Family Stories

Bio of Carl Shephard Dalbey junior

Carl Shepherd Dalbey (junior) was born 22 October 1922, son of Carl S Dalbey (senior) and Henrietta Clarkson Boyd. The family lived in Oklahoma City where Carl graduated from Central High School, and went on to Oklahoma A and M College in Stillwater, Oklahoma. As a young boy he was interested in radios and received his amateur radio license at twelve years of age. Before he left his teenage years he was an announcer for local radio stations in Oklahoma City, Enid, and Ponca City Oklahoma.

During WW II he served in the Merchant Marines, again using his radio skills. During his sixteen months of service he met with incredible hardship. He first sailed in June 1942 and his ship was torpedoed and sunk ten days later. He spent thirty-two days drifting in an open lifeboat before reaching an uninhabited Caribbean Island. Rescue ensued, and he was returned home for seven weeks of rehabilitation. In the late summer of 1942 he took to sea again and met with another shipwreck experience that landed him in Nova Scotia. Sailing again in December of 1942, his ship survived "through storms and submarine infested waters" to land their cargo in England. Upon their return the crew was honored in the nation's capital.

His final mission, aboard the Ship William Pierce Frye, set sail on the 17th of March 1943. Young Carl Dalbey was killed in action, 29 March 1943, when their ship was torpedoed and sunk in the Atlantic. Only seven of the sixty-four crewmen were rescued. Carl Shepherd Dalbey (junior) was posthumously awarded the Mariner's Medal, presented to his mother in the summer of 1943. His name appears on the Oklahoma War Memorial, World War II, published in the "Chronicles of Oklahoma" quarterly.