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What is your military heritage?

Stinger Gunner USMC

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Mine is a very decent list but it comes from two different types of families: both my biological and my adopted. On my biological side I have relatives in some kind of service dating back to the colony of Jamestown as reinforcements for the population there. After that I've had relatives beginning from my ancestor Robert Watkins who fought in South Carolina for the Revolution and other relatives whose names I haven't pinned down yet fighting in the War of 1812. I guess my actual list would begin sometime in the Civil War as far as units are concerned:

Civil War:

1. Private Clayton Watkins 15th Virginia Cavalry; also saw service at Antietam and Gettysburg according to some letters my brother found amongst some of his belongings. His brother, whose name I can't remember now, served in General Lee's cavalry

2. Pfc. Hezekiah Watkins 48th Indiana Regiment Company E; Served with General Grant through Shiloh all the way through the siege of Vicksburg. He died 12 days after the city surrendered from typhoid. He is my 3x great grandfather and cousin of Clayton Watkins

3. Pfc. Rezin Watkins 29th Indiana Regiment Company K; He died on top of Lookout Mountain during the Battle of Chattanooga from wounds sustained mixed with severe dehydration. My brother has a pistol that was on him when he died. He is Hezekiah's brother and my 4x Great Uncle

World War 2:

1. Leo Watkins unit unknown; all I or anyone in my family know about this was that he was a marine in the Pacific but he was so shook up about what he saw during the war he never told anyone more than his branch and took that info to his grave

2. Pfc. Wayne Watkins 83rd Division 330th Infantry Regiment; landed on Omaha Beach as part of the second wave on D-Day, survived the hedgerows and many battles before he was killed in Brest the same day as the liberation of Paris, he was the only one of any of my relatives to die during a war


1. Norbert Watkins unit unknown; He enlisted just before the armistice was signed but he served for four years and then went on to make Studebakers in the factory starting in 1957. He was my grandfather on my biological dad's side


1. Sgt. Major Ron Garrett exact unit unknown; He was Marine Force Recon and never really told me what all he did but he did tell me that he was a part of one of the first marine corps units into Vietnam and a part of one of the last to leave Vietnam. He was my grandfather on my biological mother's side


Now when it comes to my adopted family the names and units get a bit easier to know:

Civil War:

1. Pfc. John Diesel 3rd Missouri Infantry; Served in the Battles of Booneville and Wilson's Creek and was a part of General Nathaniel Lyon's unit when the general was killed at Wilson's Creek

Spanish American War:

1. Pfc. Andrew Diesel He was in the Arkansas volunteer infantry but I can't remember which number it was; He never made it to Cuba and was stuck training at Chickamauga when the war ended, he was John Diesel's son

Philippine Insurrection :

1. George Diesel He served in the Navy for both the insurrection and WW1 according to the records I found on him, he was also John Diesel's son

World War 1:

1. 1st Lieutenant Grover John Diesel served in the army medical corps as a doctor, He survived the war and founded the first American Legion post in Millstadt Illinois in the early 20s, he was also John Diesel's son and the only uncle my grandma remembered from her family

2. Percy Sidgreaves exact unit unknown; served with the Canadian Expeditionary Forces as a Howitzer gunner and witnessed the explosions of Messines Ridge and was exposed to mustard gas at the Battle of Passchendaele; he survived and immigrated to America in 1919, where he was a chauffer to a very rich family in Philadelphia as well as Katherine Hepburn for a time, he was my adopted mother's grandpa

World War 2:

1. Frank Urbanitch unit unknown; served with the Coast Guard stationed in Florida and patrolled the Gulf of Mexico for U boats, went on to served in the new Air Force during Korea, he was my only grandpa growing up as my mother's father had died years before I was adopted. He passed away in 2009 when I was a sophomore in college

2. Carsten Holt exact unit unknown; served in the Navy stationed in the Aleutians as a mechanic and sea plane pilot; was in the Battle of Dutch Harbor from the stories he told my dad and grandpa, he died when I was little but from what I was told he was my favorite babysitter and one of the only great uncles I knew growing up

