On this Veterans Day 2013

“On this Veterans Day 2013 and beyond, let us remember the service of our veterans, and let us renew our national promise to fulfill our sacred obligations to our veterans and their families who have sacrificed so much so that we can live free.” – Dan Lipinski

Sergeant John W. Taylor, served with the 169 2nd Engineer Battalion, Masiwa, Japan from 1945-1947

Special THANKS to my dad’s sister for sending me a few military photos she had of my dad in her collection which allowed me to create this great military collage of him for Veterans Day 2013! 

Family and friends, be sure to check out my discoveries about the military life of my father over the past couple of years by reading some of the related blog post below:

Military Monday: Maybe a Forgotten War, but not a Forgotten Military Life
Military Monday: Servicemen’s Dependents Allowance Act of 1942
Military Monday: Father’s Army Buddies
Military Monday: Military Payment Certificate (MPC)
Military Monday: Sharpshooter Small Bore Rifle Badge

If you have Sergeant John W Taylor showing up in your family research, let me hear from you because . . .I’m Claiming Kin!


Military Monday: Sharpshooter Small Bore Rifle Badge

If I tell you that some really cool treasures from my father’s military days just keep showing up all around me, you better believe it! So what did I discover new about him this time? He was awarded the Marksmanship – Sharpshooter Small Bore Rifle Badge –  while he was a soldier in the Army from 1945-1947. How do I know this? I am in possession of his badge! Where did this badge come from? From my mom. Where did she get it? Are you ready for this? She found it on a shelf in the garage and thought it looked like something that I would be interested in.

Say what?! On a shelf in the garage?!

Okay folks, how many times did I go rummaging around on the shelves in the garage last year?! LOTS! Why didn’t I ever see this badge?! I don’t have the foggiest idea. But once I picked myself up off the floor after discovering where this badge has been all this time, I am so-o-o-o THRILLED to be able to add it to dad’s memorial flag showcase!

According to Wikipedia,

The United States Army awarded Marksmanship Qualification Badges to military personnel who qualify at three different qualification levels (highest to lowest): Expert, Sharpshooter, and Marksman. Suspended from the badge are Army Weapon Qualification Clasps that indicate the type of weapon the individual has qualified to use.” [1]

My father’s Sharpshooter Small Bore Rifle badge above is a one inch silver filled metal consisting of a cross pattée (a type of cross seen in early medieval art and on the crowns of monarchs).[2] At the center of the cross is a target and extended at the bottom of the badge is a bar with the inscription “SMALL BORE RIFLE” which he was authorized to display. [3]

My dad a Sharpshooter?! Who knew?!

Well it seems my brothers knew! Even though both of them never saw this badge, they did know dad was a Sharpshooter and talked proudly about his knowledge and expertise with a variety of weapons. Why am I the last one in the family to learn about this? I simply do not know. I guess that’s what happens when you’re the baby of the family– you miss out on all the good stuff — LOL! But I am the first of the siblings to see and have possession of this wonderful treasure!

Have some weaponry Experts, Sharpshooters, or Marksmen in your family tree? Feel free to share!


Source Citation:

1. Foundation, W. (2013, March 03). Marksmanship Badge (United States). Wikipedia. Retrieved March 03, 2013, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marksmanship_Badge_(United_States)

2. Foundation, W. (2013, February 25). Cross pattée. Wikipedia. Retrieved March 3, 2013, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cross_pattée

3. Powers, R. (n.d.). United States Army Badges: Weapons qualification. United States Army Badges: Weapons Qualifications. Retrieved March 3, 2013, from http://usmilitary.about.com/library/milinfo/arbadges/blqualif.htm

Military Monday: Servicemen’s Dependents Allowance Act of 1942

The Servicemen’s Dependents Allowance Act of 1942, signed into law by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, provided a much needed allowance to the wives, children, and certain dependent relatives of servicemen in the lower grades (privates, private first class, technician 5th grade, corporal, technician 4th grade, and sergeant) of the Army. Relatives and dependents were divided into two classes. Class A consisted of wives, children and divorced wives to whom alimony was still payable, and Class B consisted of parents, grandparents, siblings, and grandchildren.

My father grew up in the home of his maternal grandparents, Henry and Olivia (Moten) Newsome. When his grandfather’s health deteriorated to the point that he had to be permanently hospitalized (he was admitted to the Austin State Hospital), some of the financial care of his  grandmother rested on his shoulders. Therefore when he was drafted into the Army on 4 December 1945, he completed the Application for Dependency Benefits below listing his grandmother as a Class B dependent so that 49% of his financial support went to her each month.

Application For Dependency Benefits


Below is a front and back transcription of my father’s — applicant copy — of the original application:


(Servicemen’s Dependents Allowance Act of 1942, As Amended)

I. (a) Soldier
(Last name) –  Taylor
(First name) –  John
(Middle name) –  W
(Army serial number) –  38 754 049
(Present Army grade – private, corporal, sergeant, etc.) –  Private
(Soldier’s Army mailing address) —
(Single, married, divorce) –  Single
(Race) –  Colored
(Soldier’s home address: Number and street or R.F.D.) –  422 Gunter St.
(City, town or post office) –  Houston
(State) –  Texas

I hereby apply for the family allowances authorized by law for the following name relatives and/or dependents who are related to me in the manner stated in paragraphs II and III below.


