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Showing posts from November, 2018

A Soldier's Story: First Lieutenant John E. Warren Jr.

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First Lieutenant John E. Warren Jr. was born on November 16, 1946, in Brooklyn New York.

He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1967 as an infantry officer and deployed to Vietnam with the 22nd Infantry Regiment.

He used to play "guess that song" with his friends to pass the time between patrols.

While in command of C Company, on January 14, 1969, he and his unit were making their way through a rubber plantation to meet up with another unit when they fell under attack.  When a grenade was thrown into the midst of his men, First Lieutenant Warren shielded his men from the grenade blast with his body, earning the Congressional Medal of Honor.

First Lieutenant John E. Warren. Jr. rests in Long Island National Cemetery in Farmingdale, New York.

A Marine's Story: Lance Corporal Thomas Ray Adams Jr.

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Lance Corporal Thomas Ray Adams Jr. was born on July 31, 1970.  Growing up in Baton Rouge, Louisana, Lance Corporal Adams graduated from Glen Oaks High School in 1988 and then joined the U.S. Marines.

Trained as a helicopter crew chief, he was assigned to the USS Okinawa, the command ship of the 13th Marine Expedition Unit, which had deployed to assist operation Desert Storm / Desert Sheild in 1990.

While conducting night operations, the UH-1 helicopter Lance Corporal Adams was in collided with another.  He was never recovered.

Lance Corporal Thomas Ray Adams Jr. is memorialized in the Port Hudson National Cemetery in Baton Rouge Louisiana.

A Marine's Story: Private First Class Robert Henry Jenkins

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Private First Class Robert Henry Jenkins was born on June 1, 1948, in Interlachen Florida.

After his graduation from Central Academy High School in 1967, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps on February 2, 1968.

Assigned to the 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion and deployed to Vietnam in July of 1968.

He earned a Congressional Medal of Honor on March 5, 1969, while on a reconnaissance mission.  Their position was attacked and when a grenade was thrown into his and another Marine's foxhole.  He protected the other Marine by shielding him from the shrapnel.

Private First Class Robert Henry Jenkins rests in the Sister Spring Baptist Cemetery in Interlachen Florida.

A Marine's Story: Lieutenant Colonel Victor Ohanesian

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Lieutenant Colonel Victor Ohanesian was born on September 16, 1926, in New York City, New York.

He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1944 and completed officer training at Quantico and was assigned command posts with the 81st Rifle Company, the 1st Marine Regiment, and the 8th Marine regiment before he deployed to Vietnam with the 3rd Marine Regiment.

On February 28, 1976, while at a small outpost near Camp Carroll, Lieutenant Colonel Ohanesian and his men came under attack. Unable to gain the upper hand, Lieutenant Colonel Ohanesian ordered a withdrawal, and while carrying the last of the wounded Marines out of the area was hit by mortar fire. Because of the intensity of the firefight, the evacuation was impossible and Lieutenant Colonel Ohanesian died in the early morning hours of March 1, 1967.  He rests at Arlington Cemetery.

A Soldier's Story: Specialist George Gregorio Luis

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Specialist George Gregorio Luis was born on May 9, 1945, in Pahoa, Hawaii.

After enlistment in the U.S. Army, he was assigned to the 173rd Airborne as a rifleman and deployed to Vietnam.

While on patrol in the Binh Duong Province, also known as the "Iron Triangle" Specialist Luis was killed in a small-arms firefight on October 22, 1965.

He rests in the East Hawaii Veterans Cemetery at Hilo, Hawaii.

A Soldier's Story: Corporal Mitchell Red Cloud Jr.

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Corporal Mitchell Red Cloud Jr. was born on July 2, 1925, in Hatfield, Wisconsin.

He attended Neillsville High School, although he left at 16 to join the U.S. Marine Corps in August of 1941.

He was initially assigned to the 9th Marines but applied, and was accepted into Marine Raiders training.  He deployed during the Battle of Guadalcanal and took part in Carlson's Long Patrol but was hounded by tropical diseases and had to return to the states in 1942.

After he recuperated, he was assigned to the 29th Marines, deploying to the Battle of Okinawa where he received a shoulder wound.  At the ending of WWII, in 1945, he was discharged from the Marines at the rank of Sergeant.

From 1945 to 1948, he lived in Wisconsin, working with an anthropology study of Native American child care customs, and writing.  He published an article in the Wisconsin Archaeologist about the 1832 Black Hawk War.

In 1948, he re-enlisted in the military, this time the U.S. Army, and was assigned to the 19th I…

A Soldier's Story: Major Vertner Woodson Tandy

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Major Vertner Woodson Tandy was born on May 17, 1885, in Lexington, Kentucky.  He initially began college at the Tuskegee Institute but later transferred to Cornell University, where he became one of the founding members of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity.

After graduating from Cornell in 1907, Major Tandy became the first registered architect of African descent in New York State and is most known for his design of Harlem's Villa Lewaro.

Major Tandy also volunteered for the New York National Guard and was assigned to the 15th Infantry.  Where he became the first soldier of African descent to pass the U.S. Army's Officer Commission test.  When the 15th Infantry deployed to France and the 369th Infantry (The Harlem Hellfighters) Major Tandy was assigned command of the depot battalion in New York.

