WWI Group Pics

Photo Album Finds

Names on back of photo

Emrich – Rebmrnovich – ? – Scott – Clark – Pilgrim – CRAWFORD

Rowe – Cline – Dweggins – Hiller – Madsen – Kaufman – Garlick

(person with arrow is Leon Crawford)



Names on back of photo:

Scott – Belizzi – Terry – Saylor – Geffeny – Beacacek

Croathers – Cole – Wooten – Blevins – Chapman

Morton – Stampler – Cartwright – CRAWFORD – Garlick

Oliver – Jacobson – Lacy – Ferguson

(person with arrow is Leon CRAWFORD)






Patriots (and Tories)

As we celebrate Independence Day, I began thinking about my ancestors that participated to make today possible.

My great grandmother, Josie Hammond, joined the Daughters of the American Revolution thru her great-grandfather, Jason Hammond. At the time, it was believed that Jason fought for Connecticut. Unfortunately, there are several Jason Hammonds in Connecticut at the time and records make it difficult to know for sure which one served. Thus, my DAR application is thru Jason’s father, Nathaniel Hammond. Nathaniel Hammond didn’t fight for the cause but helped the fight by providing supplies to the troops.

I also have a verifiable revolutionary ancestor on my mother’s side: William Buckles. William served in the Berkeley (Virginia) militia 1778. Other potential revolutionary ancestors include Cheney Ricketts (Pennsylvania), Oliver White (Massachusetts), George Thurston (Rhode Island), George Crandall (New York). With most of my lines going back to colonial New England or Virginia, it is likely that I will discover more patriots as I verify new ancestors.

Besides having numerous patriot ancestors, I have at least one Tory ancestor. My great-great grandmother, Julia Harding, was the daughter of William G. Harding. William Harding migrated to Iowa from New Brunswick, Canada – where Julia was born. The Harding family settled in New Brunswick shortly after the end of the revolutionary war on a land grant from the King. Prior to the revolution, the family was living in the state of New York.

I look forward to discovering more ancestors from this time period – Patriots or Tories.


Military Record FOUND!

crawford-eugene-b1927-1945-us-navyWhen it comes to military records from World War II, the saying ‘Time Heals’ has some merit. During my early days of researching my family history, I was told that my dad’s military file probably didn’t exist. This wasn’t because someone threw it away but because of a fire in the building housing the personnel files. Thus, I had been content with a copy of his discharge record from the Ford County Recorder of Deed’s Office. That was until recently, when I found out some files survived and other files are being reconstructed. Thus, I tried again — AND — received his complete file. I am so thankful that I sought out this record! Below is his military history as outlined by various documents in his file.

Eugene David Crawford passed the Eddy Test and was technically qualified for Radio Technician training in the U.S. Navy on 6 Feb 1945. The Eddy Test was a test given to identify men with the capability and aptitude for being trained as electronics maintenance technicians in the U.S. Navy.

Eugene enlisted in the United States Naval Reserves on 15 Feb 1945 at U.S. Naval Reserve Station in Kansas City, Missouri.  On 15 Feb 1945 at the U.S. Navy Recruiting Station in Kansas City, Jackson County, Missouri, he was ordered to active duty without pay and to proceed to home at 512 Avenue ‘G”, Dodge City, Kansas and upon arrival he should consider himself released from active duty to await further orders.

On 16 May 1945, Eugene was received at the U.S. Naval Reserve Station in Dodge City, Ford County, Kansas.  On 17 May 1945, he graduated from Dodge City Senior High School in Dodge City, Ford, County Kansas. He was recalled to active duty on 20 May 1945 at U.S. Naval Reserve Station in Kansas City, Missouri.

Eugene was transferred to the U.S. Naval Training Center in Great Lakes, Illinois on 21 May 1945. He reported for active duty on 21 May 1945 at the U.S. Naval Training Center in Great Lakes, Illinois. He was granted recruit leave from 9 Jul 1945 to 14 July 1945 at the U.S. Naval Training Center in Great Lakes, Illinois.

On July 20, 1945, Eugene was transferred to the Navy Training College for study of pre-radio material at Wright Junior College in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois. He was transferred to the Naval Training School (EE & RM) for a course of instructions at U.S. Naval Training Center in Gulfport, Mississippi on 15 Aug 1945. He was discharged from class V-6 US Naval Reserve on 4 Sep 1945. Eugene enlisted in the U.S. Navy as a seaman 1st class radio technician on 5 Sep 1945 at Naval Training Center in Gulfport, Mississippi. He reported for active duty in the U.S. Navy on 5 Sep 1945 in Gulfport, Mississippi.

