Family Legacy

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Michigan family serves at home, abroad and as Legionnaires

Michigan family serves at home, abroad and as Legionnaires

Barbara Lawrence Doerr met Jack more than 60 years ago - she had been a cadet nurse who graduated when World War II was winding down. He’d been a flight engineer on a B-17 for the Army. Both were kept stateside. He fixed the planes that had been sent home for repair at Langley Field in Virginia; Barbara did her best to help the soldiers sent home heal in Battle Creek, Mich. They married in 1952, bringing together two Michigan families who had roots in the first beginnings of the American Legion’s history. But they were far from the first to serve in their respective clans.

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A remarkable continuation

The following ran as an editorial in the July 24 Duxbury (Mass.) Clipper. The author is a longtime newspaper columnist and a 20-year member of Post 76, Jamaica Plain, Mass. A Remarkable Continuation Sara Megan Lansing stepped down last month after more than two years as commander of American Legion Post #223 in Duxbury. Therein lies a remarkable continuation one family's remarkable service to the nation, to Duxbury and to Post #223. Sara Lansing's great-great-great grandfather, Zelotus Prince of Marshfield, served four years in the Civil War.

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A Pennsylvania family's history of service in both world wars and Korea

A Pennsylvania family's history of service in both world wars and Korea

My father, Peter J. Killmeyer, served in France during World War I with the 80th Blue Ridge Division. His best story was how how his company occupied a French farmer's stable, which was equipped with a fireplace, for a short while. But they got the dickens for using the farmer's fence posts for firewood. Their captain said he was going to have to pay for the fence. Another of his stories was that he and his buddies had to go retrieve water from a pump on the farm. They'd hide behind a manure pile and took turns pumping because the Germans would shoot at them.

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WWII vet continues to serve nation in honor guard

WWII vet continues to serve nation in honor guard

On Monday, Joseph Gravish carried an American flag and stood outside of a church, then made his way to the cemetery, where he did the same thing. Though he’s 93, being an active member of the honor guard in his area of Pennsylvania doesn’t seem extraordinary to him. “We have a 93-year-old gentleman that still serves his country and his comrades, and he does it every day,” his son, Joseph M. Gravish, said. “He thinks it’s just normal to do that. He was a member of the firing squad, and he can’t do that. Then he was a bugler and he can’t do that. Now he takes care of the flag.

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A Seabee follows in uncle's footsteps, honors fellow vets

My wife, Patti, and I met at the Navy Seabee base in Port Hueneme, Calif., in 1968. We met in between my two tours to Vietnam. I served in Mobile Construction Battalion 10. My first tour was at Quang Tri, RVN and my second tour with Construction Battalion Maintenance Unit 301 at Dong Ha, RVN. We married upon my discharge from the Navy Seabees. John O’Brien, my dad, served in the Civilian Conservation Corps. After Pearl Harbor, he joined the Navy. He was discharged after 16 months for a collapsed lung.

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Military Legacy

My dad, Gunnery Sergeant James Phillip Brockway, served in the Marines during World War II. He was on Iwo Jima the day the flag was raised in 1945. He was wounded, and everyone presumed him dead until a fellow Marine stepped over him and heard him moan. He had been shot across the abdomen. I served in the Navy from 1959 to 1968 during the Cuban blockade and Vietnam War on board USS Tingey DD539, COMNAVAIRPAC, and Boat Support Unit One. I first joined The American Legion 45 years ago, but rejoined 2 years ago.

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Hispanic-American gave all for his country

Pvt. Pedro Soto was killed in Italy on Nov. 26, 1943. Pedro, as he was known by his family, was the first Hispanic American from Kingsville, Texas, killed in action, in Italy, during World War II. One sad part to this story is that his last letter, dated Oct. 19, in which he told his father he was in Italy; and a card wishing everyone at home a Merry Christmas, dated Nov. 4, were received by his father, Mr. Soto, on Nov. 13, one day after he was notified by telegram that his son had been killed in action. The even sadder part to this story is that the father, Mr.

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Longtime Legionnaires

Longtime Legionnaires

My father, Robert Cole, was a gunner on a B-17 serving with the 34th Bomb Group in England. He was a longtime member of Post 284 in South Bend, Ind. In 1968 he coached their baseball team to the state championship and to the American Legion World Series. His brother, Richard Cole, was a B-17 pilot wounded on his 12th mission out of England. Uncle Richard was a longtime member of Post 11 in Lafayette, Ind. My mom's brother, Robert McClellan, served in the Pacific with the 5th Air Force as an armament specialist on the A-20.

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Family serves bravely in both world wars

Like most families that have served, we are low-key. The uncle I knew best, John Scherer, survived the flu during World War I and was ready to go over the top when the war ended. My cousin Nevil was a tank commander during World War II. He was KIA on Christmas Eve 1944 at the Battle of the Bulge. Four out of six children served in my immediate family. My brother Guy, an infantry man in the Marine Corps 3rd Division, fought at Iwo Jima. Enough said. Gordon was also in the infantry, and was severely wounded on Anzio. He was later captured as a POW.

