Memorial Day

Today is the day that was established to honor those who died while serving our country. Can you identify your ancestors or cousins whom we would honor today? Although I am aware of some of my cousins, I cannot readily name them.

However, my genealogy program is a database. Thus, I should be able to use the program and create a list. Unfortunately, searching for this type of information in a database requires that data be entered accurately. And I can attest to the fact incomplete or missing data in my file will impact my ability to pull this information.

Knowing that my mom has a couple of 2nd cousins who died during World War II, I started trying to create a list of those who died during that war. My first step was to create a group. This feature is located under the command palette, whose icon is located in the upper right corner of RootsMagic 8.

Opening the list of commands, I scroll down to GROUPS. Since I want to create a group, I’m looking for the command to ‘Add, delete or modify the list of gorups’.

Clicking that choice opens the GROUPS window. This window shows my existing groups and has buttons to add (new), edit, delete or rename a group.

To create my group, I click on the NEW button. A window opens prompting me to enter a name for this group. For this example, I’m going to name my group ‘WWII Deaths’.

That opens a window titled RootsMagic Explorer that shows a list of everyone in my file with boxes for checkmarks to indicate group membership. Since I’m creating this group from scratch, I want to use the MARK button.

Clicking the MARK button opens a pull-down menu showing my choices. Since I’m wanting to create a list based on the death date and place, I want to use the ‘By Data Fields’ choice.

This opens a window that allows me to select data fields and create a ‘sentence’ defining my search. Sometimes figuring out this ‘sentence’ is trial and error. This is also where incomplete data can impact the results. For my first ‘trial’, I’m going to search for those people with a military fact who died between 7 Dec 1941 and 2 Sept 1945. I am using 7 Dec 1941 as my start date since that is the date in which the United States was attacked.

When I click the OK button, the software searches my file and finds 9 people that have a military fact who died during the specified time period.

To finish creating the group, I have to click on the OK button and then click on the SELECT button in the lower right corner of the window. If I forget to click SELECT, my group is not created. That closes the selection window and returns me to the group window, where I have to again click OK to close the window.

The easiest way to review my group is to use the INDEX on the side of the PEOPLE screen. The default for the Index is to SHOW EVERYONE.

When I click on the ‘Show Everyone’ box, a menu opens showing the groups I have created.

If I scroll down the list, I can locate my newly created WWII DEATHS group.

Selecting the WWII DEATHS group causes the index to display the members of this group.

Looking at that list, I have several people born before 1900 who were included on the list. I have two options to ‘clean up’ this list. One option is to look at each person in question, evaluate their information and then remove them from the list if they don’t meet my criteria.

For example, Lloyd William Barnes is on my list with a death date of 14 Dec 1941. He also has a military fact, but it is dated 1918.

Below his parents is the GROUP information. When I click on the word GROUPS, it opens a list of all of my groups on the right side of the person window.

Scrolling down, I can locate the WWII Deaths group and remove the check mark by that group and then close the person window. That removes him from the list of people in the group under the index.

I can continue working my way thru the group one person at a time, or I could edit my group and add a statement to help narrow the selection. In this case, I might add a statement requiring the birth date to be after 1900. To do this, I follow the same procedure used to open the GROUPS menu. Then I scroll down to locate my group, WWI Deaths.

This time, I want to click on the EDIT button. This opens the RootsMagic Explorer window where I can mark/unmark members in this group. Since I’m editing an existing group, I usually check UNMARK and select prior to going back in and editing my selection. This makes sure that those I don’t want in the group are removed. Once I’m back in the RootsMagic Explorer window, I select MARK and pick BY DATA FIELDs as before. My previous ‘sentence’ is still there. I only need to ADD to it. Thus, I’m gong to add a 4th line for the Birth Date is after 31 Dec 1899.

Clicking OK causes the program to search using my new criteria. Five people are now marked. This is where I need to remember to click SELECT after clicking the OK button.

Working my way thru these 5 people, I can verify that I have information entered for each of them about their death during World War II.

Using this process, I created groups for the Korean War, World War II, World War I and the Civil War.

Korean War Deaths

  • John Frederick Christy

World War II Deaths

World War I Deaths

  • None

Civil War Deaths

  • John Nelson Ralston
  • John Wesley Roberts

While creating these groups is the easiest way I know of to identify these cousins deserving to be honored this Memorial Day. However, this method is not perfect. (Remember, it depends on the completeness and accuracy of my data.) Since I remembered writing about a service member who died when his plane crashed, I expected him to be on my list. And, he is NOT.

