Harold B. Estes is a real person. According to a report by Navy League of the United States, in September of 2003 he was the inspiration for a weekly television show to be produced in Hawaii highlighting service at sea. It seems they have even honored him in the Fore and Aft publication.
Chief Boatswain’s Mate Estes hosted a Southern-style Thanksgiving day dinner for the crew of the USS Russel in 2004.
In 2005, he was honored by McNeil Wilson Communications at Hawaii chapter of the International Association of Business Communications awards. I believe he served on the Iowa-class battleship U.S.S. Missouri which was the site for the surrender ceremonies between the United States and Japan.
For those of you who have not served in the Navy, you should be aware that there are jobs that surface for awhile, then are combined with others or die out all together. The Boatswain’s mate is a rating that can never die. They take care of the ship and much of its peripheral equipment. To make Chief during World War II was a tremendous honor.
It is not a stretch to imagine that a man of valor such as Chief Estes might have, at least, mentioned the things in this letter if he did not directly dictate it. It would be interesting if one of the news networks would pick up on this and see if the White House received such a letter.