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Stories from the Greatest Generation

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Showing Results 977 - 984 of 1091

Everett J. Taylor
Navy
Everett
J.
Taylor
DIVISION: Navy
May 12, 1925 - Jun 28, 2013
BIRTHPLACE: Enterprise, Kansas
THEATER OF OPERATION: American
SERVED: Mar 1, 1943 -
0
Jul 11, 1946
0
HONORED BY: Wife Harriett E. Taylor and Sons Tom and Rex

BIOGRAPHY

Everett Joe Taylor was 17 nearing the end of his first year of engineering at Kansas State and wanted to leave books behind and enlist in Naval Aviation with his parents consent. (Recruitment poster said 12 months after call to active duty you could have your wings and a commission) He enlisted in Kansas City on March 1, 1943. He received a letter from the Navy in May saying there had been fewer casualties than expected and he was directed to report for active duty on July 1, 1943 to the Navy V-12 (a) unit at Madison, Wisconsin to study engineering at the University for eight months and then on to aviation cadet training. August 1944 Decision time: If a cadet had 2 years college he could waive the cadet program and go direct to a 4 month midshipman school and get a commission, or stay in the cadet program where the next school would again not include flying and more than a year to get wings if you survived the current 50% wash out rate. He took the option to midshipman school. Started on November 1944 at Ft. Schuyler, New York and graduated in a class of 1450 at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine on March 6, 1945. Big decision time: He could go back to flying direct to primary with the usual Navy Steerman Acrobatic planes and complete flight training or go to a 2 months Deck Officers school in Miami. At age 19 the thought of soon flying a fighter plane won out and he reported to Ottumwa, Iowa NAS mid March 1945. All the other officers in his unit were Academy men from the Pacific fleet, so he had to take ground school again with them and started to fly in early May. He got in a lot of flying, including passing both check rides in precision flying and landing, and also acrobatic flying that month. June, however, was substantially less flight time (Maybe V-E day figured into that). With little solid information as to when primary flight school could be completed and none about advanced flying, at Pensacola, he had realized that in late June of 1945 he had been on active duty nearly 2 years. Because Aviation was a special category he could ask for a transfer direct to the fleet if possible, and he did that. June 28, 1945 orders read to be released from flying at Naval Air Station Ottumwa and report to Deck Officers school Miami, Florida. July 10, 1945 he reported as required and during that training the war ended. After completing deck school in September 1945 he reported as directed to the PCS 1392, attached to the Sonar Training School in Key West, Florida. June 1946 he was released from the '92 to go to Great Lakes Training Center Illinois for release from active duty July 11, 1946. He got his honorable discharge from the inactive Naval Reserve on February 8, 1955. Lt(jg).

Kenneth R. Teasley
Army Air Corps
Kenneth
R.
Teasley
DIVISION: Army Air Corps,
548th Night Fighter Squadron
Jan 28, 1921 - Jul 10, 2006
BIRTHPLACE: Kansas City, Missouri
HIGHEST RANK: Chief Warrant Officer
THEATER OF OPERATION: Pacific
SERVED: Sep 16, 1940 -
0
Apr 1, 1972
0
HONORED BY: Children of Kenneth Ross Teasley

