Tom Hanks is a man of great character

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rdonnay
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Tom Hanks is a man of great character

#1 Post by rdonnay »

I have seen every movie Tom Hanks has made, including his last titled "Greyhound".
It is based on a book by C.S. Forester, but Tom Hanks wrote the screen play and played the role of the Commander of a U.S. Destroyer during the Battle of the Atlantic in 1943.

After I watch the movie, I simply had to write a letter to Mr. Hanks, not expecting that he would ever reply, but he did.

Here is my original letter:

Dear Mr. Hanks,

I watched the movie “Greyhound” last night with my daughter, son-in-law, granddaughter and grandson-in-law. I asked for this movie night with my family because I wanted to share with them that I had a small connection to that story.
I served 3 years aboard the USS James E. Kyes (DD-787). It was a Gearing class destroyer named after a war hero, Commander James Ellsworth Kyes, who was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for “extraordinary heroism” during action against German submarines in the North Atlantic on 23 December, 1943. For all the years I served aboard the ship that was named after Commander Kyes, I never knew his story. Back in the 60’s, there was no internet and such information was not readily available to anyone. It wasn’t until 50 years later, when I became the secretary and historian of the USS James E. Kyes Association, that I started to learn a little more about this extraordinary man and about the extraordinary times in which he served in the U.S. Navy.
The Battle of the Atlantic was a theater of war that is very seldom captured in popular books and movies, so my self-imposed historical education opened up my mind and imagination when I learned that over 3500 merchant ships were sunk in the Atlantic during WW2 by German U-boats. In all the time I spent in the U.S. Navy, I did not know that. I knew a lot about the Pacific war, but nothing about the Atlantic war. But even with this new knowledge, I still did not have sufficient imagination to realize the story of how that conflict played out, until last night when I watched the movie “Greyhound”.
I felt that you, writer of the screenplay, may have heard the story of Commander Kyes, because you seemed to be playing a man with that same kind of character. The fact that your character was so disturbed over the death of one of the mess boys during the battle could have been an homage to the memory of Commander Kyes.

This is from the James E. Kyes Wikipedia page:

As he prepared to leave Leary, he checked to see that none of his men remained on board and spied a kitchen mess boy whose life jacket was torn and useless. Comdr. Kyes removed his own jacket and handed it to the boy. He then calmly climbed over the side and was swallowed up by the waters of the cold Atlantic, gallantly sacrificing his own life to protect a young member of his crew.

Thank you for your wonderful movie and contribution to the education of our shipmates.

Roger Donnay
President, USS James E. Kyes Association
1486 S. Loggers Pond Place, Apt.11
Boise, ID 83706
208-867-6091
http://ussjek.org rogerdonnay@donnay-software.com

Here is his reply. It came in the mail yesterday. He wrote the letter on an old typewriter.
Hanks has a collection of old typewriters.

hanks.jpg
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reganc
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Re: Tom Hanks is a man of great character

#2 Post by reganc »

Hi Roger

I was quite interested to see his response, but the 'attached' image is missing... :-(
Regan Cawkwell
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Re: Tom Hanks is a man of great character

#3 Post by rdonnay »

I don't know what happened to the attachment.
I loaded it again.
I see it now.
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Tom
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Re: Tom Hanks is a man of great character

#4 Post by Tom »

Wow.
Best regards,
Tom

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Re: Tom Hanks is a man of great character

#5 Post by reganc »

Yes, definitely, Wow. Very nice.

Interesting to see that he uses an old fashioned typewriter, too.

BTW, I'm going to watch Greyhound as soon as I can, now...
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Re: Tom Hanks is a man of great character

#6 Post by Tom »

It's all because of his first name. The first name is an obligation. 8-)

I'll watch "Greyhound" as soon as possible. It's on Apple TV+, right?
Best regards,
Tom

"Did I offend you?"
"No."
"Okay, give me a second chance."

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Re: Tom Hanks is a man of great character

#7 Post by reganc »

Tom wrote: Wed Nov 11, 2020 3:27 am It's all because of his first name. The first name is an obligation. 8-)

I'll watch "Greyhound" as soon as possible. It's on Apple TV+, right?
Oh, dash. The one streaming service I don't have...

I'll keep an eye out for it.
Regan Cawkwell
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Re: Tom Hanks is a man of great character

#8 Post by rdonnay »

I'll watch "Greyhound" as soon as possible. It's on Apple TV+, right?
Yes, unfortunately it is only on Apple TV for now.
My daughter and son-in-law use all Apple products, so we were able to watch it.

BTW - Here is the pic that Hanks has on his refrigerator.
KyesDrawingEnhancedForPostcard.jpg
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