II. List: Wife (W), child (C), former wife divorced to who alimony is still payable (W.Div). (If there are none in class A, write “None” in the name column.)



III. List below the father, mother, grandfather, grandmother, stepfather, stepmother, either husband or wife, person in loco parentis (foster parent), brother, sister, half brother, half sister, stepbrother, stepsister, adopted brother, adopted sister, who are dependent upon the soldier for substantial or chief portion of their support. (If there are non in class B or B-1, write “None” in name column.)

(Last) –  Newsome
(First) –  Olivia
(Middle) —

Number and street or R.F.D. –  Rt.2, Box 192
City, town, or P.O. and postal zone No. –  Brenham
State – Texas
Relationship –  GM.
Date of birth of minors —
Degree of dependency (percent) —  49%

IV. Enter on the lines below the full name and address of the person or persons to whom the checks are to be made payable.
Make checks payable to —
Name —  Olivia Newsome
Address number and street or R.F.D. —  Rt. 2, Box 192
City, town, or P.O. and postal zone No. —  Brenham
State –  Tex.

W.D., A.G.O. Form No. 625
1 January 1944
This form supersedes W.D., A.G.O. Form No. 625, 21 October 1942, which may be used until existing stocks are exhausted.


Members of immediate family now serving in the military or navel service

V. The following named member of (my) (the soldier’s) immediate family are now serving as soldiers, sailors, marines, or coast guardsmen (not officiers) in the military of naval service.

VI.  I hereby swear or affirm that all the foregoing statements are correct and that every member of class B or B-1 for whom I claim the family allowance is dependent, to the degree indicated, upon the soldier whose name appears in paragraph I above, for support.

(Signature) —


Subscribed and sworn to before me this — 5 — day of  – Dec.,  1945 at — 22.00

(Title) — W. E. LOHMAN, 1st LT. WAC.


Once this application was approved, Momma Olivia would have started receiving a monthly allowance at the end of the next succeeding month from the date on the application. The allowance that would be paid to her came from money that was deducted from my father’s pay and from the government. Even though this application did not state what her monthly allowance would be, I hope my father’s compiled service record I recently requested from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) will provide that information and much more!

This military application for dependency benefits was a GREAT genealogy find! Not only did it provide me the Houston address of my father before he was drafted in the Army, but it also helped me to pinpoint which Washington County, Texas town (Brenham)  my great-grandmother lived in between the 1940 and 1950 census decades!


Source Citation:

Marshall, G.C. (1944). Application for dependency benefits. TM 12-223, Reception Center Operations. Washington, D.C.: War Department. Retrieved November 28, 2012 from http://usacac.army.mil/cac2/cgsc/carl/wwIItms/TM12_223_1944.pdf

Military Monday: Certification of Military Service for PVT Joseph Lee Chapple

When family members notice the two flags on display in my parents’ home for the first time, they often ask, “I know one flag is in honor of your dad, but who’s the other flag for?” When I tell them the second flag is in honor of my Uncle Joseph, they will look back at the display case and ask, “really?” as though they may have misunderstood what I said. Once I assure them that it is indeed his flag and not a figment of their imagination, they try to keep a straight face as they apologize for their behavior. But it’s too late — their reaction to my uncle’s flag is so comical that I cannot help but laugh out loud (LOL) myself.

I blogged briefly about my mom’s brother, Joseph Lee Chapple, earlier this year and said that he put the “R” in Rascality! Well, I wasn’t kidding when I said that! Visions of my wayward uncle in the Army following orders — of any kind — is a bit of a stretch for those of us who knew him well – LOL!

My uncle’s tour in the military was a brief one – just 4 months and 10 days! The little time he was there he was assigned to the 308th Tank Destroyer, an  armored vehicle armed with a missile launcher that’s specifically designed to engage enemy armored vehicles. When I asked mom did he ever talk about his military experience and why his tour was so short, she said,

your uncle DID NOT like the Army and they were probably just as eager to give him his Discharge papers, as he was in getting them!”

Well, he may have wanted those Discharge papers real bad in September 1943, but keeping up with these papers after his separation was a different story. Below is a DD 1108 form he completed in 1961 requesting that his Discharge papers be sent to him.


Below is a transcription of my uncle’s Form DD 1108:

Date:  Aug 15 1961

1. LAST NAME – FIRST NAME – MIDDLE NAME (Print or type): Chapple Joseph L.

2. SERVICE NUMBER(S): —– 2220



5. DATE OF BIRTH: Dec 26 – 24

6. PLACE OF BIRTH:  Houston Tex



9. DATE OF ENTRY: 1943

10. DATE OF SEPARATION: Sept. 1944






a. SIGNATURE OF FORMER SERVICE PERSON (or guardian): Joseph Lee Chapple

b. PRESENT ADDRESS (Number, Street, City, Zone and State):  8111 Bertwood Houston  Tex.