BIOGRAPHY

Kenneth Ross Teasley graduated from high school in Natoma, Kansas, in 1938. He worked briefly as a printer and radio repairman before enlisting in the U.S. Army on 16 September 1940. He began military service as a teletype operator in the Signal Corps, but due to his expertise in electronics he was soon retrained to work in the Army Air Corps in the U.S. military's secret weapon at the time - radar. He was stationed at radar stations and air bases in Florida and California rising to the rank of Technical Sergeant. In September 1943, he married Natalie McFadden (also originally from Natoma, Kansas). In July 1945, he was deployed overseas to join the 548th Night Fighter Squadron on Okinawa in preparation for the invasion of the Japanese mainland. He served as a radar repairman, working on the P-61 'Black Widow', America's first night-fighter aircraft, stationed at Ie Shima. With the surrender of Japan, he remained on Okinawa until December 1945, when he returned to his wife and son in California and was discharged from the service. After working as a civilian radio repairman, Kenneth Teasley re-enlisted in the Army Air Corps at March Air Force Base, California in April 1947. He transferred to the U.S. Air Force later that year when the new service was established. He became a career military man, serving 30 years and retiring in April 1972. In 1949, he changed military career fields, once again working on the latest U.S. secret weapon - this time atomic weapons. He served the remainder of his military career as a munitions officer. In April 1952, he was awarded the specialty of 'Atomic Weapons Support' and commissioned as a Warrant Officer. Kenneth served in the Strategic Air Command in Guam from July 1953-June 1955 and then was assigned as supervisor of munitions maintenance control at Manzano Base near Albuquerque, NM. He served with an American munitions detachment assigned on a British airbase in Germany - RAF Laarbruch from 1961-1964. On Laarbruch he stood NATO Alert with the British flight crews of B-57 Canberra bombers, ready to arm the aircraft in case of war. He returned to the States with an assignment to the 465th Bomb Wing (SAC), Robins AFB, Georgia, where he was responsible for munitions on the B-52. In 1966-67, CWO Teasley was deployed to Southeast Asia with an assignment to the Royal Thai Air Force Base, Nakhom Phanom, Thailand. There he operated under very primitive conditions and received an AF Commendation Medal for converting an 'emergency' munitions storage facility into a semi-permanent munitions area during this one year. After duty in Thailand, Kenneth served on the staff at Headquarters, Pacific Air Forces, Hickam AFB Hawaii from 1967-70. He was chief of the Technical Operations Branch supporting USAF nuclear weapon capabilities in the Pacific area. He finished his military career providing munitions for South Vietnamese Air Force A-37 crews training at England AFB, Louisiana in 1972. Kenneth Teasley's decorations and medals include: Meritorious Service Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster, World War II Victory, American Defense Ribbon, WWII Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, American Defense Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal. Kenneth and Natalie Teasley live in Topeka, Kansas. They have four children: Mack Teasley, Abilene, Kansas; Kenlie Bell, Oxford, Georgia; Brooke Teasley, Topeka, Kansas; and Tamra Teasley, Lincoln, Nebraska.

VIDEOS

Warren D. Teasley
Navy
Warren
D.
Teasley
DIVISION: Navy,
USS Daniel A. Joy (DE-585)
Jun 14, 1925 - Jan 12, 2004
BIRTHPLACE: Natoma, Kansas
THEATER OF OPERATION: Pacific, Other
SERVED: Nov 13, 1943 -
0
Apr 17, 1946
0
HONORED BY: His family

BIOGRAPHY

Warren was born June 14, 1925 in Natoma, Kansas, the third child of Millie and Ross Teasley. He was inducted into the U.S. Navy on November 13, 1943, after having been drafted during his senior year in high school. At the time, he was living in Washington, D.C. where his stepfather was working in the shipyards. He took his boot training at Sampson, N.Y. and then was sent to Radio School in Bedford Springs, Pennsylvania. In early 1944, he joined the crew of the U.S.S. Daniel A. Joy, a destroyer escort, soon after her shake-down cruise. He remained on board the Joy until the war's end. After escorting a convoy to North Africa, the ship went through the Panama Canal and proceeded to the Southwest Pacific and the New Guinea, Philippines and Okinawa Theaters of Operation. In November 1944, they were anchored at Manus Island close to the ammunition ship Mt. Hood when she blew up. Many were killed and wounded on both the Mt. Hood and nearby ships, but the Joy and her crew did not receive significant damage. Close to the end of the war, they were anchored in Okinawa and were ordered to sea to ride out a destructive typhoon. Several ships were sunk with loss of crew, but the luck of the Joy held and they came through with little damage. Warren received his discharge on April 17, 1946. He returned to Kansas and attended Fort Hays Kansas State College, graduating in 1950. He moved to Kansas City, Missouri and began a long career as an estimator in the millwork industry. In Kansas City, he also met his future wife, Eloise Good. They were married June 22, 1952 in Louisburg, Kansas. They had three children, Kathy Rogers, Kansas City, Missouri; Valerie Carstens, Fairfax, Iowa; and Brent Teasley, Lee's Summit, Missouri. In later years the greatest pleasures of his life were his wife of fifty-one years, his family including his six grandchildren and the annual reunions of the U.S.S. Joy. The reunions were always a time of renewing old friendships and reliving old memories. Warren passed away January 12, 2004, just four months after his last reunion.

