Anna Mae and Doc Savage A Post-WWii Love story

Bath, Maine ... City of Ships ... home to Bath Iron Works, a historic 1884 shipyard known for delivering "Bath Built is Best Built" ships to the United States Navy. At peak production during World War II, the shipyard was launching a destroyer every 17 days ...

Anna Mae Savage, BIW Badge Photo

This love story starts with Anna Mae Shellenbarger (Savage). Anna Mae was a welder at the shipyard during WWII, and this is her BIW badge photograph. She was the first woman qualified as an oxyacetylene welder at BIW during the war. She was a real life Rosie the Riveter!

Her father and grandfather both worked at Bath Iron Works in the Carpenters Shop, and her son Bruce worked there for 33 years. BIW's multi-generational family roots run very deep indeed.

Bath Iron Works from the Kennebec River, photo by Michael Nutter

Doc Savage shipping out to serve onboard USS Amsterdam

The story continues with 'Doc' Savage, who upon turning 18 in 1945 decided to join the Navy. He served as a fire control operator responsible for setting the 8" guns on his ship the USS Amsterdam (CL-101). Of particular note is that his ship made it to Tokyo harbor in time to witness the signing of the treaty that ended the war.

USS Amsterdam (CL 101), flying a large ensign at the fore, arrives off the Naval Air Station at Astoria, Oregon, 14 October 1945.

U.S. Navy Photo #80-G-391152

After the war, Doc took classes at the University of Maine Orono branch on the Brunswick Naval Air Station in Brunswick, Maine. Anna Mae and Doc met at a USO dance in Brunswick. He asked if he could see her again after this first encounter, and before long, Doc was put to work on the family farm, and wooing Anna Mae in the family parlor.

Six weeks after they met, they were married on June 8, 1949. They raised two sons and two daughters, Rob, Bruce, Carol and Barbara, and lived their American dream.

The Savage Family

In addition to BIW, Doc worked at Electric Boat in Groton, Connecticut, where he worked in the Program Office on the Los Angeles Class submarines and retired as deputy program manager on Trident Program.

Sadly, after a diagnosis of multiple myeloma, Doc and Anna Mae rented a big old victorian cottage on the New Meadows River, West Bath to enjoy their remaining time together ... he passed away from this cancer two days after 68th birthday in 1994. Anna Mae survived Doc by several years, passing away in 2005.

Though Doc and Anna Mae are both gone, their memories live on in the hearts of those who love them. My hope is to share their story and share my gratitude for the sacrifices they and their generation made - our freedom today is built upon the shoulders of those like Doc and Anna Mae.

This lovely couple is the subject of my most recent WWII Thankful Generations Tapestry Project. Being the romantic that I am, it is only fitting that they were side-by-side on my largest Mirrix Lani Loom.

I always love watching the faces emerge as I work my way up from the bottom of the tapestry.

There are 122 Rows x 125 Columns on Anna Mae's tapestry, or 15,250 Beads. Doc's tapestry has slightly fewer rows, but in all each has approximately 15,000 beads and measure 7" across and 8" tall.

Every row takes approximately 10 minutes to complete, so with 122 Rows, that's about about 20 hours of beading.

Then there's another 4-6 hours to finish the piece once it is off the loom!

A special thank you to Bruce and Becky Savage for providing the photographs and sharing the stories of these two very special heroes from WWII.

To see more Thankful Generations Tapestries visit the additional Spark Pages and my website at www.thankfulgenerations.com. To see more art work by the Art Nomad, Maureen Kenney, visit www.needtonomad.com.

Created By
Maureen Kenney

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