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A Soldier's Story: Colonel Orin Doughty Haugen - WWII

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A Marine's Story: Major General Smedley Butler, Career Marine

Major General Smedley Butler was born on July 30, 1881, in West Chester Pennsylvania.  He completed his early education at the West Chester Friends Graded School before attending the Haverford School, where he was the captain of the baseball team and a quarterback of the school's football team.

He would leave Haverford a little before 17th birthday (and graduation) to enlist in the US Marine Corps, shortly after the start of the Spanish American War.  The Haverford School would still award him to his diploma on June 6, 1998, on the basis of his credits.

Major General Butler had to lie about his age to enlist.  He was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant and deployed to Guantanamo Bay, arriving shortly after its capture.  After spending four months at sea aboard the USS New York, he was briefly mustered out.

Returning to the Marine Corps in April of 1899 as a 1st Lieutenant, he deployed to Manilla, where he led a team of 300 Marines to take the town of Noveleta. It was here that Major…

A Marine's Story: General Henry Clay Cochrane - Career Marine

General Henry Clay Cochrane was born on November 7, 1842.  In 1860, he started a career as a teacher but, it was interrupted by the beginning of the civil war and chose to enlist for the Union military instead.

General Cochrane tried to apply for a commission to the Marine Corps, but at 18, he was considered too young.  Instead, he would volunteer in the US Navy, serving as a Warranted Acting Master's Mate. He participated in most of the Naval battles that occurred in the early years of the Civil War.  He received his commission into the US Marine Corps in May of 1863.

General Cochrane was, from the beginning of his career,  a stickler for protocol and form. It was these traits earned him a prestigious assignment on President Lincoln's honor guard during his Gettysburg address and a place with the US honor guard that attended the coronation of Czar Alexander III.

He was more than just a parade marine. General Cochrane served aboard the USS Lancaster when the British fleet bom…

A Soldier's Story: Surgeon Mary Edwards Walker - Civil War

Surgeon Mary Edward Walker was born on November 26, 1832, in Oswego New York.  She graduated from the Falley Seminary in Fulton New York and then worked as a school teacher in Minetto New York until she had saved enough money to attend Syracuse Medical College.

After medical school, while she was working to establish her private practice, she would embark on a life-long campaign against the corsets and multiple petticoats of the era, insisting (rightly) that the corsets caused postural and internal organ damage and that the trailing petticoats harbored and spread germs.  She would even write an article to The Sibyl called "A Review of the Tastes, Errors, and Fashions of Society About Women's Dress".

When the Civil War erupted, she volunteered for the US Army as a surgeon but was rejected and told she could be a nurse. Instead, she would work as an unpaid volunteer surgeon at the First Battle of Bull Run and at the Patient Office Hospital.

In September of 1862, she once …

A Sailor's Story: Rear Admiral Bowman Hendry McCalla -Career Sailor

Rear Admiral Bowman Hendry McCalla was born on June 19, 1844, in Camden NJ.

He was appointed to Annapolis on November 20, 1861, and graduated with the class of 1864, completing his tour aboard the USS America.

From 1864 to 1874, Rear Admiral McCalla was assigned to various boats, including his first assignment aboard the USS Marblehead, before returning to Annapolis as an instructor. He would return to the sea aboard the USS Powhatan in 1878.

While assigned to the Bureau of Navigation, Rear Admiral McCalla led an expeditionary force of 750 men into Panama to aid the Colombian government in saving the city from liberal armies.  The force was too late to prevent the burning of Panama City.

In 1887 Rear Admiral McCalla took command of the USS Enterprise, where he would stay until 1890 when he confronted a drunk and disorderly sailor by hitting him with the flat of his sword.  Rear Admiral McCalla would be court-martialed and suspended for three years.

When he returned to the Navy, he wa…

An Airman's Story: Major Katherine Jeanne Tolen Harris - WWII, Korea

Major Katherine Jeanne Tolen Harris was born on April 13, 1919, in Langdon, North Dakota.  She graduated from St. Catherine's Hospital School of Nursing in 1939 and then enlisted on May 9, 1941.

She was photographed, along with several other flight nurses for Look Magazine's article "Invasion Heroine: The Flying Nurse".

Major Tolen Harris successfully complete many air evacuations throughout her career, spanning more than ten years, through WWII and into the Korean War before leaving the service on May 4, 1953, to devote time to her family.

Major Katherine Jeanne Tolen Harris died on April 25, 1989, and rests in Mount Moriah Cemetery, Choctaw Mississippi.




An Airman's Story: Staff Sergeant Frank Sylvester Rosynek - WWII

Staff Sergeant Frank Sylvester Rosynek was born on December 30, 1922, in Chicago Illinois.

Enlisting in the US Air Force on November 16, 1942, and was trained as a control tower and operations technician and was assigned to the 11th Bomber group and deployed to the Pacific Theater, where he would work within the commanding colonel's administrative staff.

After the war, Staff Sergeant Rosynek would settle in Georgia, and manage a Rich's Department Store.  He was known for his sense of humor.

Staff Sergeant Rosynek was also a beloved storyteller who loved to write and after being interviewed by Laura Hillenbrand for her book "Unbroken", was inspired to write his own WWII account titled "Not Everyone Wore Wings".

Staff Sergeant Frank Sylvester Rosynek died on January 2, 2012, and now rests at the Georgia National Cemetery in Canton Georgia.