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Arline Gorham

Oct 2017: Arline Gorham

The Tipton County Veterans Council and the Tipton County Museum, Veterans Memorial and Nature Center are proud to announce the selection of Mrs. Arline Gorham as the Veteran of the Month for October 2017.

The year was 1945; the month was October, and World War II was finally ending. There was a fully packed train loaded with troops in transit to Seattle, Washington. Uneventful for most, the journey provided the opportunity of a lifetime for a young Navy Nurse and a young Sailor who were destined for love at first sight. A 21-year-old girl named Arline had recently graduated from Hospital Corpsman School in Great Lakes, Illinois. A 25-year-old Sailor named Boyd was headed back to his ship, the USS Essex (CV-9) in port at Seattle.

The two were married on November 30, 1945. Six weeks after their eyes and souls met as the girl approached the boy at a water fountain. He was chipping ice for a drink and asked her if she would like a drink. She, never the shy one, said “Yes! The union lasted 65 years until Boyd set sail into the sunset on August 14, 2010.

Arline received her honorable discharge from the Navy in December 1945 following her marriage to Boyd. Boyd had joined the Navy in 1941. Throughout WWII he served in the Pacific onboard USS Essex (CV-9). After the war and until his retirement in 1965, Boyd served onboard various Naval installations, including the former Naval Air Technical Training Center (NATTC), Memphis, which was actually located in Millington. Arline was with him every step of the way. It was during his tour at NATTC that they made the decision to live and retire in Tipton County; and in 1965 they established their home in Atoka, Tennessee.

Just prior to his death in 2010, Boyd Gorham wrote “In October, 65 years ago, I was picked up on a train by a gal named Arline, and I’m proud she did.” A Past Matron of the Eastern Star in Millington, Arline continues to entertain friends and family at “Salty Mates Inn”, the home that she and Boyd shared for 45 years in Atoka.

She was nominated for Veteran of the Month by Henry Leslie Billings.