Showing posts with label World War II. Show all posts
Showing posts with label World War II. Show all posts

07 September 2014

Me and the Mardasson Memorial

As this previous post suggests, I have been participating in my own personal scanfest of late. Since March of this year, I have uploaded 7.7 GB to my cloud drive. That's 4,430 images and 25 videos. (Some of the files came from my digital camera, to be fair.) If only I were close to being caught up!

I have been curious for years about one of the photos I scanned just this morning. It's a picture of me, on a rainy day, standing in front of some sort of monument / memorial. I think I was about 8 or so years old. All I knew for sure is we were in Europe. (I so stink at geography.)

I searched images online using characteristics seen in the photo: "American monument shaped like a star" (or something to that effect). I tried to place it in France first, but got close enough to find the truth with Germany, I think.

Anyway. I discovered I was standing (in my yellow slicker, no less!) in front of the Mardasson Memorial. Check me out:

The Mardasson Memorial, located in Luxembourg, was built in the shape of a pentagram and stands 39 feet tall. It was dedicated 16 July 1950 to honor the memory of the 76,890 American soldiers wounded or killed during the Battle of the Bulge. A memorial stone reads, in Latin:
This translates to:
"The Belgian people remember their American liberators – 4th July 1946."

[More at Wikipedia.]

04 March 2013

Military Monday: Specialist Edwin Freeman Ussery

Edwin Freeman Ussery
SP - 2
World War II
September 19, 1922
August 6, 1955
Edwin Freeman Ussery was born in Hart County, Georgia.1 He died in service to his country while in Korea, 6 August 1955. Specialist Ussery was honored with an upright marble headstone placed at Blue Heights Baptist Cemetery in Mountain City, Rabun County, Georgia.2


1. "Georgia, World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1940-1942," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 03 Mar 2013), Edwin Freeman Ussery, 1941.

2. U.S., Headstone Applications for Military Veterans, 1925-1963 [database & images on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2012. Entry for Edwin Freeman Ussery.

03 March 2013

William J. Trusty, Tank Destroyer

William J. Trusty (1919-1949)
William Jack Trusty rests at Blue Heights cemetery in Mountain City, Rabun County, Georgia. The stone I photographed was a government issue granite marker. I was not familiar with all of the abbreviations on the stone, but was able to decipher it easily after reading the headstone application on Ancestry.

From Wikipedia
As part of his service for the U.S. Army during World War II, Corporal Trusty was a member of Company B, 638th Tank Destroyer Battalion.  He enlisted 23 September 1942 and received an honorable discharge 18 October 1945.

This information was great, but it didn't tell me why William J. Trusty died at the young age of 30 years. In viewing several family trees online, the consensus seemed to be that he died in Pontiac, Michigan. However, not one of those I saw offered a source for this vital fact. Going ahead with this data, though, I did find a blurb in The Daily News (Ludington, Michigan - 25 July 1949, pg. 3):
PONTIAC -- Jack Trusty, 35, of Bloomfield Hills, died Sunday of burns suffered in a fire which destroyed his trailor early Sunday morning.
The Record-Eagle of Traverse City, Michigan stated the same while offering the age of 32.

I searched Oakland County, Michigan's death records index online and found a William Trusty died there 24 July 1949. It's not proof, but those online trees might just be right.

21 June 2012

Report of Interment for Val Dies Lincecum, Jr. (This Time It's Personal)

I first learned of a recently added database at - U.S. National Cemetery Interment Control Forms, 1928-1962 - from Valerie at Begin with 'Craft'. I have at least a couple of ancestors buried in military cemeteries, so I tested the search with my surname of Lincecum. Only one hit was returned, but it was an expected one -- Val Dies Lincecum II at Ft. Sam Houston National Cemetery, Texas.

Val Dies Lincecum, Jr. was a son of Val Dies Lincecum and Mary Elizabeth Murray. Val, Jr. was born 29 July 1912 and died 21 December 1957. The report of interment included the same birth and death information I had. A big plus for me was seeing the first name of Val, Jr.'s wife, Ina Marie. Even though I had his death certificate, this was news to me. His death certificate only stated he was married, offering no names, and the informant was listed as "Official Records, Brooke Army Hospital, Ft. Sam Houston, Texas" (his place of death).

Something I found a bit poignant was the timing of Val, Jr.'s death. It was only 7 months after his retirement from the US Army, and he was buried on Christmas Eve. U.S. National Cemetery Interment Control Forms,
 [database with images online]. Provo,UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2012.  Entry for Val Dies
Lincecum II.  Citing Records of the Quartermaster General, 1774-
1985, Record Group 92 at the National Archives at College Park, MD
Val, Jr. rests in section A-G, grave #1036. A spot next to him was reserved for his widow, but I don't think she used it (or, maybe has yet to do so?).

Val, Jr. obtained the rank of Major in the United States Army and served in World War II and Korea. He was my 4th cousin.

28 March 2011

Larry J. Williams (Military Monday)

Larry Jean Williams
US Marine Corps
World War II
Aug 6, 1916 ~ Oct 18, 1996

Fairview Presbyterian Church Cemetery
Lawrenceville, Gwinnett County, Georgia

Photo © 2010/1 S. Lincecum

Census records suggest Larry was a son of Roland R. and Minnie E. Williams, also buried at Fairview Presbyterian.

