Dan E. Schiavon (1945/12/24)

Dan loved poetry and music but a vehicle mishap in Calcutta put an end to his avocation.

Dan E. Schiavon was born to Mr. and Mrs. Tony Schiavon at Coalinga, California, on March 10, 1922. In the 1930s the family, which also included sons Mario and Louis and daughter Eunice, moved to the Pajaro Valley. Dan finished eighth grade at Roache Road School in Freedom before entering Watsonville High School about 1936. While in high school, he taught himself to play the guitar and entertained audiences at the Fox Theater in Watsonville during intermission. He also developed a love of poetry, which began in high school and continued while serving in the army. Schiavon left high school after completing three years. He remained in the area and was employed as a commercial vehicle driver.

Dan Schiavon reported to the induction center in San Francisco, where he was drafted into the US Army, on October 16, 1942. Following basic training, he received advanced instruction at Camp Howze, Texas, and was stationed with an infantry unit.

In May 1943 Schiavon returned home on a week's leave before joining the 145th Quartermaster Truck Company in India. He was posted to Calcutta, India and served as a truck and jeep driver at the US Army Quartermaster installation. By the end of 1945 Dan was becoming tired of the army and wanted to return home. During one of his despondent moments, he wrote the following poem.

It's no use to Live
What's the use of living
Things are being the way they are
I think I'll find me a new land
If it isn't too far

I've searched the world over,
But nothing could I find,
To reconstruct my feelings,
Or make me change my mind.

I've tried it every way I could,
But it wouldn't work at all.
Just what would you do if
It were to be your fall

We've all got our troubles and cares,
That we've got to expect,
So lets forget the whole damn thing,
And break all our necks
Yours truly
Despondency.

On Christmas Eve 1945, Private First Class Dan E. Schiavon was suffering from a headache that prevented him from driving his jeep and he asked another soldier to drive while he rested in the back seat. The new driver was unfamiliar with the vehicle and rolled it over breaking Dan's neck. His remains were returned home and interred in the Watsonville Catholic Cemetery.

(NARA2; Cemetery Survey; WRP June 4, 1943 1:1, August 4, 1945 1:1, Remembrances of Eunice (Schiavon Sears)

Creator: Nelson, Robert L.
Source: Remembering our own: the Santa Cruz County military roll of honor 1861-2010. Santa Cruz, CA: The Museum of Art & History, c2010.
Date: Undated
Type: OBIT
Coverage: 1940s
Rights: Reproduced by permission of Robert L. Nelson and The Museum of Art & History.
Identifier: RO-SCHIAVON

Citation

Nelson, Robert L. “Dan E. Schiavon (1945/12/24).” Remembering our own: the Santa Cruz County military roll of honor 1861-2010. Santa Cruz, CA: The Museum of Art & History, c2010. SCPL Local History. https://history.santacruzpl.org/omeka/items/show/4630. Accessed 16 Aug. 2022.