Eugene was discharged from the U.S. Navy on 23 Oct 1945 for convenience of the government at Naval Training Center in Gulfport, Mississippi. Eugene voluntarily enlisted in Class V6 US Naval Reserve on 23 Oct 1945 in Gulfport, Mississippi. On Jan 4, 1946, he was transferred to the Naval Training Center at Great Lakes, Illinois. (In talking about his military experience, dad said he ‘flunked out’ of radio school. This is somewhat ironic in that Eugene Crawford majored in science in college and spent most of his career teaching science — including physics. As a retiree, Eugene earned his Amateur Radio license.)

oneida2On the first of May, 1946, Eugene was transferred to receiving station in Shoemaker, California. Eugene was transferred for duty aboard the USS Oneida (APA-221) under Captain Harry A. Guthrie, U.S. Navy on 20 May 1946. The USS Oneida (APA-221) was a Haskell-class attack transport. He served outside the continental limits of the United States in the Pacific Ocean around Guam and Samar from 1 Jun 1946 to 16 July 1946 aboard the U.S.S. Oneida (APA-221) During this time, the U.S.S. Oneida participated in Operation Magic Carpet, returning veterans to the states. (In talking about his shipboard experience, dad said one of the soldiers being transported home was a former grade school classmate who had moved away from Dodge City.)

On 24 July 1946, Eugene was transferred to the receiving station at Treasure Island in San Francisco, San Francisco County, California. He  received an honorable discharge from the U.S. Navy as Seaman First Class V-6 USNR on 1 Aug 1946 in Norman, Oklahoma.




Leon Russell Crawford

Leon Russell Crawford was born in Newton Kansas on the 6th of Feb 1894.

According to Leon’s wife, Winnie Crawford, the family lived in Oklahoma when Leon and his sister Bernice were young. Winnie stated:

Judson Crawford worked on a ranch in Oklahoma because Josie’s sister and husband were there. The family all almost died. Judson was extremely ill. The children, Bernice (over 2) and Leon (1) almost died because of poor diet.

Documentation for this story has not been found. However, Josie’s sister and husband did live in Oklahoma.


The family was living in Dodge City by his 6th birthday. As a child, Leon attended the Third Ward School that was located on Boot Hill.


wwiLeon and his brother, Marion, served in the U.S. Army during World War I. Leon served as a 2nd class gunner in the 25th AA Battery of the first AA. In April and May 1918, his unit was at St. Misner during the 2nd Battle of the Marne. The unit then served as part of the outer defense of Paris. (Pictured: Homer Short & Leon Crawford on back row, Russel Horton (brother-in-law) and Marion Crawford (brother) on front row.)

On March 15, 1919, Leon sent a telegram to his parents stating that he had arrived in Camp Stuart, Virginia and that all was well.


Leon was honorably discharged from the military on 28 March 1919.

redrosesLeon married Winnie Currey on Christmas Eve 1919 at her sister’s house. After their marriage, the couple lived at 504 Avenue G. Ever the romantic, Leon purchased a red rose for Winnie for their 1st anniversary. Each year he added a rose until he was purchasing a dozen roses. Each subsequent year, Winnie would receive a dozen red roses from her husband on Christmas Eve.

1960-Crawford-Leon-Switchman-retires-web2After serving during WWI, Leon returned to work with the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe railroad working as a switchman in the railroad yard. Leon did not appear on the payroll for the AT&SF Railroad during Oct. 1923. According to his wife, Winnie Crawford, there was also a time during the depression when he was also laid off. She said that the railroad would call Leon in to work when needed. Thus, the family had to maintain a telephone so they could receive those phone calls. By 1953, Leon had been promoted to foreman for the AT&SF. Leon retired from the railroad in May of 1960. During his employment with the railroad, Leon was a member of the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen and received his 50 year pin in Feb of 1967.

By 1953, Leon and Winnie were living in the Crawford family home at 911 Second. This home was the nucleus of Winnie and Leon’s family. The home boasted a large room for the kitchen that housed a long pine table. Family gatherings took place around this table, including Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. Often times Winnie’s friend, Mary Hoffman, or a lone college student who couldn’t go home would join the table. These celebrations always involved a lot of food – most of it cooked in that kitchen. One of the rules for the children at the table is that we had to try everything. At some point, that rule was relaxed to ‘you have to try everything but the oysters’. The scalloped oysters were a favorite Thanksgiving and Christmas dish of the adults but disliked by the children at the table. By not requiring the children to try the oysters, the adults discovered that it left more for them.

