Question of the Week: Who are the military heroes in your family?

+17 votes

Who are the military heroes in your family? 

P.S. To honor military heroes, you might want to consider joining one of the many Military and War sub-projects.

in The Tree House by Eowyn Langholf G2G Astronaut (1.5m points)
reshown by Chris Whitten
specialist Gilbert Orville Martin-33062 shot in the neck captured by German's was POW 3 years, liberated by Americans.

I have several.  But here's a few.

Joseph Jacobs.  A soldier in the Civil war, he served in the 8th New York Heavy Artillery, Company B.  He was mortally wounded at the bloodbath that was the Union charge at Cold Harbor.   His unit took some 500 casualties in about a half an hour.  My GGGG Grandfather

John Van Fleet. A soldier in the 77th Ohio Infantry, Company, F during the civil war.  On April 25th 1864 his regiment was attacked while escorting a wagon train in what's referred to as the battle of Marks Mills.  He was never seen again after the battle and was presumably killed and his body buried without ever being identified.  In the same battle his older brother Garrett, my GGG Grandfather, was captured.

Is anyone who ever served in the military a ”war hero”? There are some 17th century military men in my family tree that I consider somewhat of an embarrassment for various reasons. I mean no disrespect to those who have lost dear ones, but this question strikes me as odd.
Well I have so many. From the first people to walk america to my grandfather gilbert orville martin.

The first heros settled NC Kentucky and Tennessee

The longunters are my family of revolutionary soldier's.

The latter my grandfather spent 3 years in a german Pow camp. He was liberated and rejoined. If that isnt a hero the definition doesnt exist?
My husband’s 4th GG, Simon Grossman, immigrated to the USA in 1749. During the Revolutionary War, he was a private in Maryland’s 34th Battalion.
My husband’s GG grandfather, Benjamin. Grossman,  enlisted to fight in the war of 1812
I have a grandfather, Peter Looney, who served in the American Revolution.  I have a grandfather (Jeremiah Mordecai Barrett) and uncles who served in the Civil War.

My father, William T. Barrett, served in the Army in WWII. I have an uncle, Delbert Ramsay, who served also in WWII.

I have an uncle, Wiley Barrett, who served in WWI.  He is my father's oldest brother.

I have several cousins who served in Korea.

My brother served in Vietnam, and a cousin.  Several other cousins served in the Army and Marines during their lifetime.

31 Answers

+4 votes

Parker-11699, Tully Francis Parker, my gg-grandfather, from Mississippi, raised a company and fought many key battles in the Civil War under General Lee's Army of Northern Virginia.

Here's the bio from his page:


Tully Francis Parker was born in South Carolina, June 14, 1823, and came to what is now Prentiss County, Mississippi as a young man. He had little opportunity to go to school, but was self-taught and well read for that time. Circumstance and natural ability gave him versatility in doing many things, and he was a farmer, a carpenter, a blacksmith, a teacher, or a preacher as need required. He married Sarah Burlina Boley, daughter of George Lewis Boley and his wife Winnie Robertson Boley, December 27, 1849. They had three daughters: Myra Lenora, Mary Burlina, and Louisa Frances. The young wife died before her 28th birthday. (in 1857-58). Tully soon married Mary Melvina Early. At the outbreak of the Civil War, Mr. Parker was one of the organizers of a regiment which was successively designated as Captain Parker's Company. Mississippi Volunteers, Captain Parker's Company, Reynold's Regiment, Mississippi Volunteers, and Company G., 26th Regiment Mississippi Infantry. After serving as a captain, he was promoted to Major in this regiment, taking part in more than 20 hard battles, such as the Battle of Corinth. He was taken prisoner at Fort Donalson, but soon exchanged. As a prisoner of war he was described as 37 years old, 5 feet 6 inches tall, with blue eyes and dark hair and was married. During the 4 years that he was away in the war, his wife and daughters continued living on the farm. They were just out of the path of the Union Army and had a few things left when the war was over. There is a little story handed down in the family showing the reliance and ability of these daughters. When Lou as 14 years old, the dog Tige caught a deer by the throat, Lou seized an axe and struck the deer on the head, killing it. She and her sisters proceeded to skin it and dress the carcass before any of the men were about. Some 5 years after the war, and after 2 years spent in Pocahontas, Tennessee, the Parkers decided to come to Texas. They sold everything before leaving except a camping outfit. There wasn't enough room for all to ride, so someone had to walk. The men were heavily armed, as there was danger of being robbed or the horses stolen. After six weeks on the way, they arrived in Sherman, Grayson County, Texas on January 19, 1873. Those who came in the party besides the eight Parker children and their parents, were Tom Muse, who married Myra Parker, Jim Petty who married Lou Parker, George Boley, son of Mr. Parker's half sister Frances Atwood Boley, and Ben Atwood, son of Mr. Parker's half brother, Peter B. Atwood. The Parkers were neighbors to the Ryans in Mississippi. John Ryan came to Texas about two years after the Parkers, and married Lina within the year. They lived on the Parker farm for several years, and John did the farming while Mr. Parker was away on his circuit preaching. The Parkers moved from Grayson County to Wise County near Boyd in 1881. They rented the Bobo place for a year, then bought a farm. A few years later they bought a home in Keeter, where Mr. Parker died February 22, 1886. Mrs. Parker continued to live at the home in Keeter until her death, January 5, 1916. She and her husband and many of their children and grandchildren are buried in Keeter Cemetery."