My blog post, Plane Down, identifies him as 2nd Lieutenant Gene Marion Ashmore.

Checking what information I have for Gene Marion Ashmore, I can verify that he has a military fact. However, his death date is outside of the dates I used for my search. It is a few days AFTER the official end of World War II. Thus, the computer did not add his name to my group of WWII Deaths.

Since I would like to be able to include him in my list of WWII veterans to be honored on Memorial Day, I can manually add him to the list. If I click on GROUPS (below his parents) and then scroll down my list of groups, I can locate the ‘WWII Deaths’ group.

When I return to the index and select the WWI Deaths group, I can verify that he has been added.

As my database grows, I will either need to remember to update these lists as I identify a veteran or use the GROUPS menu to edit the group.

How about you? Can you identify people in your tree to be honored on Memorial Day?

John Frederick Christy

Killed in Action

Do you know much about the Korean War? I have to admit that I don’t. Thus, when I learned that a second cousin twice removed was killed in action in Korea, I had to learn more.

An Ancestry hint for John Frederick Christy took me to the article about his funeral service.

The body of Fred Christy, 21-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. John Christy of Carmel who was killed in action in Korea on Oct. 14, will arrive home Wednesday and services will be held at the Carmel Friends church at 2 p.m. Saturday.
Rev. Stacy Wesner, pastor, will officiate and members of the Carmel Post 155, American Legion, will assist in the service. The body will be entombed in the mausoleum at Crown Hill Cemetery, Indianapolis.
Friends may calla t the Christy home in Carmel until noon, Saturday. Arrangements are by the Smith Funeral Home.
Hamilton County’s 8th fatality in the Korean fighting, Christy was killed less than five months after he entered combat early last June with an infantry division. He received the combat infantryman’s badge for valor under fire shortly before his death.
A graduate of Carmel high school and a member of the Friends church at Carmel, he entered military service on Oct. 4, 1951, and left for the Pacific Theater last May 26.
Survivors in addition to the parents include two brothers, Russell and Dale Christy, both of Carmel.

“Last Rites for Fred Christy on Saturday,” The Noblesville Ledger (Noblesville, Indiana), 23 December 1952, page 1; digital image, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : viewed online 19 December 2021).

Hoping to learn more about how John Frederick Christy’s death, I turned to my normal source — newspapers. I did find an article from when the parents were notified about his death.

Fred Christy, Carmel Alumnus, Killed in Korea

The Carmel community mourns with the John Christys the loss of their middle son, John Frederick Christy. Word came to Mr. and Mrs. Christy at the Halloween Festival last Friday night concerning the death of their son, and the festive mood was killed for all who heard the unwelcome news.
Fred Christy started school in the first grade at Carmel shortly after his parents moved into the community. His older brother, Russell, started his fifth grade at Carmel and both boys were held in high esteem by faculty and students throughout their High School career. Dale Christy, the younger brother is at present a very popular Carmel High School senior. John Christy has given much to the community and the school. Besides the attendance and contributions of his boys in school, he has figured prominently in physical changes of the school with his electrical and plumbing “know how” from the time the cafeteria was moved from the second floor of the school to the basement, to the present when he has been engaged in moving the cafeteria to the new annex.
Mr. and Mrs. Russell Christy have settled in Carmel since his service in the second world war when he served overseas in India in the Signal Corps. He ws drafted into service on June 10, 1943, and gave 35 months of his life to the army. Fred was drafted Oct 4, 1951 and according to the point system, should have returned to Carmel in March or April of 1953.
Russell works at Stewart warner and Dale will graduate form Carmel High School next spring. The Christys are very much a part of Carmel, and many will remember that Fred was in the first Senior class to publish the Pinnacle, the first Senior Class to go to Washington, D.C. and the first Christy to be lost to the community.

“Fred Christy, Carmel Alumnus, Killed in Korea,” The Noblesville Ledger (Noblesville, Indiana), 7 November 1952, pge 5; digital image, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : viewed online 19 December 2021).

Going back in time, I found an article from when John Fred Christy was inducted.