Even though I never witnessed Leon cooking, he was at home in the kitchen. He would often set the table while his wife was preparing the food. One of his favorite sayings in the kitchen was in regards to clean-up when he would say ‘I’ll do the plates’ – referring to the paper plates that had been used for the meal. Ironically, Leon often helped with the dishes – even when paper plates weren’t used.

If one listened closely at that table, Leon would sometime talk about his family. Unfortunately, as a child, I wasn’t always paying attention. I do remember two of his stories.

The first family story involved the land south of the river (Arkansas River) in what was known as South Dodge. Leon would talk about helping his ‘Uncle Jimmy’ farm that land. At the time, I had no idea who ‘Uncle Jimmy’ was. It was only after working on the family history that I realized that the ‘Uncle Jimmy’ from Leon’s youth was his great-uncle, James H. Crawford. James H. Crawford did own a lot of land south of the Arkansas River.

The second family story was told at a Sunday dinner. It was girl scout Sunday and I had attended church with my girl scout club instead of going with the family. That Sunday, we attended the First Presbyterian church in Dodge City. During dinner, we were talking about my experience and I remember Leon saying that his family was Presbyterians. This little tidbit has not been verified – but many of the Crawford families in early Kentucky were Presbyterian.

crawford-leon-b1894-1969-winnie2Leon and Winnie celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 1969. For their anniversary, Winnie gave Leon a wedding ring. Leon wore this ring until his death in October 1976.

Veterans History Project

In researching my father’s military service aboard the USS Oneida (APA-221) during World War II, I stumbled across the Veterans History Project. Within that collection, I found an interview with John H. Garner, seaman 1st class, US Navy. Mr. Garner’s experience is similar to my fathers: training at Great Lakes Naval Station and service aboard the USS Oneida (APA-221).

I am thankful for the work of the Library of Congress to organize and preserve these resources and for groups like the Daughters of the American Revolution and other for conducting the interviews. Thru the Veterans History Project, the experiences of our veterans is being preserved.



My Military Heroes

In honor of Veterans’ Day this Friday, I would like to honor my ancestor Veterans.

crawford-eugene-b1927-1945-us-navyWhile still in high school, my father, Eugene David Crawford, enlisted in the US. Navy and attended training at the Naval Training Center (EE & RW) in Gulfport, Mississippi and at the Naval Training Center in Great Lakes, Ill. He was assigned to the U.S.S. Oneida (APA-221) from May 1946 to July 1946. The U.S.S. Oneida was part of Operation Magic Carpet to bring troops home from the Pacific Theater. Eugene received an honorable discharge from the service in August 1946.

crawford-leon-b1894-1917-wwi-portraitEugene’s father, Leon Russel Crawford, began his military service on 26 Apr 1917 in Dodge City, Kansas and was appointed wagoner 2nd class gunner in the 25th A. A. Battery 1st A.A. Sector. Leon’s unit was at the St. Misner 2nd Battle of the Marne from 31 Mar 1918 to 31 May 1918 in France. Later in 1918, his unit was assigned to the outer defense of Paris. On 28 Mar 1919, Leon received an honorable discharge from the service and returned to Dodge City.

None of my great-grandfathers served in the military. However, most of my great-great grandfathers and one great-great-great grandfather served during the War Between the States.

  • Washington Marion Crawford — Sergt in Co. H of the 2nd Regiment New York Calvary Volunteer — better known as the “Harris Light Horse”. Washington Marion was captured on 22 Sep 1863 in Liberty Mills, Virginia and imprisoned at Andersonville and Belle Isle.
  • Richmond Fisk Hammond – began his military service as a private in Company E 17th Illinois Volunteers later joining the 1st Illinois Cavalry Volunteers and Company D in the 14th Regiment Illinois Cavalry. Richmond was captured near Atlanta and taken as a prisoner to Andersonville on 5 Aug 1864.
  • Hiram M. Currey — served in Company B of the 12th Cavalry Regiment of the Kansas State Militia under Captain Samuel Hollister
  • Albert Hutchinson — served as a private in Company D of the 1st Regiment of the Iowa Cavalry Volunteers commanded by Captain Jinks and re-enlisted as a private in Iowa First Calvary Company D
  • Noah Washington Briles — served as a private in Company I, 1st Regiment Iowa Volunteers
  • Alexander Briles (Noah’s father) — served under Captain John Douglas in Company I of the Kansas State Militia
  • James Marshall Ricketts — served in Company K of the 7th Indiana Cavalry
  • George Mentzer — served in Company C of the Twenty-Foruth Massachusetts Infantry

According to my great-grandmother’s (Josie Hammond Crawford) DAR application, her ancestor, Jason Hammond, served as a private in Captain Coon’s Company of Col. J. Well’s Regiment in the Connecticut line. There is some question as to whether this military record is for my ancestor or another Jason Hammond. Thus, my DAR membership is thru his father, Nathaniel Hammond, for giving service to the cause.