29 January 2011

Saturday Soldier: Andrew Jackson Harrell (1917-1967)

Andrew Jackson Harrell
Sgt Co D
371 Infantry
World War II
November 3, 1917
November 8, 1967

Goodwin Cemetery
Hwy 124
Duluth, Gwinnett County, Georgia
Photo © 2010-2011 S. Lincecum
Sgt. Andrew Jackson Harrell was a son of Roy and Rosetta White Harrell. He was born in Georgia, and that is from where he enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1942, entering World War II.

According to his enlistment record at Ancestry, Andrew had a grammar school education, and his civil occupation was in the category of "semiskilled chauffeurs and drivers, bus, taxi, truck, and tractor."

Sgt. Andrew Jackson Harrell died in Los Angeles, California.

05 October 2009

Welborn Smith Gave His Life for His Country

Welborn Hill Smith
June 7, 1924
Gave His Life for His Country
June 21, 1944

Welborn was a member of the United States Army Air Forces. He was killed in action during World War II, and his name is on the WWII Honor List of Dead. Welborn was laid to rest in the Roberta City Cemetery in Crawford County, Georgia.

Photos © 2009 S. Lincecum

16 January 2009

Col. John A. Dunning -- Do I Have the Right Man?

John A. Dunning
District of Columbia
Col US Air Force Res
May 28, 1906 - Mar 14, 1974
Magnolia Park Cemetery
Warner Robins, Houston County, Georgia

The gravemarker above peaked my interest for a couple of reasons. First, the idea that Mr. Dunning was from the District of Columbia. Being near a United States Air Force base, it is not uncommon to find individuals from all over the country in this cemetery. I always tend to snap a photo when I see them, though. Some researcher out there might be wondering where Col. Dunning ended up.

Second, I wondered what the acronym AFCM meant. A quick search suggested it stood for "Air Force Commendation Medal." I confirmed this with my resident expert, my father. He is a retired Chief Master Sergeant from the US Air Force, and he now works for the Department of Defense in Washington, DC.

So, I was hooked. I wanted to find out more about Col. John A. Dunning.

A search of the 1910 US Federal Census resulted in this entry:

Precint No. 10, Boise, Ada, Idaho
18th April 1910
O'Farrel St.

Dunning, Donald A. - age 35; m1; 7 yrs; b. Kansas; parents b. Missouri; occ. Lawyer
Dunning, Alice H. - age 30; m1; 7 yrs; 3 children; b. District of Columbia; parents b. New York
Dunning, John A. - age 4; b. District of Columbia
Dunning, Sarah - age 0/12; b. Idaho
Dunning, Mary - age 0/12; b. Idaho

A few other finds were pretty interesting: searching with Google, I found a copy of the 6 July 1945 edition of the Chinese Lantern, a newspaper for the U. S. Armed Forces during World War II. A short article with this photo attached was included. Under the photo was the caption, "Dunning." The article:

HQ., 14TH AIR FORCE - The "Flying Hatchet" fighter group and the "Lucky Lady" medium bombardment squadron have awarded Unit Citations for "outstanding performance of duty in action during the period of April 10 to May 15, 1945 when the Japanese attempted capture the airfield at Chinkiang but were defeated."

The Flying Hatchets fighter group is under the command of Col. John A. Dunning, San Antonio, Tex., and the "Lucky Lady" medium bombers are commanded by Col. T. Alan Bennett, Winter Park, Fla.
Using Ancestry, I found a couple of Stars and Stripes newspaper articles (Europe, Mediterranean, and North Africa Editions database) that seemed to also fit "my" Col. Dunning. The first was from 24 May 1952.

"20th Wing Jets Arrive in UK
LONDON, May 23 (AP) -- The first squadron of F84G Thunderjets of the U. S. Air Force 20th Fighter-Bomber Wing has arrived at Weathersfield, Essex.

The wing is part of the 49th Air Div, which also includes a wing of B45 Tornado light jet bombers.

The division is being moved to Britain from Langley AFB at Hampton, Va. The B45 will be the firts multijet bomber-type plane sent to Europe. It attains a speed of about 550 mph with its four jet engines.

Col John D. Stevenson, of Laramie, Wyo., commands the division. Col John A. Dunning, of San Antonio, commands the 20th Fighter-Bomber Wing. Col David M. Jones, of Winters, Tex., commands the 47th Light-Bomber Wing. He was a flight commander on the first Tokyo raid in 1942."

The second article is quite lengthy. It was written by Jon Hagar, Staff Writer, for the 1 January 1955 Stars and Stripes (page 11). The title was Thunderstreaks: New Firepower for NATO - Swept-wing F84Fs can carry 6,000-pound weapons load, exceed 45,000-foot altitude, smash the sonic barrier. Col. John A. Dunning was mentioned when the next units to receive these planes were described:
Among the next units to get the Thunderstreaks will be Col. John A. Dunning's 20th Fighter-Bomber Wing at Wethersfield. It is currently flying the Thunderjet, the plane which fought the bulk of the air war for the United Nations in Korea and was turned out at the rate of 10 a day during the height of that conflict by the same firm that is now tooled up for Thunderstreak production.
I found all of this quite interesting. Of course, the information presented here is not "proof-positive" as to whether or not it applies to "my" Col. John A. Dunning. Do I have the right man? Further investigation would be required to properly answer that. I do think, however, all the timeframes fit rather nicely with the information on the gravemarker at Magnolia Park. Take it as you see fit.

I thank Col. John A. Dunning for his service to our country.
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