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A Profile of Donald William Seus

by Barbara Kerr Carrozzi

     November 1, 1921, was a day of rejoicing for Edna Cowlin Seus and August Edward Seus: their first and, what was to be, only child, Donald William Seus, arrived into this world! Although Edna and August were residing at 29 North Eckar Street at the time, Edna chose to deliver her baby in Mount Vernon where her mother, grandparents and other close relatives lived, insuring upon discharge from the hospital that she would have loving family members to assist with the care of her newborn son. Within a short time, the happy little family returned to their Irvington home, one of fire row houses built in the late 1800s by Irvington’s Murphy Construction.

Don_Seus

Donald Seus circa 1930

    Don enjoyed a carefree and innocent childhood playing with neighborhood children and his next-door neighbors, Jean and Phyllis Connor, and he clearly embraced the moment of happy reflection as he reminisced about those wonderful friends and times form days past. The relating of the following memory of his pre-high school days in the “clubhouse” on the Whitehouse Estate (now Cedar Hill Garden Apartments, 35 South Broadway) where he spent countless fun-filled hours with his buddies, Walter Schreiber, Steve Hart, Bob Chisholm, John Hickey, Erven Ostrander, Richard “Buddy” Irwin and Ray Beckley, conjured up many laughs with Don recalling how Ray had demonstrated a level of mechanical skills that enabled them to install a SHOWER in the "clubhouse" for cooling off and cleaning up after a rousing game of baseball or football!

     His school days, kindergarten through 12th grade, were spent at the Main Street School, culminating with graduation, IHS Class of 1939. Don’s memories of those salad days are as cherished and vivid today as they were then. In the fall of 1939, he was a freshman in the College of Forestry at Syracuse University. Very quickly, he realized this curriculum was not for him and promptly changed his major to Business Administration. In his senior year at Syracuse, with America already engaged in World War 11, Don was accepted into a U.S. Navy Officers’ training program at Columbia University. Halfway through the program, the student were given a choice of enlisting in either the army or navy, and although Don was actively involved in the naval program, he chose the U.S. Army (which, as you will see further along in this profile, was the BEST decision he ever made!). Awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in May 1943, by the following month Don was an enlisted man headed to Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, for basic training. Upon its completion, Don was sent to Army Administration School at Sam Houston State Teachers College in Huntsville, Texas, for a ten week course of study and then to Fort Slocum, New Rochelle, for further preparation prior to deployment overseas.
     With Don’s destination determined, his convoy of ships left New York harbor. Shortly after their departure, his ship the Mauretania was rammed by another, causing a two–to-three day delay. Since the remainder of the convoy had press on with its Atlantic crossing, the Mauretania (repairs completed) was left to continue its journey overseas without escort of protection, eventually arriving in Liverpool, England, in the dark of night. After a period of time, Don was assigned to the 5th Postal Regulating Station in Prestwick, Scotland, sited at an essentially “fog-free” airport to make landing as safe as possible for the large transport aircraft. As Don familiarized himself with his duties and began to settle in to a routine, he (as well as many other servicemen) began to take advantage of any downtime from the stressful days of war to explore the picturesque Scottish countryside of Ayr and Prestwick. A welcome gesture by the military was the dispatch of trucks to these areas for the purpose of providing transportation back to base for the young GIs after a much-desired day off. Don laughingly recalled just how important it was to keep your eye on the passing time, because if you missed the truck ride back, you could count on a good five mile walk!