26 May 2014

Happy Memorial Day

Since today is Memorial Day, and is a time when we honor those who have fallen while in service to their country, I thought I should do a blog post on those who are connected to my family who have fallen while in the line of duty.  I will not include any other serviceman in my family who died after their active duty service to the country because the day to remember those veterans is 11 November.


Charles Wesley Chapman, captain of company K of the 63rd Pennsylvania Volunteers.  Killed while on picket 3 March 1862.
While Captain Charles Wesley Chapman was NOT technically a member of my family, he was the namesake of my paternal great-grandfather, as he was good friends with my great-great-grandfather, John Devender Wood.  As a result, I choose long ago to include him in my research and thus he has become an honorary member of my family.  If any of his family is out there and wanting information, I have some!

Flag of the 40th Pennsylvania Volunteers, the regiment in which John W. Strickler fought.  He died in Andersonville Prison as a prisoner of war on 27 August 1864.
Private John W. Strickler was the first cousin of my great-great-grandfather, John Devender Wood.  He was only fourteen when he enlisted in the Civil War, but had lied about his age.  He died at aged 17 in the infamous Andersonville Prison in Sumter County, Georgia.

Private Paul W. Tatem was the brother-in-law of my great-great aunt, Reumah Anne Wood Tatem.  He was part of the 19th Pennsylvania Volunteers and was killed in action on 2 April 1863.  I have no photo of him.

World War One

Preston Ray Roach was a third cousin of my paternal grandfather, Charles William Wood.  He was part of the 319th Infantry of the American Expedition Forces and died in 1918.  I don't have specific information on his death, but I assume he was killed in battle. I do not have a picture of him and am looking for more information on the circumstances of his death.

World War Two

Howard William Young, SSG, gunner and engineer, 442nd Bomb Squadron

Staff Sergeant Howard William Young was the second cousin of my maternal grandfather, Ernest Waldspurger. His plane was shot down over the Mediterranean sea near Ladispoli, Italy on 29 January 1944 and all seven men on board were never recovered.

George D. Shields was a fourth cousin of my father. He was a flight officer with the 85th Squad, 79th Fighter Group in the Army Air Corps. He was killed in action in 1944. I do not have a picture of him and am looking for more information on the circumstances of his death.

Richard Bragg was another fourth cousin of my father.  He was killed in the Battle of Normandy, France on 18 July 1944. I do not have a picture of him and am looking for more information on the circumstances of his death.

Killed While Serving

David Waldspurger, Airman First Class

David Allen Waldspurger was my mother's first cousin.  He was not killed in action for his country, but died in a car accident near his base in Florida on 29 October 1972 at the age of twenty.  I have chosen to include him in this list because he was active duty at the time of his death.

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