by Monty Heying G2G Crew (590 points)
+4 votes
In my ancestry, I have found a goodly number of those who served our country over the years.  1st, of course, my husband who spent 20 years in the USAF, retired, and went back to school to study for the ministry.

But an ancestor who  really made an impression was "Rev. Seba Norton, born in 1760 and lived quite an amazingly diverse life before his death in 1835.  He was a well-respected physician, a war hero, and a pastor."

"Serving his country in the Revolutionary War, Seba was at Valley Forge, Monouth and Saratoga.  When he joined, his wife and mother (so the story goes) caught two sheep, sheared them and spent the entire night carding and spinning and knitting him two pairs of long stockings so he could join the force in the morning."

"In 1812, he served again at the Battle of Sodus Point against the British Forces as Commander of the American Forces.  He formed a company called "The Silver Grays" and Elder Norton was chosen as Captain.  Captain Norton and 50-60 men went to Sodus Point during the 1812 War.  He began to deploy his men into groups of 10 to shoot the British soldiers coming ashore, but a Colonel from Seneca Falls arrived and took over the command, changing the orders.  Many of the men thought Elder Norton had the better idea."

"He proved himself yet again on the battlefield when others were starting to run for the rear, he was reported to have told George Palmer "Go on, don't wait for me, I won't run." He was provided a pension of $80. for his service, which started in 1831 when Seba was seventy three years old."

"But it was as a man of God that Seba would be remembered.  Historical records always link his name with the words, "Reverend" or "Elder".  He was a pioneer Baptist minister who settled in Sodus in 1803  with his wife Margaret.  He served as the first pastor of the Sodus Church and in 1808, he started a mission church in the Township of Williamson. He was then called to be its pastor."

With men like that hidden in my ancestry,  I could look back and realize my desire to a missionary was in my DNA.  I didn't become that missionary, but did serve as a Pastor's wife after my husband retired from 20 years in the USAF.

New articles were numerous; The Sodus NY Wayne County Alliance - Wed. 18 May 1884 ..."Battle of Sodus Point - War of 1812- 12/13 Jun 1813" A very long article on the battle on the destruction of the Mansion House on Sodus Point and Elder Norton was mentioned many times as he was considered the leader of the group."

Other News articles: The Rochester NY Democrat & Chronicle Herald --Friday 3 Dec 1926--pg 4--Article on the First Baptist Church of Sodus - Elder Norton organized.

The Geneve NY times -- Wednesday -- 28 Sept 1960 -- Very long article on the history of the Batle of Sodus Point - actually in 2 parts.
by Sherry Sievert G2G4 (4.4k points)
Sherry, I thought your story about Rev. Seba Norton was extremely interesting. I loved the part about making the stockings.
Thank you.  Every time I think of Seba, I'm encouraged.  He just kept chugging on.  It wasn't fun at Valley Forge, or Saratoga, or Monmouth. And to deploy as a senior citizen, grey hair and all with fellow senior citizens, to continue to fight for this country.  WOW
+4 votes
My brother, Doyle M Parrish, was killed in Italy in WWII and another brother, Roger D. Parrish was killed in Luzon in WWII.  I do not know any of the details.
+4 votes
Well, I am mostly curious about the men who occupied Japan after WWII. My uncle was there, Edward J. Luedtke. He told me how the citizens esp the kids were kind to the soldiers. He served I think about 18 months and was asked to stay but said Heck No. They were trying to extend his time and others. I know very little WHERE in Japan he was, and now most teens are mad - curious about traveling to Japan, so I guess i  am interested in where he occupied>? Does anyone have stories?  (He passed away)

