Anna Tamburello. Pharmacist mate, cryptographer, mom, military wife

Anna Tamburello (Broughton). Brief WWII service in U.S. Navy WAVES. 63 years a military bride.

As I am writing this Post, it turns on a dime. It’s still about my fun meeting with Robert Broughton, eldest son of Veterans Air First Officer Richard (Dick) Broughton. However, the vantage point has changed slightly. Because I now know that Bob and Craig’s mom, before she was Veterans Air Express Anna Tamburello, was also a World War II veteran. She served briefly in the U.S. Navy WAVES.

Craig Broughton tells us:

I believe Mom’s (brief) stint in the Navy was about 6 months…as a “pharmacist mate.” She received a medically related discharge and told me she was pretty miserable in the Navy. Afterward, she did briefly work as a civilian for the Defense Department as a cryptographer…requiring security clearance…but I don’t have more details probably due to the nature of such work.”

While Anna’s formal military and cryptographer careers are brief, it shows us grit and brains. And unintentional preparation for what she cannot know will be her real military career.

Let’s continue with the romance, shall we?

Post-war, Dick and Anna meet while both are working at my Dad’s airline in 1946. (If you don’t know that story, don’t miss it. Click here.) After  Broughton and Tamburello leave the sadly defunct Veterans Air, Dick re-enlists in the Air Force in 1947 (and retires in 1969). They marry in 1948.

Pioneer Air Force wife in the Alaskan tundra.

By 1951, Dick and Anna are stationed in Alaska. While he is the one “serving,” I consider both of them as “stationed” there. This feels like the true beginning of Anna Broughton’s second and lifelong military career. They are not near any major city with running water and heat. They’re living in a tiny trailer (about the size of my RV, Gracie) on a military base. And Anna is pregnant with their first child. Here, in an environment that demands Anna trudging through snow for facilities and to fetch cold water that must be boiled for bathing, their baby son Robert A. Broughton is born.

Sweet, gentle photo of Anna and her first son, Bob, cuddled in a white blanket.
Anna Broughton and first child, son Robert. Photo credit: Proud Dad, Richard Broughton.
Handsome young Bob Broughton dressed in a Boy Scout uniform stands proudly between his mom, Anna, and dad, Dick Broughton.
All having survived – and perhaps benefited from – time living in the Alaska tundra, young Bob Broughton, now a Boy Scout, stands with his Mom and Dad.

It’s now 2015. Bob emails clipping: 1st All Cargo Plane Back From Prague.

Nine Veterans Air flight crew greeted by U.S. Customs Inspector upon their returning to Newark Airport from Prague.
Image and caption from larger news clipping first sent to Gaye Lyn in 2015 by Bob Broughton. It provides names of Veterans Air crews as yet not known to her. Photo Credit: Unconfirmed New Jersey newspaper.

Bob and I have been in touch since 5 November 2015. Telephonically and via email. Back then, he sends me a press clipping I’ve never seen with the headline 1st All Cargo Plane Back From Prague and a fabulous photo.

Here is a picture and accompanying article I have of my Dad and others that apparently appeared in The Newark Star Ledger after a flight that was made to Prague. As noted in the caption, my Dad is kneeling at the far left.

In the caption, copilot, Montclair man Richard Broughton is the only one identified of eight crewman. But the article names each man (including one hidden in the photo) and his city of residence! It contains a lot of new data to mine. (I use that gold mine metaphor a lot, don’t I. Guess I am a bit like a prospector!)  I must verify the newspaper in which this clipping appeared. Question now exists if it was The Newark Star Ledger or The Newark Evening News?

Bob Broughton and Gaye Lyn in front of Gracie at Kentucky Horse Park Campground, Lexington. Photo Credit: Mary Broughton. (Apologies, Mary. I got no photos of you!)

Time flies and distances narrow.  Come meet Bob Broughton.

Fast forward to 5 August 2017. Dr. Robert Broughton and Mary, his wife, treat me to lunch in Lexington KY. (A month ago? Really? My time flies!)

Mary, originally from Kentucky, meets Bob when their medical careers cross in Lexington. This week they will embark on a trip to the New York finger lakes for their son’s wedding. But they take time to pick me up at the Kentucky Horse Park for our first meet-and-greet.

During lunch, the three of us explore the idea that Anna and Dick met at Veterans.

Bob and Mary bring me more Richard Broughton treasures. The photo you see above of mother and newborn son in Alaska. The proud Boy Scout. And several more. Some sweet and personal. Some teasing me with new data to mine!

The youngest photo we have of Richard Broughton in uniform. His seriousness towards his military career evident from the very beginning from the expression in his eyes.
Army Air Corp cadet Richard Broughton in uniform wearing his flight wings.
A 10-man crew stand and hunker in front of a B-17 bedecked with hand-painted insignia of Zootie Cutie. Command Pilot Richard Broughton stands 3rd from our left.
Now B-17 Command Pilot Richard Broughton stands with his crew in front of Zootie Cutie.
Army Air Forces Combat Experience document signed 30 Dec 1944 by Air Corps Commanding Officer, Colonel Henry W. Terry and approved by Brigadier General William M. Gross.
1st Lt. Richard N. Broughton, 401st Bomb Sq, 91st Bomb Group. Arrived European Theater of Operations: 4 July 1944. B-17 Combat Crew Pilot. 35 Operational Missions flown. Decorations awarded: Air Medal, 5 Oak Leaf Clusters. Performance of duties rating: Excellent.

The entire Broughton family…lifetimes dedicated to freedom, safety, health and family.

  • Richard, retired Lt. Col. U.S. Air Force, career officer spanning WWII B-17 Command Pilot to a yearlong 1968 Viet Nam tour of duty…with time out for Veterans Air UNRRA war relief flights and, of course, husband and father.
  • Anna, WWII U.S. Navy WAVES, Defense Department cryptographer, and 63 years military wife and mother.
  • Robert and Mary, practicing pediatric infectious diseases doctor and retired pediatric nurse.
  • Craig and Carol, retired Major, Volusia County Sheriff’s Office, and active federal law enforcement officer, 20+ years with U.S. Treasury, FBI and as a Federal Probation Officer.

Together even now.

A final salute to Richard and Anna who rest together at Arlington National Cemetery. Her own Navy service too brief, Anna’s interment at Arlington is granted for her status as Richard’s spouse.

Arlington National Cemetery Headstone lists WWII and Viet Nam service of Richard Broughton
Richard N. Broughton. Arlington National Cemetery Headstone. Photo Credit: ANC website.
Arlington National Cemetery Headstone listing Anna Grace as "his wife," meaning Richard Broughton.
Anna Grace, Arlington National Cemetery Headstone. We honor her also as Veterans Air Express Anna Tamburello. Photo Credit: ANC website.

3 thoughts on “Anna Tamburello. Pharmacist mate, cryptographer, mom, military wife”

  1. Craig Broughton

    Gaye Lyn,
    I might be wrong, but I believe the kneeling airman second from left in the front row (directly in front of my dad) is Mo Spielberg. It’s been many years since I discussed that photo with my dad, but I’m fairly certain about it.

  2. Do you know the rest of the crew in the picture with Zootie Cutie? I am trying to identify Morris Spielberg.

    1. Hello, Gary. Delighted you’ve visited. I do not know the rest of the crew, but perhaps Richard Broughton’s family might. I’ll contact them for info and if they can help, I’ll put you in touch. What kind of research are you conducting? Are you related to Morris Spielberg? As a researcher myself, I’m naturally curious! 🙂
      Cross your fingers. I’ll let you know.
      My very best.
      Gaye Lyn

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