Category Archives: Military Monday

Military Monday – Mom Remembers WWII

As I have mentioned here before, my Mother is fighting Alzheimer’s. I try not to say too much on here about it because I want to respect her privacy. But, this is so hard. Everything you have heard about Alzheimer’s is all that and more. I wish there was a way I could make this easier for my Mom, and my Dad but there is no magical pill or a cure and boy does that scare me. Will I be next?  Will it skip me, but hit my children? Grandchildren? We need a cure people!!  I don’t want a single other person to have to go through this.  My family, currently has three people fighting Alzheimer’s.  Can you believe that?  Please pray for all of them!

I usually cook supper every night for them as she can no longer cook. My brother helps by cooking sometimes, but we all eat together every night at my house and while I get frustrated and tired of doing the dishes, I also know that time is slipping away and so are my mother’s memories, so when she is having a good day and she starts telling stories, like what I am about to share with you, I know the dishes won’t matter in a few years. In fact, when I think about it, they don’t even matter now.  I’m very glad to have this time with my Momma and thankful for a steadfast husband that supports me in taking care of them. I wouldn’t trade this time in my life for anything.  Well, except a cure.

One night after dinner Mom, when Mom was having one of her good days, she started talking about the war and I asked her to stop and let me get my recorder and record her, and this is what I got. I put a few photos with it, and some music and I hope you will enjoy listening to her talk about her memories of life during WWII.

After I put the video together, I decided I would make another Project Life page for my Family History scrapbook. This seemed like the perfect thing to do a page about. I was also thinking about this wonderful video, and how could I possibly incorporate it into my scrapbook.  I didn’t want this wonderful video lost in the depths of my computer!

Then it hit me! A QR Code! If you don’t know about QR Codes, you might consider hitting up Google and learning a little bit.  They are on everything these days.   I have a FREE app on my phone called QRReader, and you can go to this website, Unitag and generate a code for FREE!  It cost me nothing to add this to my scrapbook page, and now anytime someone looks through the book, they can scan the QR code, and watch the video on their phone or tablet.  In fact, if you have a QR reader on your phone already you can actually put it up to the computer screen, scan the bar code in the photo below and it will take you right to the video.

So, here is my page.

Mom Remembers WWII

Mom Remembers WWII Project Life Page

I won’t completely depend on the QR Code to work forever though.  I will always include a flash drive in every album with the photos and videos on it, so if anyone wants a copy of anything in it, no digging around in the depths of my computer, all I have to do is get the flash drive from the album and copy them on whatever they want.

I may at some point make a transcript of the conversation to put in the scrapbook, just in case future technology doesn’t recognize our current technology anymore. I wouldn’t want that wonderful story lost forever if the video can no longer be played.

I also made a DVD of the video above for Mom and Dad, and brother John.  I hope they will enjoy it as much as I did making it.

What a great treasure from Momma, in just a whim of a five minute conversation.  Which is the reason my goofy dog Ringo was barking throughout the video, I really didn’t have plans to do much with the video which is why I didn’t shush him, but it turned out great anyway and I’m thankful to have this history to pass down to future generations.

Thanks, Momma!

Mappy Monday – Thomas Bullard’s tracks during the American Revolution

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Do you have an ancestor that served during the American Revolution?  Did you ever wonder where all he traveled during his service?  Well, I did!  So, I decided to trace the foot steps of my 5th great-grandfather, Pvt. Thomas Bullard based on his personal testimony from his pension record.

So, in his own words, this is where all he went.

Tracks of Thomas Bullard

  1. Thomas started at Duplin Co., North Carolina.
  2. Then he went to Elizabethtown.
  3. Then on to Purrysburg, So. Carolina.
  4. Then he went up the Savannah River to Black Swamp.
  5. Further up the Savannah River and he crossed at Augusta.
  6. Then down the Savannah River to White’s Ferry.
  7. Crossed White’s Ferry to Stono Ferry.
  8. Then to Beaufort.
  9. Then to Crosscreek which is now Fayetteville.
  10. Discharged over Big Peedee River opposite Long Bluff Ferry.
  11. Then he moved to Bladen Co., No. Carolina and re-enlisted voluntarily and went to Big Bridge in New Hanover Co. 10 miles above Wilmington until he was discharged again.

 

And I can’t even get Knucklehead to walk to the mailbox!

I mean seriously, that is a lot of walking, and he only served a total of 12 months and 12 days.

I’ve posted about Thomas Bullard before and you can see that post here: Thomas Bullard Private in the American Revolution.