My husband, also, was in Japan after the war - actually, during the Korean Conflict.  I don't recall where he was stationed that time, but in the early 1960's he was once again deployed - to Tachikawa AFB - with wife, and three children.  Our youngest was born there.
+4 votes

I've posted about my 1st Cousin, 2x removed Kenneth Walter Lindsay who died in WWII but also I have my 2nd Great Uncle 

James Herbert Lindsay

and his wife 

Florence May French Lindsay

by Keith Cook G2G6 Mach 2 (22.8k points)
+4 votes
There are dozens of military hero's in our families. But I would pick my husband. Jerry Andrew Patton Major, USAF/Retired, who died November 12 as a victim of Agent Orange. He flew anything with wings, But he flew RF101C's in Vietnam, These were unarmed reconnaissance fighter jets, later the flew RF4Cs. Their squadron motto is on his grave: Alone, Unarmed, Unafraid. He told me years later that this was hard when some one is firing heat seeking missiles at you.
by Suzanne Patton G2G1 (1.3k points)
Your husband was truly a hero. Thank you for sharing this story.
+4 votes
Major Joseph Anthony Zarling, WW2, stormed to beaches in Japan, Korean war, he worked his way up in the Marine Corp, becoming a Mustang Marine.

His brother Walter Zarling, died in England, WW2,

Lawrence Fahsl died in WW2, protecting ship fleet from Kamikaze planes. Ship  was hit by falling plane.

Lawrence was Joe and Walter Zarling's  half brother.

Walter Zarling and brother Lawrence killed in action October, and November 1944, respectively.
by Julie Donovan G2G2 (2.7k points)
+4 votes
My great-great uncle, Pte. Hugh McIver VC, MM & Bar of the 2nd Battalion, Royal Scots (Lothian Regiment) who was the older brother of my great grandmother, Jane McIver.

Hugh was awarded the Victoria Cross posthumously (awarded to his parents by King George V in 1919) for his bravery as a company runner in WW1.

On 23 August 1818 Hugh pursued a German soldier into a machine gun post where he single-handedly bayoneted six of the garrison and captured 20 others as prisoners along with two machine guns.  Later, he put himself at great risk to stop a British tank from firing at British soldiers, which had been directed against them in error at close range.

Hugh was shot and killed by a German sniper 10 days later on 2 September 1918 near Courcelles, France - just two months shy of the end of WW1, aged 28 years.

Hugh's VC medal along with his other medals (Military Medal (with bar), the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal, and the Victory Medal (1914-19)) are on display in the Royal Scots Museum at Edinburgh Castle after being donated by the family.

Hugh was the first person I started researching when I began my ancestry journey - I remember my dad (who died when I was 15) telling me about great uncle Hugh and showing me the VC certificate when I was about eight years old - he was so proud to be related to this brave man.
by Nikki McGuinness G2G1 (1.3k points)
Thank you Nikki, your great great uncle is certainly someone for you to be very proud of. Very sad that he died at such a young age.
+5 votes
My grandfather was a SeaBee in WW2 while his brother served in the Army on the other side of the world. My own uncle was in the Navy, part of the naval blockade of Cuba. And my mother's uncle was a Naval Pearl Harbor survivor.

There are more, but I'd have to dig up family records for all that.
by Elijah Ravenscroft G2G1 (1.5k points)
+5 votes
I have several starting with the MacRae clan in Scotland, fighting/protecting their allied clan the MacKenzies around the 12th century, and here in Minnesota, my great grandfather McRae,stationed in France/WW1, then my grandpa's( also a McRae) brother Sonny "Roy" McRae inWW2, my grandpa Orrin "Mike" McRae 3rd level entry boiler man on the ships in the Navy in the Korean war, my Uncle Randy Costley (by marriage)in I believe Vietnam in the Navy stationed in Japan for several years, and now my cousin Matthew Costley in I believe the coast guard or navy. I am not only VERY proud and grateful for thier service and sacrifice, but every veteran and current soldiers in every position. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
by Amanda McRae G2G Crew (720 points)
+2 votes
my grandfather, camiel Fournier, served in the first world war as a brancardier. He served the Belgian army at the Yzer. My great-great uncle, Jules Nachtegaele, was an officer in the first world war and his wife served as a nurse, at the side of the Belgian Queen, Elisabeth, in the hospital l' Océane.
by Mia Fournier G2G3 (3.8k points)

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