3. Frank Penrose 101st Airborne Division exact regiment unknown; He was a paratrooper and took part in the Battle of the Bulge, where he became stuck in a tree after parachuting in, he was another of my great uncles

4. Pfc. Warren Diesel exact unit unknown; he was stationed in Burma as a mechanic along the Ledo Road. He became famous in the small town of Millstadt Illinois for his pin up girl collection which he had decorating his entire hut, most of them were signed by the models themselves, he was another of my great uncles the sadly passed away when I was little


1. Sgt. Michael Urbanitch 1st Marine Division, 7th Marine Regiment, 2nd Battalion, Echo Company or Echo 2/7 for anyone else; he served in Vietnam for only one 13 month tour as a 60mm mortarman before being reassigned to duty in Beaufort South Carolina. He is my adopted dad and he is my idol and hero


I think this sums up what family war history I could compile together

Collector and preserver of "old war stuff"; son and grandson of veterans
Father: 1st Marine Division, Echo 2/7 1966-1968
Grandfather: USCG 1941-1946, USAF 1950-1966


Always on the hunt for marine corps items from E/2/7 from WW2, Korea, and Vietnam

Also looking for items related to the 330th Infantry Regiment, 83rd Infantry Division from D-Day through to the end of 1944 and items related the Battle of Brest

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Father side:

Great Uncle - Soviet Army WWII

Great Uncle's son - Soviet Army WWII (awarded Red Star) WWII

Great Aunt - Russian Partisan WWII

Uncle - B17 Bombardier WWII

Uncle - US Army - WWII

Brother - USMC

Self - USMC

Niece - Lt. - USMC


Mother side:

Many Uncles in WWII

Looking for USMC Purple Heart for WWII or Korean War


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Great great grandfather fought in the Civil War......Had great uncle who died in WW2.....Father was career Air Force and a Viet nam veteran....Bodes

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Great great grandfather fought in the Civil War......Had great uncle who died in WW2.....Father was career Air Force and a Viet nam veteran....Bodes


Due to it being my mother's uncle who was killed and her memories of his funeral, she heavily discouraged me from serving in the military....That along with my dad's inability to receive bumps in rank....He along with mom said my flat feet would keep me from being accepted in the military.....Will never know for sure, but I do know a guy who was turned down by the AF due to severe acne....Bodes

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  • 2 weeks later...

While re-researching my father's side of the family, I discovered something I hadn't ever noticed before: at least three people had served with the CSA, all in the 3rd Regiment, Missouri Cavalry. I was aware of all the forebears and distant relatives that were in the Union army, but had no idea about these Confederates. What is surprising to me is that they are all brothers of my great, great grandfather who I know to be in a Union cavalry unit. These three were sort of hiding in plain sight, and I never noticed them.


Anyway I guess Missouri really was divided, even among families.


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  • 2 weeks later...

I did not serve but my family has been in almost every major American involved conflict.


American Revolution

Civil War



Vietnam Era



Probably more conflicts that I am not aware of...



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My Dad was a WWII Pacific combat Army vet. All my varoius uncles also served in WWII, all in the Army. Family legend says we are decended from a member of Napoleon's Guards, and another was a Garibaldi Redshirt. Unfortunately, there isn't any documentation for either of those, and nobody is left to help ID them. If only!



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My immediate family (father, me, brother, son) has had someone in uniform since 1940 and we have 5 bronze stars between us. On my mother's side we go all the way back to the Revolution and I have documentation for the Civil War, SAW, and WW1. And if you believe my father's cousin's research in the Old County, good old Attila the Hun may be an ancestor.


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Sgt. BARney

Cool thread!


Nephew USMC 0311, 3 tours Afghanistan - He's out now.

Nephew AZ Army NG diesel mechanic 1 tour Afghanistan, still in.

Nephew US Navy, Mineman still in, currently in Bahrain.

Son USMC 0352 2nd Batt., 3rd Marines, still in.


Self USMC 1979-83 0341/0321/8654 (was out 3 weeks before the Marine Barracks in Beirut was bombed)

Brother US Navy 1980-84 (USS Coral Sea), boilerman. We bumped into each other once in Olangapo City, PI.