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Defenders

Defenders

I have no idea what caused my ancestors to leave Kent, England, and board a ship to a new world. But whether it was freedom of religion, freedom from tyranny or just a desire for something better, they were the beginning of a long line of defenders. Allen Warren, who landed with John Rolf in Virginia, was one of the first to set foot in Virginia, and began a long line of American soldiers. When the Colonies declared independence from Britain, several of my ancestors stepped forward to defend their homes during the Revolutionary War. Those like William Mitchell, Joel Dunavant, Lt.

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One family, four generations of service

One family, four generations of service

I’m 93. I was born in 1919 - the same year as The American Legion. I’m a 65-year member of the Bourne-Keeney post of Wethersfield, Calif. I volunteered as a petty officer in the U.S. Coast Guard from 1942 to 1945. My father, Richard J. Lasher, served in the U.S. Army in 1918. My brother Thomas B. Lasher served in the Air Corps during the Korean War. My son Jonathan T. Lasher served in the Army in the 1960s. My grandson Kyle B. Forrest and my granddaughter Maj. Rose Forrest have both served in the Iraq War. We have quite a record of service for one family. -- Richard B.

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Three Wisconsin brothers served together on Navy ship

Three Wisconsin brothers served together on Navy ship

When their oldest brother, Fred, was drafted, the Luchts knew the second in line, Herb, wasn’t far behind. Robert, then age 17, the youngest of the Luchts, decided to enlist with them in the U.S. Navy. “What the hell? I might as well go,” Robert said. “We signed in together. We went to basic together. In fact, we were together from the day we signed in until, well, until my tour was over.” “We didn’t know where we were headed or what,” Herb said. Even as boys, they had been close.

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Three brothers from Midwest serve aboard same ship off East Coast

Three brothers from Midwest serve aboard same ship off East Coast

When their oldest brother Fred was drafted, the Luchts knew the second in line, Herb, wasn’t far behind. Robert, then 17, the third eldest of the Luchts, decided to enlist with them in the U.S. Navy. “What the hell? I might as well go,” Robert said. “We signed in together. We went to basic together. In fact, we were together from the day we signed in until, well, until my tour was over.” “We didn’t know where we were headed or what,” Herb said. Even as boys they had been close, but they were the only set of three brothers to serve on their ship at the same time.

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Honorable family service for four generations

My grandfathers served in the Army during World War II. My father and uncles served during the Korean War, also in the Army. My oldest brother and I served in the Navy from the end of Vietnam until the late 1980s. And my nephews served in the Marines, one of them one of the first into both Iraq and Afghanistan. My family was very fortunate that we all came home. We know what Memorial Day is all about as we all lost friends during our time of service. We also are one of the first ones to remind people of the real reason they have the day off work.

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Three wars and more in our family history

Three wars and more in our family history

My dad, Herman E. Brose, served in France during World War I with the 14th Engineers, serving mostly on the ammunition trains. He was hit twice with mustard gas but survived to live a long life afterward. My father-in-law, Dean Herrington, served in World War II as a Navy Seabee in the South Pacific, and my stepfather-in-law was a combat engineer in the first wave on Omaha Beach on D-Day. Neither was seriously injured. I served with the U.S. Air Force from 1951-1955 as a medic during the Korean conflict. My son-in-law, Jason Zartman, served in the Army in Korea during the late 80s.

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Eight of nine sons answer call to serve during World War II, Korea

In the Pfannenstiel family, eight out of nine brothers were drafted in World War II or Korea. Five of us served with the Army: Eddie (who became a POW in a German work camp), Ted, Clarence, Paul and Marvin (who was drafted right after Korea). Walter served with the Merchant Marines, then the Army. Julie was in the Navy. I entered the Marines at the end of World War II, though I’m considered a World War II vet.

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Father and two sons proudly serve

I served in the Air Force from 1954-1976. My oldest son, Robert C. Lethco Jr., was in the Navy for four years as a sonar technician on submarines. My youngest son, Andrew L. Lethco, followed his dad into the Air Force for 22 years. We are a proud family who are proud to serve.

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Glenn W. Hoffman

Glenn W. Hoffman

First Lt. Glenn Wilbur Hoffman was serving as the lead navigator aboard B-24 "Quivering Box," tail No. 42-100315, when it was lost over Tholen, The Netherlands, on July 21, 1944. The B24-H plane he was killed on during the July 21, 1944, mission to Munich was "Quivering Box," serial No. 42-100315, not the "Werewolf," serial No. 42-7572, where he is photographed with the other crew members. The pilot was Captain Erich H. Sherman, of San Diego, Calif.

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James John Lesak Sr.

James John Lesak Sr.

My dad, James John Lesak Sr., served from Feb. 19, 1941, through Aug. 6, 1945, in the 2nd Infantry "Indianhead" Division, service battery, 15th Field Artillery, Normandy invasion of June 6, 1944. His campaign medals include: American Defense Medal and European African Middle Eastern Service Medal.

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Recollections on D-Day, V-E Day and a family dedicated to service

Our family had many young men who served during World War II. There were my Radomski uncles: Walter, the twins Bernard and Edmond, as well as Frank in the Army, Anthony in the Coast Guard, plus Joseph Roszina and Stanley Sagan. My husband’s uncle Henry Mascia was also in the Army. Bernard received a Purple Heart. Joseph fought and was wounded in Italy. Walter also served in Korea. Stanley was home on leave in the Bronx on Dec. 7, 1941. He had taken my sister and I to see Santa at Macy's in Manhattan. We heard what had happened on the radio. He had to return to duty.

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