If you would like a better view of the maps I used above, they are 1779 maps and are available at Wikimedia Commons: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Main_Page

If you’d like to check the transcripts of your revolutionary ancestors, you can find them here:   http://revwarapps.org/index.htm and you can also check www.fold3.com for the originals.

Military Monday- Saving Lives Rather Than Take Them

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Judson M Hemperley, Sr

Judson Manuel Hemperley was born on October 14, 1919 in Ida, Louisiana to Luther London and Sybil Cain Hemperley. Luther went to work for Cities Service and his wife and children moved to Haynesville, Louisiana where she owned a dress shop. Judson had one sister, Iris Bliss, who was killed in her senior year of high school from an accidental gun discharge.

Judson, in the 1940 census for Haynesville, Louisiana, was residing with his parents and wife, Helen Burge Hemperley, whom he had married on October 18, 1939 in Magnolia, Arkansas. It also says he had completed one year of college and had been out of work for 58 weeks even though his occupation was listed as an oilfield laborer.

On November 30, 1942 he enlisted in the U. S. Army and served until January 4, 1946 as a medic attaining the rank of Staff Sergeant. His first child, Judson Manuel, Jr., was born November 1, 1943 while he was in service in Germany.

For a time after he got out of the Army, Judson worked in the oilfield business in the boom of East Texas. In 1960 Judson relocated his family to Grants, New Mexico to the Uranium boom. His hobbies included gardening, fishing and cooking. He resided in Grants until his death at age 90 on February 10, 2010.

For many years, Judson would not speak of the war or his efforts to save lives rather than take them. It was only at the urging of one of his grandchildren and working with Doug Bocaz-Larson and his wife, Kim, a documentary film was made of his war experiences. Mr. Bocaz-Larson is the Program Manager for computer science and creative media instructor for New Mexico State University in Grants, New Mexico. In the fall of 2009 that documentary, “Saving Lives in World War II”, won an Emmy for the Southwest Rocky Mountain region.

Saving Lives in World War II, Judson M Hemperley

This video of Saving Lives in World War II can be seen here.

Judson, along with another WW II vet, was interviewed by CNN regarding their service in the war. The video for this is located here, if you want to be a member of the site, you can sign up and search for Judson Manuel Hemperley.

Another Video about his saving lives can be seen here:

In these videos he recalls treating soldiers, saving lives at the Nazi Prison Camp, the stench of cremation’s, treating a little girl with a severed arm and walking through land mines to rescue fallen soldiers. Such atrocities you and I can’t even begin to imagine! He ate on the run, slept little and went from a 42” waist to a 35” waist during the same time period.

Look deeply into his compassionate blue eyes and listen as his gentle voice recants his life during service as a medic and you will see why it took him so many years to tell his war stories. Be thankful for your wounded relatives in World War II who returned home due to the dedication, training and American pride of medics like Judson Manuel Hemperley. A man committed to saving lives rather than take them.

Judson M Hemperley

Military Monday – Normandy France

Guest post by Larry Croon.  Larry Croon’s father,  Lt. Refert Croon served with my Uncle Son, Sam H. Ball, III during WWII.  I have posted about Uncle Son before here and here.

NORMANDY FRANCE

As the son of Lt. Refert Croon, I wish to share my recent visit to France, and recommend to those who have not yet visited the Normandy Beaches — attempt to do so.

View From Dog White, Omaha Beach, Normandy France

View From Dog White, Omaha Beach, Normandy France

One can not fully perceive the scale and scope of the Allied Invasion, without personally viewing the enormity of the geography engaged. The journey had special meaning for me, given the context below:

As a young Lieutenant, my father was a member of the 146th Engineer Combat Battalion, and, as a member of Gap Assault Team #1, which landed at 0633 on D-Day in the DOG WHITE Sector of Omaha Beach.

View From Dog White, Omaha Beach, Normandy France

View From Dog White, Omaha Beach, Normandy France – NOW

They were successful in clearing obstacles and blowing a hole in the seawall, despite heavy casualties, allowing American Forces to move forward up the bluff and counter heavily defended German positions in the area surrounding Vierville-Sur-Mer.

For their actions, the 146 ECB received the Presidential Unit Citation as well as the Distinguished Service Order of the British Empire.

Receiving Presidential Unit Citation

Receiving Presidential Unit Citation

Remarkably, my father went on to win Five Battle Stars from Normandy to Pilsen, Czechoslovakia, but said very little about what he had seen. He passed some time ago, before I could encourage him to return. Yet, I felt my father’s presence walking in his footsteps. The visit to Normandy afforded a lifetime memory for my wife and I.

Engineers Memorial Normandy France

 

Engineers Memorial Normandy France

I fear the the legacy of the “Greatest Generation” may be forgotten unless our younger citizens are reminded of the sacrifices of these Americans. I was surprised to discover the French have not forgotten, to include their young.