Major Tandy continued to act as a champion for civil rights and equality throughout his life, dying on November 7, 1949.

A Soldier's Story: Major General Webster Anderson

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Major General Webster Anderson was born on June 1, 1906, in Boston, Massachusettes. He and his family relocated to Tecumseh, Michigan, where he graduated from high school in 1924.

Accepted into the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, he graduated in 1928 and began a career in logistics.

In WWII, while assigned with the Office of Quartermaster General, he developed a "knockdown pack" system, saving substantial amounts in the costs of military shipments to the European and Pacific Theaters.

He then moved to the Allied Force Headquarters and began focusing on fuel transportation and helped develop the Army / Nave Joint Supply System.

Major General Webster was then assigned to Manilla, continuing the coordination of fuel supplies through the reconstruction of the Pacific, and the subsequent deployments to Korea.

He continued quartermaster assignments, through Europe and the United States, until 1961, when on April 14, he was appointed Quartermaster General of the U.S. Army, se…

A Soldier's Story: Sergeant First Class Eugene Ashley Jr.

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Sergeant First Class Eugene Ashley Jr was born on October 12, 1930, in Wilmington, North Carolina. His family moved to New York City and he graduated from Alexander Hamilton High School.

After graduation, he joined the U.S. Army and deployed to Korea with the 187th Regimental Combat Team.  After his deployment, he was accepted (after rigorous training) into the newly created Army Special Forces "Green Berets".

Assigned to the 5th Special Forces, SFC Ashley deployed to Vietnam and earned a Congressional Medal of Honor during the Battle of Lang Vei.  During an assault to rescue American troops and create openings for continued attacks, SFC Ashley led five charges, creating enough of an opening to allow the rescue of the survivors of Camp Lang Vei. He died of his wounds on February 7, 1968, and rests in Rockfish Memorial Park in Fayetteville, North Carolina.

An Airman's Story: John E. Krey

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Private John E. Krey (although he generally went by the nickname Jack) was born on March 10, 1926, in Farmington, Illinois.

After his service in the U.S. Air Force in WWII, he worked for Hiram Walker & Sons Distillery until his retirement in 1981.

He was an active member of the American Legion and was a member of the Moose Lodge.

Private Jack Krey died on October 12, 1996, and rests in the Oakridge Cemetry.

A Soldier's Story: Captain Sallie Durrett

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Captain Sallie Durrett was born on October 3, 1914, in Louisville, Kentucky.

After her graduation from JM Atherton High School in June of 1932, she attended the SS Mary and Elizabeth School of Nursing, graduating in 1935.

She joined the U.S. Army and was assigned to Manila, Phillippines.

During the Battle of Corregidor, Captain Durrett continued her duties in the Malinta Tunnel until the fall of Corregidor in 1942.  She was then taken, with the other nurses, to the prison camp at Santo Thomas, where she remained a prisoner of war until January 1945.  She, like the other nurses, was nearly starved, most losing up to 30% of their body weight.

After the war, she continued to work as a nurse, retiring from the Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.

Captain Durrett was an active member of the VFW, the Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor, and the Disabled American Veterans.  She also volunteered for the Red Cross.

Captain Durrett died on January 7, 2003, and rests in St. Mary's Ceme…

U.S. Battles: The Battle Off Samar - WWII

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In the early morning hours of  October 25, 1944,  a Japanese fleet under Admiral Kurita passed through the San Bernadino Strait and after traveling South down the coast of Samar, engaged U.S. Naval Task Unit 77.4.3 - known as "Taffy 3" and the "Battle Off Samar began.

Convinced that a Northern force, commanded by Vice Admiral Ozawa, was an immediate threat, the Third fleet had been lured North, leaving only three escort carrier groups in the vicinity.

Taffy 3, under the command of Vice Admiral Sprague, contained the escort carries Fanshaw Bay, St Lo, White Plains, Kalinin Bay, Kitkun Bay, and Gambier Bay.  It also contained the destroyers Hoel, Heerman, and Johnston, and the destroyer escorts Dennis, John C. Butler, Ramond, and Samuel B Roberts.

Taffy 3 was a contingent of slower moving ships, designed and equipped for ground troop support, anti-aircraft, and anti-submarine warfare. There were very few torpedos.  Taffy 3 was ill-equipped for ship-to-ship combat and had…

A Soldier's Story: General of the Army George Catlett Marshall

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General of the Army George Catlett Marshall was born on December 31, 1880, in Uniontown Pennslyvania.

He graduated from the Virginia Military Institute in 1901 where he played football.  After graduation, he was the commandant of students at the Danville Military Insitute until he received his commission from the U.S. Army in February of 1902.

He was first deployed to the Phillippines during the Phillippine Insurrection, before his assignment to the Army War College at Leavenworth Kansas (first as a student, then as an instructor) before returning to the Phillippines a second time.

General Marshall's career as a strategist began with his appointment to the Presidio as aides de camp of the Western Department.

When WWI erupted, he was assigned Chief of Staff for operations of the 1st division, winning recognition for his planning of the battle of Cantigny.  He was then assigned to headquarters, with General Pershing, to plan the Meuse-Argonne Offensive.

Between the wars, General Ma…