Nine Hamilton County Men Are Drafted into Army

Nine Hamilton County men were drafted into the Army Thursday.
They Were:
Cleo Dean Frank
John Russell Wechsler
John Frederick Christy
Norman Allen Merriman
Thomas Lee Williamson
Walter Lewis Anderson
Richard Lee Harvey
John DeHart
Wendell Joy Dillinger

They left Noblesville by bus early in the morning for Indianapolis. They were expected to leave that city, probably for Fort Custer, Mich., late that afternoon.
On Wednesday 22 local men were in Indianapolis for physical examination. Results of these exams are not expected until later this month.
November’s draft quota is expected to be about the same as those received this month. Yesterday Adjutant Gen. Robinson Hitchcock, director of Indiana Selective Service announced that only 628 Hoosiers would be drafted in December. This is about half the normal monthly quota.
He said 60 per cent of the draftees would be summoned in the first week of the month, 20 percent in the second week and the remaining in the third week. None will be drafted in the holiday period.

“Nine Hamilton County Men Are Drafted into Army,” The Noblesville Ledger (Noblesville, Indiana), 5 October 1951, page 1; digital image, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : viewed online 19 December 2021).

Since none of these articles provided information about which unit he served in, I turned to Google. Thankfully, Google came thru with some valuable information. On the American Battle Monuments Commission site, I found a ‘certificate’ that lists John Frederick Christy’s unit

https://www.abmc.gov/korean-honor-roll/422450

Another page on the American Battle Monuments Commission lists the awards that John F. Christy received, including the Purple Heart.

Having identified John Fred Christy’s unit as the 31st Infantry Regiment of the 7th Division, Google and Wikipedia came thru with information about where the regiment was fighting in October 1952. The regiment was part of Operation Showdown in the attack on Triangle Hill.

The Wikipedia article likely describes the battle where John F. Christy was killed.

Opening moves

At 04:00 on 14 October 1952, following two days of preliminary air strikes,[25] the ROK-American bombardment intensified across the 30 km (19 mi) front held by the PVA 15th Corps. At 05:00, the 280 guns and howitzers of the IX Corps extended their firing range to allow for the ROK-American infantry to advance behind a rolling barrage.[33] The concentrated bombardment succeeded in clearing the foliage on Triangle Hill and Sniper Ridge, destroying most of the above-ground fortifications on the two positions.[33] The intense shelling also disrupted PVA communication lines, eliminating all wired and wireless communications in the area.[34]

As the US and ROK forces approached the PVA defenses, they were met with grenades, Bangalore torpedoesshaped charges, and rocks.[35][36] Unable to safely advance, US/ROK troops were forced to rely on close-support artillery to subdue PVA resistance,[35][36] but the network of bunkers and tunnels allowed the PVA to bring up reinforcements as the above-ground troops were depleted.[36][37] Although the 31st Infantry Regiment was equipped with ballistic vests in the first mass military deployment of modern personal armor;[12] its 1st and 3rd Battalions nevertheless suffered 96 fatalities, with an additional 337 men wounded in the first attack – the heaviest casualties the 31st Infantry Regiment had suffered in a single day during the war.[12][38]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Triangle_Hill

I’m thankful that I looked for additional information about John Frederick Christy’s death! If I hadn’t done my simple Google search, I doubt I would have found out that he had been award the Purple Heart.

War Photographer

Have you noticed that obituaries often leave out a lot of the information between the dashes? That’s what I’ve found when researching cousins who were career military. When I find an enlistment date and a discharge date about 20 years apart, I want to learn more about that military career.

That’s been the case with Master Sergeant Wayne M. Bond. To fill in those blanks, I often turn to newspapers to see what I can find. That’s when I found that Wayne M. Boyd was an award winning photographer.

Winner of double honors for outstanding photography is M. Sgt. Wayne M. Bond, son of Vernon E. Bond, 2009 East Sixth Street in Tucson.
“Church in the Wildwood” is the title of Sergeant Bond’s prize winning transparency in color. The shot captured first place in the Strategic Air Command’s annual photography contest for 1955. His other entrant in the contest, a black and white print entitled “Jackson Lake” took second in the final judging. Both photos were taken in the Jackson Lake Wyoming area with a 4 x 5 Busch-Pressman camera.
Sgt. Bond, now stationed on Guam, has been in the photo business for “Uncle Sam’s” Air Force since 1946. He has served in western Europe, Africa, India, Persia and Russia, all during World War II. He also worked in the school of photography as an instructor at Lowry Air Force Base, Colorado for a period of four years.

“Armed Services,” Arizona Daily Star (Tucson, Arizona), 9 March 1956, page 33; digital image, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : viewed online 10 December 2021).

