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Help locating my biological grandfather


Sand Flea
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I recently discovered my biological grandfather, Harold Fleming served in the United States Marines during WW 2. He met my grandmother in San Francisco, California while on leave during the fall of 1943. My grandmother was also a United States Marine who served between 1943-1944. After they met, my mother and aunt were born nine months later and never met their father. I do not have any information regarding who my grandfather was or his service information other than his name and a brief description that he was a tall white male adult with blond hair and blue eyes. I was also told he might have been an officer but I cannot confirm this information. I was always told by my grandmother that he died during the war. It was only recently discovered by my mother and her sister, that he survived the war and lived a long life. This information was passed on to them just before my grandmother passed away. I know there's not a lot of information to go with but any help locating service records for him would be greatly appreciated. The purpose for this request is to fill some gaps in our family tree's long line of military service to this county.

 

Thank you all in advanced for any information provided.

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There are two Harold Flemings on WWII USMC mister rolls. Harold F Fleming and Harold R. Fleming. Harold F. Fleming was stationed in SF in fall 1943.

 

Harold F. Fleming was in communications in marine air units during the war. There is a Harold F. Fleming who died in a plane crash in Alaska in 1955. He worked as a civilian contractor for Philco radio working for the Air Force. The grave marker is a common grave at Jefferson Barracks and lists this HFF as a USMC Master Sergeant. It is probably the same HFF.

 

I could not find any other confirmed information on Harold R Fleming. He was on the east coast in fall 1943.

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You can request USMC service records for the St. Louis Record Center. To speed up the process with a professional research like Golden Arrow Research.

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familytreevets

I tend to agree with lettow that the HFF he found is the likely relative. The muster role is persuasive.

 

Their was a lawsuit concerning the liability for HFF's death in the airplane crash. The court record state states that HFF's widow was Emma Louise Harston (she remarried after his death). The court records says he was 38 at the time of his death which puts his birth at 1917 give or take a year.

 

HFF was buried in Missouri.

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USMC-RECON0321

I would also suggest to start at your local court or county buildings where you believe they would be holding copies of marriage or birth certificates. At least confirm his full name and date of birth etc. to make sure you start your searches on the right guy.

 

good luck and please keep us updated. Sounds like an interesting story

 

Troy

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familytreevets

I should have added that the court record for this HFF states that his wife was listed as his only dependent.

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Lettow,

 

I think you might be on to something with your search. Do you by chance have the date/month of birth and date of death that's listed on HHF's grave marker? I checked the national graves registry for Jefferson Barrocks and was unable to locate his grave marker on their website.

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Harold F Fleming (1916 - 1955).

Harold F Fleming was born on December 6, 1916.

He died on September 1, 1955 at age 38.

He was buried in Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery Section 85 Site 11, St. Louis, Mo.

 

 

 

a1.jpg

a2.jpg

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175 F. Supp. 802 (1959)

Martin J. VIGDERMAN, Administrator of the Estate of Harold F. Fleming, Deceased

and

Philco Corporation and

Globe Indemnity Company, in their own right and on behalf of Martin J. Vigderman, Administrator of the Estate of Harold F. Fleming, Deceased, and Emma L. Fleming

v.

UNITED STATES of America.

No. 21243.

United States District Court E. D. Pennsylvania.

July 31, 1959.

https://law.justia.com/cases/federal/district-courts/FSupp/175/802/1381829/

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familytreevets

Sand Flea,

 

"It was only recently discovered by my mother and her sister, that he survived the war and lived a long life."

 

​What was discovered, how was it reveled, who revealed it? This info may help dial in the correct Harold Fleming.

 

​The muster role is compelling because it puts him in SF in the correct timeframe. But there at least two other Harold Flemings that I've found that were WWII USMC.

 

​Does your other info satisfy you that this HFF is your gfather?

 

​BTW, not asking that you give up/reveal the privacy of any living people, or info that would lead to them.

 

 

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The other information is compelling to say the least. I was told after the war my grandfather married, ha a family and lived a full life. I only recently discovered he existed and was always told he passed away during the war. His date of birth I was just told is 10/16/1912.

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My grandmother had a couple of pictures in her service scrap book of the person I believe was Harold Fleming. Ill have to locate them and post them here.

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Not to muddy the waters, and this is a longshot, but there were a few Harry Fleming's in the muster rolls. All located in San Diego in Fall of 1943, which of course is quite the distance from San Francisco.

