 45 missions, was scheduled for an Easter furlough. He volunteered for the Navy in 1942. Left to right the children are Frances, 9; Nancy 10; two sets of twins, Tom and Tim, 4; John and Joel, 5; Michael 11, and Edward 12.
In 2010, Healy’s dog tag was returned to the family after being found next to a World War II airstrip on New Georgia, an island in the Solomons. According to a 2010 article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, many of the children were sent to an orphanage when Healy enlisted. Some returned home while the older children remained at the orphanage, St. Mary Training School, until joining the service.