November 22, 2014

With Thanks To All Veterans

Eliz Pledge Poindexter gravestone

 

 

As I noted right before, and on election day, I am eternally grateful to the veterans and *civilians who made it possible to vote in my country.  I am grateful to all of them, past, present and future.

The Wilkerson Family Veterans

Top right is John Whittmore, Medal of Honor Recipient Civil War

 

The Yates Family Veterans

Low Moor, Iowa Honors WWII Vets

Medal of Honor: Congress Only APPROVED It

Remembering Bremerton During World War II

Placed by Jonathan Hunt Chapter DAR

* The civilian I refer to in our family would be Elizabeth Pledge Poindexter, my 5th Great-Grandmother and wife of Capt. Thomas Poindexter.  They are buried at Poindexter (Yadkin River, Bailie Bottoms) Yadkin County, NC. Photo is from FindAGrave.

Otto Family Had Five in World War II

Otto-Ranslow WWII newspaper

All Came Home

(click on image until it is viewable full-sized)

All of these men are, or were, my husband Jim’s uncles from his mother Mary Jane Otto Wilkerson’s side of the family.  Going by the dates mentioned in the article, it might have been written in 1944. As far as I know, all of these men are now deceased.  The parents, Adolph and Mamie (Boyert) Otto were residing in Clinton, Iowa when the newspaper article was written.

There were eleven children in the family, ten of whom reached adulthood.  A baby, Eugene Otto was born in about 1931 and died the same year.  The ten, in order of birth were: Dorothy (m. Earl Harris), Adolph ( m. Henrietta), Marion ( m. Clifford Ranslow), Alfrieda ( m. Marion Lathrop), Albert ( m. Helen Froslie), Evelyn (never married), Raymond (never married), Marvin ( m. Evelyne Sullivan), Charles ( m. (1) Mirt Maines  (2) Dorothy) and Mary Jane (deceased 1986; ( m. Loren Wilkerson)  [my mother-in-law].

Otto siblings (front): Alfrieda, Marian and Evelyn; (back) Adolph, Ray and Marvin. Photo taken 1986

MacArthur Left But Volckmann Remained

Clinton County Historical Society and Museum

Clinton County IAGenWeb

My Civil War Ancestors – John Watts Breedlove

john-breedlove-with-sword

My Great-Great Grandfather was John Watts Breedlove. Many of my family have called him John Wyatt Breedlove for years, but I believe his middle name really was Watts. The name Wyatt doesn’t show up in any of the naming patterns of the family, while the name Watts does, as it was his Granfather’s middle name, and John’s Great-Grandmother’s maiden name was Mary Watts. I would be happy to make corrections if someone can provide me with documented proof.

John Breedlove fought in Civil War, Volunteers of Company E, 32nd Regiment,  Missouri Infantry as a Sergeant. Enlisted August 13, 1862 at Steelville, Missouri. Discharged 18 July 1865 in Louisville, KY; promoted to First Sgt. He was with General Sherman on the March to the Sea. I have a copy of a picture of him in his Civil War uniform that had written on the back, “Chattanooga”. The 32nd Regiment was in Chattanooga, TN from Nov. to Dec. 1863.

John was a resident of Dent County, Missouri from 1865 to 1880. His father was William Martin Breedlove who migrated from Simpson County, KY to St. Francois County, MO in the early 1800’s.

John’s first wife, Mary Francis Wright, was the sister to his second wife Elizabeth Jane Wright Wilson. Mary Francis died in March 1861, soon after giving birth to a baby boy. The baby died a few months later.  Undoubtedly, John went off to the War with a broken heart and shaken spirit. His religious beliefs were no doubt what sustained him.

Just a note to genetic genealogists, John was first cousin to both of his wives, and not being a geneticist myself, I have no idea what that might have cost them as they had children. In that day and age it wasn’t unheard of to marry a first cousin, but now it is not as widely accepted because of genetic diseases that might be passed on.  As it stands now, I am my own cousin, and my son is also my 5th cousin, once removed.

John Breedlove, with second wife Elizabeth

and son Russell Breedlove b. 1889. Russell was the youngest child.

COG -77th Edition – Disasters

Cape Esperance, US Navy WWII era

COG -77th Edition – Disasters

My father-in-law, Loren Wilkerson, was in the Navy during World War II and near the end of the war he was on the CVE (carrier vessel escort) Cape Esperance as they made their way to Leyte Gulf for the battle that would eventually take place there.

On their way to the eventual battle, the Cape Esperance encountered one of the worst typhoons in naval history.  Named typhoon Cobra, it wreaked havoc and caused many deaths for the US Naval vessels caught in its path. If you are interested in reading more about this storm, I recommend the book Typhoon, The Other Enemy by Robert Calhoun. My husband read the book and sent it to his dad. (I didn’t get to read it before that happened, so I just ordered a copy of the book for our library today.) Even though Robert Calhoun was onboard a different ship, his experiences were essentially the same as Loren’s.

Admiral Nimitiz letter to the Pacific Fleet dated 13 Feb 1945 gives an accounting of the ships involved and the damages they suffered. Not only were ships lost, but the Aircraft Losses from Typhoon Cobra 1944 were extensive. The total of the lives lost was at least 800. At one point, Loren said the ship’s captain wanted to abandon the Cape Esperance, but the men didn’t want to do that, and they fought to save the ship instead.

It’s my goal to document Loren’s history, either in the Navy, or as a civilian, so that his descendants will know stories of his life. On July 24th of 2008 the city of Low Moor, Iowa honored their WWII veterans and my article Low Moor, Iowa Honors WWII Vets is a more extensive recounting of his experience during typhoon Cobra.

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