Military Cemetery Normandy France

Military Cemetery Normandy France

D-Day was no exception to the fact that military operations rarely unfold according to plans. Mistakes compounded and it was only the courage, physical stamina and creativity of American soldiers that enabled the ultimate success on Omaha Beach.

On the practical side, believe it best to station your Normandy visit in Bayeux, given its proximity to the critical D-Day locations and the American Military cemetery at Coleville-Sur-Mer. While there, take time to view both the Bayeux Tapestry and Cathedral. The locals will appreciate your attempt to speak some of the basic french phrases, but given the numbers of American visitors, it’s easy to conduct business in English with merchants and at restaurants.

Your journey will no doubt begin at Paris-Charles DeGaulle. Take a few days to acclimate and enjoy some of the major sights in one of the world’s most scenic cities. Prioritize the major tourist attractions you may wish to visit. Same for the Louvre, select the “biggies” you wish to see; otherwise, you could wander aimlessly for two weeks. The French drive on the right, with modern road systems outside Paris, yet maneuvering in Paris could be too much of a challenge with little parking and thousands of motorcycles, along with different rules of the road. A good option is to take the train to Normandy, a comfortable 2 hour ride. While in Normandy, I strongly recommend hiring a Professional French Tour Guide to tailor your visit in an efficient manner which will include transportation.

Oh yea, always carry rain gear.

Larry Dirks Croon
Clifton, Virginia

Military Monday-All Gave Some, Some Gave All in World War II

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World War II began in Europe in September 1, 1939 when Germany invaded Poland. The United States was not involved until December 7, 1941 when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor. That day, our president, Franklin Delano Roosevelt made the statement that this was “a date that will live in infamy”. The following day, December 8, 1941, the United States declared war on Japan and Germany.

In order to give you a better understanding of the impact this war had on my families, I will tell you that my great-grandfather, Benjamin Noel Bain, and his sister Sara Bain Stout, my great grand-aunt, both moved to Ida, Louisiana in the early 1880s. They were pillars of the community and raised their families there. During the 1940’s times were difficult. Jobs were scarce and many young men went into the Civilian Conservation Corp that operated from 1933-1942. The CCC was for unemployed single men, ages 18-25, to relieve families who had difficulties finding jobs during the Great Depression. They were provided shelter, clothing, food and wages of $30.00 per month of which $25.00 had to be sent home to their families. There was gas rationing and no tires. Many products that could be used in the war were difficult to find much less afford. Families took care of each other. Women worked as never before and became Rosie the Riveters. My aunt, Anna Martin Dodd worked at the Army Ammunition Depot. Some men were either drafted or enlisted, not only to support The United States, but their families as well. All Gave Some. All were forced to give or give up something.

I do not know the population of Ida during the 1940s; however I do know that there were 150 young men and women that served in World War II. Of those 150, at least 18, (or 12%), were direct descendants of these two individuals. Some parents had four or five family members involved in the conflict. I can’t even begin to imagine the worry, love and concern these parents felt. I would like to share some of my Martin and Bain heroes that were involved in that conflict, which was supposedly “the war to end all wars”. The one where Some Gave All.

Children of JOHN HENRY AND MAMIE ALMEDIA WYNN BAIN:

Chris BainMina Chrystal Bain Bond served as a Pvt. in the WAC as a photographer and worked at the Navy Hospital in Hot Springs, AR.

 

 

 

 

Rex BainRex was a 1C Petty Officer in the Navy Stationed in the Hawaiian Islands where Admiral Chester Nimitz was the Commander of the Pacific Ocean Areas. He was stationed on the northern side of Oahu at Makalapa when he received a call from his brother, Max (see below). Rex went to see him at Pearl Harbor, however Max was in Honolulu. Through some sweet talking, pulling strings and knowing higher officers, he was able to get Max transferred from the boat to shore duty; therefore Max was not in Pearl Harbor when it was bombed. Max was able to finish his enlistment in the Navy on shore on Oahu. A brother takes care of a brother!!

Max BainMax was a Seaman 2 C in the Navy and served in the Pacific and was at Pearl Harbor.

 

 

 

 

Roy BainRoy enlisted in the Navy. From the book Ida 2000 by James Allison of Ida: “Roy in 1944 was a pipefitter at the plant in Oak Ridge, TN., that built the first nuclear reactor later used to build the first atomic bomb. After Roy left Oak Ridge, he joined the Navy and had basic training at San Diego. He was on a ship headed for the war zone in the Pacific when word came that the Japanese had surrendered.