2 Cousins USAF, one was a navigator and the other a nurse.


Father Navy Seabee Korean War era. Went all over the Pacific - Kwajalein, Guam, Philippines, Aleutians.

Uncle Career USAF, flew F4 in Vietnam

Uncle US Army, Dentist, Vietnam era. He said he always felt bad fixing teeth on men just to get them in shape to go to Vietnam.

Father-in-Law, US Army Officer, (college ROTC). My wife was born at Ft. Hood.


Neither of my Grandfather's were veterans. Maternal Grandfather volunteered for Navy (WW2) but was not taken due to age. My paternal Grandfather retired at Radford AAP in Virginia so suspect he was excused from service in WW2 as critical war job. My wife's paternal Grandfather was a cattle rancher in New Mexico and was excused from WW2 service for critical job raising beef. My wife's maternal Grandfather was in US Army Signal Corps in WW2, but don't know much about his service.


Great, great Grandfather (paternal) was in Quartermaster Corps, CSA.


Heartfelt thanks to all of you vets for your service and the sacrifice of your families.

Semper Fi!

Sgt. BARney

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  • 4 weeks later...

My dad went to the Hawaii Air National Guard 1968-1974 as an Aircraft Frame Repairman. I have his OG107 shirts many with his sergeant stripes.

His brother went to Air Guard too, I don't know what he did. He was an Airman First Class.

I have another uncle that went to the Air Force and had to get out on a medical. He was an Airman.

My grandfather on my mom's side got drafted in April 1941 and turned into a 64S Radio Repairman. He has a campaign star for the Ryukyu Campaign serving in the 57th Radio Repair Company with the 10th Army.

Me, I am nothing special. I started off in Army ROTC with the University of Hawaii Rainbow Warrior Battalion (the only ROTC unit with a battle streamer). Did the Simultaneous Membership Program with 227 Engineer Company (Combat) 29th Separate Independent Brigade Hawaii Army National Guard. That didn't last too long, 2 years. I ended up getting out as a Private First Class.

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Paternal great uncle German tank commander KIA, WWII... his older brother German AF WWI survived


maternal grandfather 36th ID, purple heart twice, veteran of the Rapido river crossing,

his son 9th ID, 15th Combat Engineers Vietnam, 1968.. victim of agent orange RIP Uncle Donny...

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Grandfather: USMC WWI; PVT 51st Co 5th Marines, Runner throughout Belleau Wood for Lt. Col Wise CO of 2/5, Silver Star, Croix de Guerre; SGM of both 1/5 and 1/5 through Armistice; 2LT 67th Co. 1/5 during Occupation


Father: S1c USN WWII; USS Earheart (Crosley Class High-speed Transport), APD-113, was at Guantanamo en route to PTO when war ended


Mother's cousin (big influence on me): 101st Airborne; D-Day, Market Garden, Bastogne


Uncle: RM3c USN WWII; USS General R.M. Blatchford (transport)


Me: Lt.Col. US Army (Ret.) '82-'02 Armor / Cavalry

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4 times grt grdfather- Cpl Colin Mitchem, VA line, Revolution

3 times grt grdfather- Pvt Seth Alger, VA Militia, War of 1812

Grt grt grdfather- Pvt Harvey Alger, 7th VA Cavalry, Civil War

3 times Grt Uncle- Pvt William Alger, 7th VA Cavalry, CW,Died Typhoid

3 times grt uncle- Pvt John Alger, 7th VA Cavalry, CW, killed at Haws Shop, VA 1864

3 times Grt Uncle- Pvt William Henry Glass, Potomac Home Brigade, MD, Union, killed Jan 21,1862 buried at Antietam

Grt grt grdfather Pvt Abraham Huber- 126th PA Infantry, Union

Grt grt grdfather- Pvt Abram Helt, 20th PA Infantry, Union

Father in law-T4 Christian Huber, 82nd Engineer Combat Bn, ETO

Father- T5 Harold Huber, 4474th Quartermaster Depot Co, Okinawa, WWII to occupation of Japan.


