World War II Memorial

aa rees

Dr. G. Stanford Rees was born November 1, 1905 in Scipio, Utah and died August 31, 1996 in Gunnison, Utah. He lived to be 90 years old, and only about a month from turning 91. He moved to Gunnison Valley in 1932. He dedicated his whole life to the medical profession. G. Stanford Rees met his wife Frances, also known as Ford, in Pennsylvania. Stanford was in Pennsylvania in medical training and Ford was in training to be a nurse. She followed him to Utah where they were married. She helped him in the office as a nurse. 

Dr. G. Stanford Rees entered m the army shortly after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor . He was a transport surgeon, in other words, he was on a ship that transported troops to various locations in war zones and then transported the wounded back to the United States. He had a commanding presence, a medical doctor in charge of the medical facilities on the ship and he expected to be obeyed at all times in all things that were within his medical profession. 

His family never had an actual address for him, merely an A.P.0. box in San Francisco. When he (and other men) wrote home, their letters were censored so military movements wouldn't become public knowledge and possibly give the enemy (Germany or Japan) information to thwart attacks or to kill our service men. 

When troop transports were on the ocean transporting troops to various war zones, they were escorted by U.S. destroyers and would run a zig zag course to hopefully avoid torpedo attacks by enemy submarines. The destroyers were strictly war ships and were built and crew members were trained to attack the enemies in the ocean and attackers by way of air.

Many knew that Dr. Rees was hard of hearing, but not so many knew why. The cause was from an experience on the destroyer. The ship was under attack and they were using the big guns to fight back. Dr. Rees was standing to close too one of the big guns and it ruptured one of his eardrums. It affected his hearing the rest of his life. 

Dr .Rees enjoyed the discipline of the army. He was a very dedicated American. Since he was 37 years old at the start of the war, he could have stayed out of the army because of his age and being the only doctor in Gunnison Valley. To him, that was not an option, his country needed him and he wanted to serve. 

Dr. Rees was very active in the American Legion and very appreciative of all the privileges and opportunities he enjoyed as an American citizen. He demonstrated this by his service to his community (Lions Club member, coached little league ball, and was a school board member) and his state (state senator for 12 years, was active in Republican party, contributed to political campaigns to candidates he favored). 

Personal Note by Nancy R. Jensen (Dr. Rees's daughter) 
My dad, mom and myself had been out riding horses December 7, 1941. When we returned, we were informed that the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor. This changed the whole direction of our lives (as it did all Americans). 

Daddy went into the army and Moma, Natasha and I moved to Salt Lake and lived in my Grandparents' (N. J. Rees and Nina) basement. Morna completed her nurses training at the county hospital.  During that time there was a polio epidemic and Moma would come home totally exhausted. They applied hot packs to the polio victims and it was summer time. They had no other treatment at that time. 

Every day, I would dash out and get the mail after the mailman brought it. I wanted to be the first to see if there was a letter from Daddy. As he received promotions, I was the first to know. I looked at the return address and at first it was 1st Lieutenant, then Captain, then Major Gordon S. Rees. 

My father and I always had a special relationship as a child. I used to go with him when he made house calls, and as time went by, he said we could sit in the same room and know what the other was thinking. We wouldn't even have to speak to communicate with one another. That special relationship lasted forever. 

When we received word Daddy was going to be stationed in San Francisco (the war was almost over) we moved there and it was great to be a family unit again. On V. J. (Victory Japan) we were in downtown Oakland (we lived in Oakland) at a skating rink, when the news came. The streets were so crowded, it took us forever to get to our house on a bus. At that point, life changed again. We moved back to Gunnison, picked up our lives again and were grateful that we were all healthy and in one piece. 

Dr. Rees was recognized numerous times for his service to his community. He was a very, dedicated American and he loved his country . 

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