Churchillians celebrate Sir Winston’s Birthday on
John Wayne’s Wild Goose with Duke’s daughter
Although unable to attend, two of the great-grandchildren—Randolph Churchill and his sister Jennie—both sent their regrets but expressed their pleasure at knowing that they can claim two dukes in the family along with the Duke of Marlborough. Jennie Churchill sent a message in which she said the following: “You have to know that as a child Randolph made us watch John Wayne’s films all the time!!!”
In a conversation with Finest Hour editor David Freeman, Aissa discussed the many things she learned about her family connections with Sir Winston while preparing her article for the spring 2016 edition of Finest Hour. Also joining the discussion was Bert Minshall, who worked aboard the Wild Goose throughout the years it was owned by the Wayne family and was the last skipper of the boat before it was sold shortly prior to John Wayne’s death in 1979. In his book about that experience On Board with the Duke, Minshall—himself originally from England—remembers frequently seeing Wayne reading and re-reading Churchill’s books while relaxing on the Wild Goose.
In appreciation for her support, Aissa received several appropriate gifts from the International Churchill Society including a signed copy of Candice Millard’s best-selling new book Hero of the Empire: The Boer War, a Daring Escape, and the Making of Winston Churchill. Naturally there was also a bottle of Pol Roger champagne included in the gift bag as well as a command ball cap from the USS Winston S. Churchill provided by the ship’s current commanding officer CDR Paul M. Allgeier—an appropriately nautical gift to present to John Wayne’s daughter on her father’s yacht, which was originally a US Navy minesweeper built during the Second World War.