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The two 3 times grt uncles in the 7th VA Cavalry should read Pvt William Miller and Pvt John Miller, not Alger. This darn site only lets you edit once!!! Really, people do make errors occasionally, ADMINS!!

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Paternal Grandfather - USN
Maternal Grandfather - USAAC
Father - USN/USAF
Uncle - USMC
Self - USMC

Semper Fidelis, to all Marines past, present and future..

*Remembering CWO3 James Warren Maddox, USMC 1957-2018*


Email me!  Erik.D.Maddox@gmail.com
Facebook: Erik Dean Maddox

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  • 1 year later...



Dads side:

Uncle- US Army medical Officer (early 1990s, served with the 50th Air Ambulance in the 101st Airborne and in a MASH unit in Korea) and now US Air Force Reserve Officer. Hes a Lt Colonel.

Grandmother- US Navy Officer and then Reserve Officer. 1964-1974. Made full Lieutenant.

Great great Uncle- US Army enlisted pre WWII, fought in PTO from Guadalcanal through the end (at least thats what I was told) but killed himself after the war from PTSD. Brought home a Japanese bayonet and pistol, which have gotten lost over the years unfortunately.


Moms side:

great great Uncle: WWII USMC enlisted, earned Purple Heart w/ star

Other great great Uncle: WWII USMC enlisted


Unfortunately I only have the militaria from my Uncle, who gave me his old BDUs. I also have a photo of my great great marine uncles and a photo of my great great Army Uncle.


Im very proud of my families military history and I hope to become a commissioned officer in the Navy after college and NROTC.

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Fathers side

Uncle U.S. Army Vietnam

Grandfather U.S. Army WWII 79th I.D.

4 G Uncles U.S. Army WWII

G.G. Grandfather 2nd Lt.1st Louisiana Cav CSA His Captain was Ovide LeJeune who was John Archer LeJeune's father

G.G.G. Uncle 2nd Louisiana Cav CSA

G.G.G. Uncle 4th Louisiana Inf CSA WIA Shiloh

2 G.G.G. Uncles Pointe Coupee' Artillery CSA

Mothers side

2 cousins U.S. Army Afghanistan

G.G. Grandfather 6th Illinois Cav

G.G.G. Uncle 6th Illinois Cav KIA Alabama 1864 16 years old

G.G. Grandfather 4th Miss Cav CSA

5 G.G.G. Uncles 46th and 48th Miss Inf CSA 1died in Dec 1865 from wounds received during war

G.G.G. Grandfather Miss home guard CSA

G.G.Grandfather 38th Miss Inf CSA

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  • 7 months later...

First of all, thank you to all the forum members who have served or are currently serving!

I have not been in the armed services but have served my community as an Engineer on my local Volunteer Fire Dept. for the last 15 years.


Direct ancestors on maternal side: (abbreviations are from my mom's records)

Grandfather-- Richard R. Shade Lt.(jg) USNR WWII

Great Grandfather-- Enos B. Shade Pvt. US Army WWI

Great Grandfather-- John B. Casteix, Pvt. US Army 114th Eng. Battle of Argonne Forest, WWI

3rd Great Grandfather-- James Reider, Pvt. 169th Reg. Ohio Inf. Civil War- Union Army

4th Great Grandfather-- Jesse Divine Hunter, Captain Company B, Mormon Battalion, Mexican War- Mormon Battalion

4th Great Grandfather-- Abraham Houss War of 1812

5th Great Grandfather-- Thomas McMillen, Captain 5 Penna Militia, War of 1812

5th Great Grandfather-- Valentine Hufnagle, Pennsylvania, Revolutionary War

5th Great Grandfather-- Daniel Fuller, Infantry Connecticut, War of 1812

5th Great Grandfather-- William Parke, Loyalist, New Jersey, Revolutionary War

6th Great Grandfather-- Heman Finney, Captain NY 3rd div Inf, War of 1812

6th Great Grandfather-- Nathaniel Osbourn, Corporal, Army Jersey Blues, Revolutionary War

6th Great Grandfather-- James Hunter, "General", Regulator from Guilford County NC, Battle of Alamance, Pre-Revolutionary War

6th Great Grandfather-- Samuel Divinney, Regulator from NC

6th Great Grandfather-- Ephraim Griswold, New York, Revolutionary War

6th Great Grandfather-- Consider King, Massachusetts, Revolutionary War

6th Great Grandfather-- Abner Fuller, Connecticut, Captured at the Battle of White Plains, Died on a British prison ship in New York Harbor, Revolutionary War

9th Great Grandfather-- Thomas Doughty, fought the 1640 Wars in Scotland and was captured at the Battle of Dunbar in 1650. Sent to the colonies in America.