Marvin TESHKA
Army
Marvin
TESHKA
DIVISION: Army,
36th combat engineers
May 28, 1923 - Feb 11, 2004
BIRTHPLACE: michigan
HIGHEST RANK: Corporal
THEATER OF OPERATION: European
0
0
HONORED BY: Kurt Teshka
Robert L. Thatcher
Army Air Corps
Robert
L.
Thatcher
DIVISION: Army Air Corps,
15th AF, 455th Bomb Group
Apr 21, 1922 - Aug 18, 2012
BIRTHPLACE: Tempe, Arizona
THEATER OF OPERATION: European, Other
0
0
HONORED BY: Sally Smith Thatcher

BIOGRAPHY

Thatcher, Robert Louis, 90, a Dana Point, California resident, passed away quietly on August 18, 2012. Born April 21, 1922 in Tempe, Arizona, he served as a B-24 Squadron Leader, Group Commander and Assistant Operations Officer with the 15th Air Force, 455th Bomb Group, 742nd Squadron in Italy. He was severely wounded during his 19th mission over Augsburg, Germany and awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster, European Theater Ribbon with 3 Bronze Stars and Silver Star for the Air Offensive Europe, Air Combat Balkans and Rome-Arno campaigns. Following his discharge, he received his Bachelor's Degree and JD Degree from the University of Southern California. As a prominent Newport Beach attorney, he developed a successful practice while owning a successful cattle ranching operation in Northern California and Oregon with his wife, Sally Smith Thatcher. He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Sally Smith Thatcher, along with his son, Jeffrey Thatcher and two other grandsons from his daughter, Wendy Thatcher Mabile, who preceded him in death.

Orville J. Thomas
Army
Orville
J.
Thomas
DIVISION: Army,
776th Chemical
Oct 20, 1920 -
BIRTHPLACE: Blue Rapids, KS
HIGHEST RANK: SGT
THEATER OF OPERATION: American
SERVED: Sep 10, 1942 -
0
0
HONORED BY: Wife, Ila Marie Thomas; daughters: Sheryll, Darlene & Joyce

BIOGRAPHY

Sergeant Thomas received his basic training at fort Leavenworth, KS. Then, he was transferred to St. Petersburg, FL for advanced basic training in Chemical warfare. While in St. Petersburg, he was billeted in the city's hotels. One hotel was the Vinoy. Three men occupied one room using the hotel's furniture from which they enjoyed an ocean view. The Vinoy was a far-cry from ordinary Army housing on a military base. As a squad leader, Sgt. Thomas recalls marching his troops from the hotels to training on a prepared field outside of St. Petersburg. The marching was on the streets, through town and in traffic. Oral commands were needed to guide his squad through the city's congestion. Sgt. Thomas remained in the States for his entire enlistment. His primary MOS, 870, was to train troops in the discipline of poison gas warfare. Beyond St. Petersburg he was stationed at Lincoln Army Airfield, Lincoln, NE; Wright Patterson AFB, Dayton, OH; Kelly Field, San Antonio, TX; Tinker Field, Oklahoma City, OK and Victoria Airfield, Victoria, KS. On one occasion, while at the Lincoln Army Airfield, Sgt. Thomas arranged a training exercise that involved tear gas mixed with phosgene (smells like cut, green corn). When the gas canisters were activated, the troops were to break to the sides of their formation and move upwind from the gas. This time a trooper broke ranks and ran down wind with the expelled gas. He was seen to have outrun an unsuspecting rabbit that was caught in the maneuver. Sgt. Thomas recalls another training drill that involved familiarizing the troops with gas mask procedures. When the command, 'Gas!' was given, a soldier was to put on his mask and leave it in place until the, 'All clear!' was heard. The soldiers were not to remove their masks, however, until a prescribed series of steps were taken to insure that no gas was present in their area. The steps were: 1. Squat on heels in place. 2. With a finger pull part of the mask from face. 3. Take a quick sniff of gas to determine its type. 4. Clear the mask by exhaling. Even when the leader called, 'All clear!,' a soldier was to determine if gas was present in his area before removing the mask. The reasoning was that gas might be present in one area and not another, according to Sgt. Thomas. Sgt Thomas, now 88 years old, has not suffered any ill-affects due to proximity and handling of warfare gasses. He attributes his well-being to the thorough training he received from those who schooled him in chemical warfare. Sgt Thomas is Honored by his wife: Ila Marie Thomas; daughters: Sheryll Jean, Darlene Kaye and Joyce Ilene; Grandchildren: Dawna, James, Ryan, Lindsay, Emilie and Rachelle; and Neighbors: Lyle & Janice Brooks, David & Melva Sanner, Al & Jean Singleton, Jon Marks, and Kenneth & Susan Steinfort.

