Locust Point Twin Power During WWII - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

Locust Point Twin Power During WWII

Jim (L) and Bill (R) Hughes: Twin Power

The above photo, with me and my twin brother proudly wearing U.S. Navy uniforms, was taken on or about the year 1942, in South Baltimore’s Locust Point, at 1309 Haubert Street. It was during the middle of the great conflict, known as World War II. Sadly, the photographer is unknown.

On the left is: “Big Jim” Hughes. Trust me when I say this, back then you didn’t want to mess with him. I’m on the right, William “Bill” Hughes.

Once a neighborhood kid persisted in stealing our marbles. Big mistake! Jim and I both took him on! That gambit was never repeated.

Some background on our clan:

We were part of a large Irish-Catholic family. Try seven children all living in a two-story row house. Jim and I were located somewhere in the middle of the mix. By default, we became best buddies, until an attractive gal in our hood originally from West Virginia, I think – intervened. (I’ll leave that tale for another day.)

Our family was then living at 1237 Haubert St., opposite a huge warehouse owned by the Proctor & Gamble company

In the family mix, besides Jim and me, were three sisters; Nora, Mary and Bridget; and two brothers, Richard and Charles.

My mom, Nora Thornton Hughes, bless her heart, took care of the house and the cooking and the washing, et al, etc. It was a tough 24/7 job, with little or no credit coming her way.

Meanwhile, dad, Richard P. Hughes, Sr, a union man to the core, worked on the docks as a ship runner. This was before the container ships. He was in charge of loading and discharging the cargo from the ocean-going vessels.

Can you believe this: dad never owned a car? He worked on the docks for close to fifty years and loved every minute of it.

Like his father before him, dad was a proud member of the International Longshoremen Union. Yours truly, in his salad days, was also a member of two ILA Locals – 829 and 1429, both of them located on Hull Street in Locust Point. For a while, in the late 50s, I worked with my dad at the Alcoa S/S Company, then located at pier 9, north side, Locust Point.

Brother Jim, now a retired ILA member, still resides in Locust Point. He lives on Fort Avenue, opposite Latrobe Park, and is married to the former Dianna Malat. (Her father owned the shoemaker store on Fort Avenue.)

When the above photo was taken, Jim and I were about five years old. For the longest time, I looked for this photo in the family albums, but couldn’t find it. I constantly complained to my siblings, (in a pain-in-the a.. way), where is THAT photo?

Nobody knew. The clock was on the field, as they used to say in a soccer match. We were all getting older, with no photo in sight.

Then, out of left field, recently, a cousin in Scotland, Jean McShane, published an album of her old family photos. She forwarded them to our clan via the Internet. My mother was Jean’s great aunt.

Some of the photos, including the one in question, were originally sent to her family by my mother, who was a native of Tavanaghmore, County Mayo, Ireland. And – surprise – on a return belated trip across the ocean, just a week or so ago, there it was – after all these years – the historic, long-missing photo of the “Twin Power!”

Query: Did the above, almost legendary photo of the “Locust Point Twin-Power” force the Axis Alliance to finally toss in the towel during WWII? We will probably never know the answer to that one. Part of me likes to think so, but I’m definitely in the minority.

Finally, in 2016, here are the dynamic duo, Bill (L) and Jim (R), outside the popular Southside Diner, in Locust Point.

About the author

Bill Hughes

Bill Hughes is an attorney, author, actor and photographer. His latest book is “Byline Baltimore.” It can be found at: Contact the author.

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