Ray and Sandy Midgett went for a walk on a beach on North Carolina's Outer Banks shortly after a storm. They found a green "Wildroot Cream Oil" bottle in the sand, apparently uncovered by the storm. Inside, they found a message written on June 29, 1951, by Earl G. Brenkman. He wrote that he was aboard the USS Chipola, a Navy tanker.
The Midgetts wish to return the note to Brenkman's family as it contains a personal message. One problem: they don't know where to find the family. Can you help?
Navy records show the USS Chipola made stopovers in Norfolk after the Second World War and after May 1951 hauled oil between Norfolk and the Caribbean.
One genealogist in San Francisco found an Earl Brenkman who was born in 1931 in Alameda County, California. That would be about the right age to be a sailor in 1951. That Brenkman died in California in 1984. However, it is not yet known if that is the same person nor have living family members yet been identified.
The Social Security Death Index lists 42 deaths of people named Brenkman but none with a first name of Earl. Quite a few of the deaths occurred in Illinois, but numerous other states are represented as well.
If you can provide any clues as to the identity and family of Earl G. Brenkman, who was in the U.S. Navy in 1951, please post your answer in the comments section below.