Jack R. Thomasson
Navy
Jack
R.
Thomasson
DIVISION: Navy,
NSTA, Coco Solo, Canal Zone
Oct 27, 1921 - Oct 1, 1968
BIRTHPLACE: Sheridan, Wyoming
HIGHEST RANK: Lt. (j.g.)
THEATER OF OPERATION: Other, Pacific
SERVED: Jan 29, 1942 -
0
Feb 18, 1948
0
HONORED BY: Barbara Joyce Splichal

BIOGRAPHY

Jack Russell Thomasson was born on October 27, 1921 in Sheridan, Wyoming to Russell and Thelma (Purdy) Thomasson. The family moved to Lake Wells, Florida, soon after and then when he was eight moved again to Belleville, Kansas. There he lived through high school years, graduating from Belleville High School in 1939. He attended Kansas State College in Manhattan, Kansas; graduating in May of 1943 with a degree in Journalism. After Pearl Harbor, a lot of young men were eager to 'do something for their country'. Jack Russell and his father, Russell, went to Kansas City where Jack Russell enlisted. His father also tried to enlist, but they told him 'you have had your war, Sir, go home'. Since Jack Russell had only three semesters at Kansas State College to complete his degree, the Navy deferred his going on active duty until after he graduated in May of 1943. Following graduation, he left on Memorial weekend for Notre Dame University for the Navy Officer Candidate School; earning his commission as an Ensign on September 22, 1943. He was one of the many known as a '90 day wonder' during the war, for earning their officer commissioning so quickly. After his commissioning, he was assigned to a new ship and sailed on her 'maiden' voyage down the Mississippi. This was a ship that was built near Chicago. They sailed to the Gulf of Mexico, around to the Atlantic and to Norfolk, Virginia. While in Virginia, he attended the USN Mine Warfare School in Yorktown, Virginia. He would later obtain the rank of LTJG. His war tours included working the Caribbean side of the Panama Canal Zone on a mine sweeper and working the ocean area between Japan and China on a mine sweeper. While in the Caribbean, his ship experienced a mine becoming entangled in their gear as they were ready to go into port. Jack Russell obtained a piece of that mine and carried it with him through the remainder of the war. Jack Russell was in Panama until the Japanese surrendered. Then he was sent to the Pacific and stationed in Japan. While there the ship he was assigned to did mine sweeping in the Sea of Japan. Because of his Journalism degree, he was the Communications Officer on each ship. It was while on the Sea of Japan that one day he contacted another minesweeper (because of their position on their RADAR). He told them to 'get out of there, you are in 'live' waters.' In seconds that ship was blown up. After this incident, the Japanese were ordered to sweep for the mines. His last assignment was in New Orleans, Louisiana. The various vessels and stations were as follows - USS Earle DMS-42; USS Elusive AM-225; USS YMS66, Mine Squadron Staff; USS CATBIRD, Mine Squadron Staff; and NSTA, Coco Solo, Canal Zone. Jack Russell earned the following medals - World War II Victory Medal, American Area Campaign Medal and the Asiatic-Pacific Area Campaign Medal with one Star. While on Terminal Leave, in April or May of 1948, Jack Russell sustained an injury to his neck during a swimming trip in Florida. He dislocated several neck vertebrates causing permanent paralysis. He was sent to the US Naval Hospital in Jacksonville, Florida and spent a year there. Later he was flown to St. Albans Naval Hospital on Long Island, New York. From there he was honorably discharged with full disability benefits and moved back to Belleville, Kansas to his parents' home He remained there with nursing care for the remainder of his life; the next 20 years. He died in October of 1968.

Leslie L. Thompson
Army
Leslie
L.
Thompson
DIVISION: Army,
961 Medical Platoon, Medical Technician
THEATER OF OPERATION: Pacific
0
0
HONORED BY: Eisenhower Foundation

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The mission of Ike's Soldiers is to honor Dwight D. Eisenhower's legacy through the personal accounts of the soldiers he led and share them with the world.

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"Humility must always be the portion of any man who receives acclaim earned in blood of his followers and sacrifices of his friends."
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Guildhall Address, London, June 12, 1945