9th Great Grandfather-- Thomas Wheeler, Captain, Injured at Brookfield, Mass. King Philips War

9th Great Grandfather-- Edward Richmond, Captain, Rhode Island, King Philips War

10th Great Grandfather-- Samuel Wright, Sergeant, Killed in fight at Brookside (Brookfield?) Mass. King Philips War

10th Great Grandfather-- Joseph Crowfoot, Massachusetts, was in Turner's Falls Fight, King Philips War

11th Great Grandfather-- Timothy Phelps, Colonial Militia

11th Great Grandfather-- Isaac Graves, Sergeant, Massachusetts, Killed in Action, King Philips War

12th Great Grandfather-- Walter Filer, Lieutenant, Colonial Militia, Connecticut, Pequot Wars

12th Great Grandfather-- Edward Hutchinson, Captain, Massachusetts, King Philips War


1st Cousin-- A. Shade, EM1 USN, USS OHIO (SSGN-726)


Paternal Side:

Grandfather-- Walter J. Fehringer, PFC, US Army WWII

Great Uncle-- Clarence Fehringer, Sergeant, USMC, Korea








A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

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I was a USN SEABEE CM3 that is it for my family excluding some peripheral uncle and great uncles during WW2 and some post war service.

Go Navy!


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It "only" took a good eight years, but I think the roster is complete, as much as I've been able to verify everything up to now:

HONORING FAMILY LtCol Wm Russell (1679-1757) VA Mil; Pvt Zachariah McKay (1714-97) Frederick VA Mil; BrigGen Evan Shelby, Jr (1719-94) VA Mil; Pvt Vincent Hobbs (1722-1808) Wythe VA Mil; Pvt Hugh Alexander (1724-77); Lt John R. Litton (1726-1804); Bvt BrigGen/Col Wm W. Russell (1735-93) 5th VA Rgmt; Lt James Scott (1736-1817); Capt John Murray, Sr (1747-1833); Capt John Sehorn, Sr (1748-1831) VA Mil; Pvt Corbin Lane (1750-1816) Franklin/TN Mil; Cpl Jesse D. Reynolds (1750-1836) 5th VA Rgmt; Capt. Solomon C. Litton (1751-1844); 1Lt Christopher Casey (1754-1840) SC Mil; Pvt Mark Adams (1755-1828); Pvt Randolph White (1755-1831) Bailey's Co. VA Rgmt; Capt. John R. Russell (1758-1838); Pvt Joseph T. Cooley (1767-1826) Fort Hempstead Mil; Pvt Thomas Barron (1776-1863) 1812; Capt. John Baumgardner (1787-1853) VA Mil; Pvt Joel Estep (1828-1864) Co B 5th KY Inf CSA & US; Pvt George B. Bell (1833-1910) Co C 47th IL Inf US; Cpl Daniel H. Barron (1838-1910) Co B 19th TN Rgmt Inf CSA; Capt Richard K. Kaufman (1908-1946) 7th PRG/3rd AF CCU; T-5 Vernon L. Bell (1926-95) 1802nd Spec Rgmt; PO2 Murray J. Heichman (1932-2019) HQSB/MCRD; PFC Jess Long (1934-2017) US Army; PFC Donald W. Johnson (1931-) 43rd ID HQ; A1C Keith W. Bell (1931-2011) 314th TCW; A3C Michael S. Bell (1946-) 3346th CMS; A1C Sam W. Lee (1954-2017) 2d BW; AW3 Keith J. Price (1975-) VP-10; 1Lt Matthew Wm Bell (1985-) 82nd Abn/SOC

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