Charles (Jackie) WestbrookCharles Jackie Westbrook was also in the Navy and was married to Ludie, daughter of John Henry and Mamie.

 

 

 

William Hinkle Stroud, JrT Sgt. William Hinkle Stroud, Jr. was in the Army and was married to Ludie.

 

 

 

 

 

Children of ED BAIN AND BUENA MARTIN BAIN:

Laurice BainLaurice was with the Ordinance Ammunition Company in Okinawa and served as a Sgt. in the Army.

 

 

 

 

J. T. BainJ. T. was a Master Sgt. in the Air Force serving in India as a mechanic with a P38 fighter squadron.

 

 

 

 

Marvin BainMarvin was a Staff Sgt. who served in England as a shipping and receiving clerk with the 8th Air Force.

 

 

 

 

 

Justine BainJustine became a 2nd Lt. in the Army Nurse Corp and was stationed at Camp Robinson, AR.

 

 

 

 

Houston BainJames Houston was stationed in Germany with a tank destroyer unit. He was a Tec 5 in the Army.

 

 

 

 

 

CHILDREN OF WALTER HOUSTON MARTIN AND EMMA PEARL BAIN MARTIN:

Ray MartinRay Houston served in the Army’s 60th Infantry whose commander was Gen. George Patton. He was a Pvt. and served in Tunisia. He had also been in the CCC prior to his enlistment. Ray was killed in Tunisia on March 29, 1943 however his body was not returned and buried until July 7, 1948. As a child I remember the family gathering at my grandmother’s home place where Ray’s flag draped casket was placed in the dining room until the day of the burial. Family members sat up all night with it until burial the next day. Children were allowed in the room but must be quiet at all times. At the time of his death, he was engaged to Mary Craft of Leesville, LA. In my genealogy research I have written for his service records only to find out the repository had burned and the only record I was able to attain was his last pay record from Tunisia.

Roy MartinRoy Ernest served in the CCC prior to his enlistment in the Army.

 

 

 

Claude Norris (Buster) GinglesClaude Gingles, married to Gladys Martin, daughter of Walter and Pearl, served in both the Army in the infantry and the Air Force as a fireman. He retired as a Staff Sgt. and had served in Germany, Panama, and the Philippines.

 

 

 

James HansonJames Hanson, son of Gladys, enlisted under aged in the Navy and was returned home.

 

 

 

GRANDSON OF SARA BAIN STOUT:

Fletcher's CablegramFletcher Adams served as an AF Captain. He was an Ace P51 Mustang Fighter Pilot of the airplane “The Southern Belle.” In Europe in the 357th Fighter Group, also known as “The Yoxford Boys”. He had married Mary Yancey and when he left for Europe, she was expecting their first child. The Southern Belle was shot down over Germany on May 30, 1944. Fletcher was able to bail out safely however he was found and killed by Nazis. Fletcher never saw his son Jerry but did receive a cablegram announcing his birth as shown in this photo.

 

 

 

 

 

Another announcement regarding Fletcher’s son’s birth is listed below.

Fletcher's son's birth

On July 24, 2010 the former one room post office that serviced Ida for many years was renamed and dedicated as the Fletcher E. Adams, USAF 357th Fighter Group Museum. The dedication included the following dignitaries: Louisiana Governor Bobby Jendal, Shreveport Mayor Cedric Glover, as well as some pilots of the 357th Fighter Group. Those in attendance included pilots Gen. Frank Gailer, Jesse Frey, Joe Shea and General Chuck Yeager, crew chief Pasquale Buzzes and widows of pilots Lt. Arval “Robie” Roberson and John Sublet. Joey Maddox, son of Ida’s Mayor “Smokie” Maddox has written a book entitled Bleeding Sky, the Story of Capt. Fletcher E. Adams and the 357th Fighter Group. Much of the content of the book is based on Fletcher’s personal diary.

A lot has changed through the years since Benjamin Noel Bain and his sister moved to Ida. The drug store has long been gone as well as the dance hall, saloons, train depot, sawmill, grocery stores, plantations, hotel and the iceman. Much remains the same like the community that is dedicated to each other, the preservation of the history of its first settlers and the American Spirit.

In conclusion I would say should your travels take you through Ida, be sure to turn at the red light and visit the Fletcher E. Adams USAF 357th Fighter Group Museum. Cross the street and see the beautiful marker that lists the thirteen (13) service men out of the 150 from Ida who died in World War II. The Ida Community Center also serves as a repository for documents and miscellany of all Ida soldiers who have fought in various wars.

RayMartin's name on Monument in Ida

All Gave Some

Some Gave All

Kookie

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