Since almost all of my ancestors were in the colonies prior to the revolutionary war, it is likely that many of them served during the revolutionary war. It is even possible that at least one line traces back to loyalists.

It is thru this type of military service that our country was built. May we all pause to honor our military this week.

My Dad – Seaman 1st Class

Crawford-Eugene-b1927-1945-Navy-SailorPiecing together dad’s military service is a challenge! This is because all of the documents indicate that he graduated from high school while enlisted in the service. His ‘Notice of Separation from U.S. Naval Service’ indicates he entered active service on 15 Feb 1945 in Gulfport, Miss and served for 1 year, 5 months and 17 days. At the same time, his diploma is dated 17 May 1945 and his name is listed on the program for the 58th Commencement of Dodge City High School held on 17 May 1945.

Even dad had a hard time putting it on a timeline. At two different times, he recorded the events of his military service for me. There are similarities between the two timelines, but there are also differences.

Transcription of first recollection:

  • Crawford-Eugene-b1927-1945-WWII-Service-Record-Recollection1Enlisted for a minority (age 21) ans was sworn in 2/15/1945 in Kansas City went home [17 years old]
  • May ? 1945 went on active duty / sent to Great Lakes Naval Station for boot camp
  • 7 day leave after boot camp
  • Reported to Wright Jr College radar tech school for 1 month 6 weeks
  • Assigned to Gulfport Naval Station radar Tech school
  • While in school Navy decided that students who wished to continue in school had to enlist in regular navy. Parents agreed so I enlisted and received a 30 day leave. Returned to Gulfport to find out the Nave had changed there mind so I was discharged from the regular navy and enlisted in naval reserve
  • Flunked out of school
  • Became Master of Arms of barracks (Gulfport)
  • Sent to Great Lakes Naval training. Put in charge of serving line at recruits mess hall
  • Put on troop train for Treasure Island [Naval Station Treasure Island – San Francisco]
  • Went on board

Transcription of second recollection

Crawford-Eugene-b1927-1945-WWII-Service-Record-Recollection2Date of Service 2/15/45 to 8/1/46

  • Sworn in active duty KC Mo last Sat May 1945
  • Great Lakes Naval Training Center Boot camp – 6 weeks
  • One week leave
  • Wright Jr College Chicago Ill 6 weeks (VE day) [claimed to have celebrated VE day with his cousins in Chicago – VE Day 8 May 1945]
  • Gulfport Naval Station Gulfport MS
  • Discharged from Naval reserve
  • enlisted in reg navy for a minority
  • 30 day leave
  • discharged from reg navy
  • enlisted in naval reserve
  • flunked out of school
  • spent Christmas leave in Gulfport
  • Barracks commander — over 200 men in barracks

1946 [turned 18 in Dec 1945]

From his Honorable Discharge

Crawford-Eugene-b1927-1946-Military-DischargeEugene David Crawford Seaman First Class V-6 USNR is honorably discharged from the U.S. Naval Personnel Separation Center in Norman, Oklahoma and from the Naval Service of the United States this 1st day of August 1946.

From the ‘Affidavit Concerning Naval Record’ on file in the Ford County (Kansas) Courthouse

Crawford-Eugene-b1927-1946-Affidavit-Naval-Record2Eugene David Crawford, 343 46 97 SLC V-6 USNR, U.S. Navy (U.S. Naval Reserve), being first duly sword do submit the following information concerning my naval record which is necessary to complete my record of naval service and do hereby certify that it is true and correct to the best of my knowledge and belief:

“That I have served outside the continental limits of the United states (outside the three mile limit), while aboard the U.S.S. Oneida (APA-221) from 20 May 1946 to 24 July 1946. This ship operated in the Pacific ocean, around Guam and Samar. I left the States the 1st of June 1946 and returned 16 July 1946.”


Eugene Crawford – back row far right