I received this note from Marion Baker below. It’s terrific information adding to our knowledge of the crew.. She has a question in here that I can’t answer. It appears that Don Jaeger was an amateur cartoonist and may have been the creator of the Donald Duck mascot. If anyone has any information on this or any stories or memories of Don, let us know. I’m sure Marion’s family would appreciate it. From Marion’s note:
I am the youngest sister of Donald Jaeger (KIA) carpenters mate 3rd class. Don was born in NYC on July 5, 1921. He and my brother Raymond were identical twins. They both graduated from Bronx Vocational High School and became carpenters and then worked for Elco in Bayonne, NJ building PT boats. Don enlisted in the Navy in 1943.
My son sent me your web page. When I opened it and saw the picture of the crew with Donald Duck to the right I was intrigued as to why he was put there and where the picture came from. You see my brother Don was also a cartoonist. He drew all the Disney characters as well as his own creations.
I am the nephew of Donald Jaeger and named after him by my mother his full sister Virginia H. Jaeger (Riker). My mother is still living and is 93 years old. I was born in 1945 just months after Donald’s death and thus my name. I have Donald’s Purple Heart and letter from the President, etc. My mother still has letters from her twin brothers. Donald’s twin survived the war and died of Parkinson’s Disease not so long ago. Virginia is the only living full sibling. Yes, Donald was a gifted cartoonist and I have seen the duck cartoon which I assume he gave to the ship. I am Donald K. Riker and I can be reached at email@example.com; my mother and I live in Chattanooga, TN and sad to say my generation was the first generation of Riker’s to leave the NYC area since we settled in New Amsterdam in the 1630’s.