Hoping to learn more about these photographs, I tried Google with no luck. When I returned to my newspapers and broadened the search locations, I found a different version of the story.

Fairchild Reports Snapshot Winners
Winners of the Fairchild air force base photography contest have been annunced at the base Gorden S. Lower recently on a
In order of placement in the black and white division are T/Sgt. Frederick E. Koch (a scene in a German town); T/Sgt. A. J. Marrone (Sunset Hill), M/Sgt. Wayne M. Bond (Jackson, Wyo, lake).
Color transparency winners were M/Sgt Wayne M. Bond (church in the wildwood) and T/Sgt. Albert F. Carpenter (Oriental gates).

“Fairchild Reports Snapshot winners,” Spokane Chronicle (Spokane, Washington), 9 January 1956, page 7; digital images, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : viewed online 10 December 2021).

These articles talk about photography contests in what appears to be two different locations: Strategic Air Command and Fairchild Air Force Base. Having lived in Seneca, Kansas for over 40 years with SAC headquartered in Omaha, I automatically assumed that the Strategic Air Command mentioned in the first article was referencing Omaha. However a Google search turned up a Wikipedia article listing various bases that were “Strategic Air Command“. This list includes Fairchild. Thus, the two articles are likely referring to the same contest held at the Fairchild AFB.

Additional articles indicate that Wayne Bond’s tasks in the military were photography related.

Master Sgt. Wayne M. Bond, a son of Mr. And Mrs. Vernon E. Bond, of 2009 East Sixth street, is now in Tucson on a 30-day furlough after two years in Korea.
Sergeant Bond, who has been in service more than 14 years, was with the second photo squadron which operated in Korea from a base near Tokyo. Many of the pictures made by the group under his charge were used in newsreels and in magazines.
He also distributed more than 800 pounds of clothing collected in Tucson from merchants and members of the First Christian Church, which the family attends. The clothing was distributed in the city hospital in Seoul.
The Bonds are a pioneer Tucson family and one of sergeant’s great-great uncles, Frederick Maish, is a former mayor of this city.

“Armed Services,” Arizona Daily Star (Tucson, Arizona), 31 May 1954, page 7; digital image, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : viewed online 10 May 2021).

In November 1952, after the crash of a ‘Flying Boxcar’ Wayne Bond was tasked with photographing the wreckage.

Sgt. Wayne M. Bond, son of Mr. And Mrs. V. E. Bond, of 2009 East Sixth street, was official air force photographer at the scene of the recent “Flying Boxcar” crash which killed 44 men in Korea.

Sergeant Bond wrote to his family that the saddest thing he photographed was a shot of the Christmas gifts being carried by the servicemen passengers on the plane, scattered among the twisted wreckage. Sergeant Bond,, a veteran of 13 years of service in the air force, said he nearly became lost in the wild Korean mountains while searching for one engine of the aircraft, which hurtled clear over the other side of the mountain when the plane crashed.

“In the Armed Services,” Arizona Daily Star (Tucson, Arizona), 24 November 1952, page 6; digital image, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : viewed online 10 December 2021).

By looking beyond the areas where I knew Wayne and his family lived, I came across an article about his retirement from military service. This article provides more details about his career in the United States Air Force.

Photo Sergeant Retires After 20-Years Service

After 20 years of military service, which included tours of duty in nine foreign countries, M-Sgt. Wayne M. Bond, NC01C of Photo operations for detachment No. 2, 1352nd motion picture squadron, hung up his Air Force uniform and retired August 31.
Born in Frankfort, Ind. Sgt. Bond graduated from Frankfort High School and attended Purdue University in Lafayette Ind. for two years.
He entered the service in January 1940 and has served in England, France, Germany, Russia, Korea, Japan, Guam, Persia and N. Africa during his military career.
He was assigned to Ent AFB in March 1960 after completing a tour overseas in Yokota, Japan.
A graduate of the USAF Photographic School at Lowery AFB in Denver, Sergeant Bond plans to work as a photographer in Honolulu, Hawaii. While stationed at Ent, he and his wife, Ritsuko, lived at 7 Sierra Grande St., Manitou Springs.

“Photo Sergeant Retires after 20 Years Service,” Colorado Springs Gazette-Telegraph (Colorado Springs, Colorado), 15 September 1960, page 16; digital image, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : viewed online 10 December 2021).

YouTube has a video slideshow covering the history of Lowry Air Force Base, including the photography school that Wayne Bond attended. The “Photo School” section begins about 14:11.