Commanding Officer
Army Records, Center, TAGO
9700 Page Boulevard
St. Louis 14, Missouri


Finger prints are required only in those instances where the certificate requested by a former member covers Army service terminating prior to 9 September 1939.

To obtain clear prints of fingers, press the four fingers of the right hand, which should be kept together, on a stamp pad or printer’s roller for the purpose of inking the fingers, then press the first joints firmly in the space provided for that purpose. The print of the thumb may be made in a similar manner.

RIGHT THUMB PRINT – (uncle’s right thumb imprint)

FINGERPRINTS – (imprint of uncle’s remaining fingers on his right hand)


Then in 1971 he finds himself without his Discharge papers AGAIN. Below is a hand-written letter he sent to the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, Missouri requesting his Discharge papers be sent to him.

Houston Texas
May 14 – 1971

To Commanding Officer
Army Records Center Tago
9700 Page Boulevoid


I am sending for my original Discharge as my Discharge were destroyed by fire, and I need this Discharge for the record of my Driving License Please if this can be sent to Joseph L. Chapple. 8111 Bertwood St. 77016 Houston Texas

Thank you very much-
I am Joseph L Chapple.


At last, my uncle’s Certification of Military Service!

United States of America

Certification of
Military Service

This certifies that –  Joseph L. Chapple    38 422 220
was a member of the –  Army of the United States
from –  May 4, 1943
to –  September 14, 1943
Service was terminated by – Honorable Discharge
Last Grade, Rank, or Rating – Private
Active Service Dates – Same as Above

Given at St. Louis, Missouri, on June 22, 1971

National Personnel Records Center
(Military Personnel Records) D. S.
National Archives and Records Service
General Services Administration

The Administrator of General Services Administration is the Custodian of this Person’s Military Record.
(This form not valid without official Seal)

Military Monday: Maybe a Forgotten War, but not a Forgotten Military Life

Veterans Day 2011 is this Friday (Nov. 11), and there will be celebrations and parades going on across this country to honor our veterans for their service, commitment, and ultimate sacrifice to this country!

Sgt. John W Taylor
Sgt. John Willie Taylor

My father, John Taylor, was drafted at age 18 to serve in the U. S. Eighth Army’s 169 2nd Engineer Battalion in Masiwa, Japan on December 4, 1945. According to the US Army’s website, “[t]he Eighth United States Army was officially activated on June 10, 1944, and ordered to South Korea where … they were to: disarm Japanese military forces; destroy the nation’s war-making potential; conduct the trial of war criminals; guide the defeated nation into peaceful pursuits and the democratic way of life; encourage economic rehabilitation, local autonomy and education and land reform; guard installations; protect supply routes and watch over government operations. After World War II, Korea was divided into North and South.  The peace in Japan eventually came to an end June 1950 when North Korea (Communists)  invaded South Korea (non-Communists). This invasion was the start of the Korean War. That war lasted for three years until an armistice agreement was signed in July 1953. So why is this war called a “Forgotten War?”   Some historians say it was “a police action” that failed to resolve the crime it was called to resolve.

USAT General A.W. Greeley

The USAT General A.W. Greeley was the ship that transported my father to Japan right after basic training. This ship, named for the U.S. Army General Adolphus Greely,  was eventually transferred to the United States Army as USAT General A. W. Greeley in 1946. In 1950 this ship was transferred to the Military Sea Transportation Service (MSTS) as USNS General A. W. Greely (T-AP-141) and later sold and converted to a container ship and operated under several names before being scrapped in 1986.

Battalion Motor Pool Masiwa, Japan, 1946

During his tour in Japan, my father was a Motor Sergeant in the Battalion Motor Pool. He was responsible for the duties of 80 enlisted men and the maintenance of 80 vehicles. His duties included: touring the motor shop daily; inspecting completed and new repair work; suggesting improvements and assisting with all problems requiring more extensive knowledge of repair;  assigning drivers to vehicles and checking with office personnel on reports and requisitions; supervising the requisitioning of all parts and equipment.

Dad was Honorably Discharged from the Army at age 20 February 13, 1947, in Camp Beale California. Just as the tour he was involved in would become known as the “Forgotten War,” once stateside, my father’s military experience in America’s segregated Army from 1945-1947 became a “forgotten experience” for him as well! Anyone who spent any time with him would never guess he was a veteran if he didn’t tell them — and he usually didn’t! There were no military mannerisms about him that folks could detect that would lead to any conversations about his Army life either. The only time I can recall him ever taking advantage of benefits available to him as a veteran was when he decided to use his GI Bill to attend and pay for college.

My father died February 7, 2010, and since his death, I’ve learned more about his military life — as I go through his personal effects and research about the war he served in — than I ever heard or learned from him. Among his things, I’ve found:
– military photos of him that my family has never seen before
– Military Payment Certificates and Japanese Yens during his tour in Japan,
– his original Enlisted Record and Report of Separation – Honorable Discharge documents.

I haven’t located the  World War II Victory Medal and Army of Occupational Medal that his discharge paper says he received. But I’ll keep looking for them and for much more because the more I learn about this part of my father’s life, the more relevant Veteran’s Day this year and years to come will be for my family and me!