 

 

 

post-29885-0-76644200-1522177830_thumb.jpg

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Also, I searched for Harold and Harry Fleming's born on October 16th, 1912, and no matches. No matches for any born on that date in any other year as well. Possible he went by a middle name, or maybe the date is incorrect?

 

List of all Harry/Harold Fleming's born in 1912:

 

Harold Fleming:

 

6/12/12 - Married in 1930, moved to Paris in 1942

12/3/12 - Had a son born in 1936

4/16/12 - Army - served in the 82nd AB

4/16/12 - Had a son born in 1938

 

post-29885-0-63644100-1522177970_thumb.jpg

 

Harry Fleming

 

10/1/12 - Army 44-45

9/26/12 - Navy 43-45

5/24/12 - No info - Headstone not Military

6/30/12 - Daughter who died in infancy in 1937 - no other info

 

post-29885-0-27289100-1522178120_thumb.jpg

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familytreevets

Sand Flea,

 

My research mirrors the above. That said, I do believe it is solvable.

 

You said he was on leave. Was that info oral history passed down by your gmother?

Can you see any indication of rank on his uniform? Stripes on the sleeve, or bars on the shoulder epaulets?

Anything written on the back of the photo or in a photo album?

Did the name come from a letter, document , or oral history from your gmother?

Was his name on birth certificates?

What is the source of the date of birth?

Was your gmother the source of the info that he survived the war and lived a long life?

Are there any letters from him or an address your gmother wrote to?

Have you, your mother, or aunt, had genealogical DNA tests done?

Do you have your gmother's service records?

 

 

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I do not see any rank in the photographs and nothing was written on the back of them or in the album. The information she was on leave and his name was written in the journal portion of the album with no other information. I was told by my mother that Harold lived a long life, got married and raised a family after the war. This was conveyed to her by hermmother, my grandmother. I did obtain my grandmothers service/medical record and there was no answers found there. My wife purchased a DNA kit for me to use and I'm waiting for it to arrive in the mail.

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familytreevets

Sand Flea,

 

Where did his specific date of birth come from?

 

It is interesting that your gmother knew something of his post war life. That tells me there may have been some sort of contact.

 

Are you able to share where she lived after the war? Did she remain in San Francisco? Or did she go to her original hometown?

 

Sorry to pepper you with questions. I'm just trying to piece together some threads of evidence to follow because I do believe it is solvable.

 

His name in the album/journal gives me confidence that it is accurate (not based on a long ago memory).

 

The DOB is significant, so specific. Very curious about the source of that date to try and validate how accurate it might be.

 

Is your DNA kit from Ancestry? They have tested the most people by far. Do you know the in's and out's on the type of test to get?

 

Let me know about the source of his DOB and your gmother's residence if you can.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The date of birth was given to me my mother. I do not know where she got it from. Ill have to verify with her on that one. My grandmother was originally from Chisholm, Minnesota prior to joining the Marines and she moved out to Burbank, California a couple of years after the war with her two daughters. She remained in California until her death in 2003. As for the DNA kit, yes its from Ancestry. I will let you know which kit it is one it arrives

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Updated information, I have confirmed with my mother that Harold F Fleming is not my grandfather. The Marine that died in the Alaska plane crash in1955. I was told by my mother that my Grandfather was alive in the early 1970's and had contacted my grandmother once in (1971-72) over the telephone to inform her that his wife was very sick. As for the photos I posted earlier, I found out the man on the right standing in front of the flowers was my uncle Albert Mihelich who served in the army during WW 2. One of two brothers my grandmother had who served. Her other brother, Johnathan Mihelich served in the Marines with the 4th Marine Division. I'm still clueless who the Marine in the picture is and believe he may still be my grandfather. Unfortunately no information was written in my grandmothers photo album listing who this individual was. As for the date of birth of 10/16/1912, it was passed to my mother by her mother and may not be completely accurate. It would be interesting to see what information is available for Harold R Fleming who served on the east coast in 1943. My grandmother was stationed in Cherry Point late 1943 to mid 1944 .

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familytreevets

Sand Flea,

 

Take your mother's birth date and go back 9 months, then compare that time with her service records to see where she was posted. Then the U.S. Marine Muster Rolls can be reviewed to see if a HF was posted there.

 

Can you give us her duty post and time (month/year) when your mother was conceived? It sounds probable that it was Cherry Point.

 

Then there is a good chance to ID the guy.

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October 1943 was here conception month, as for HF being stationed in San Francisco is only a guess and was never confirmed. He could have been on leave or in transition to or from the Pacific, not sure. I'm still starting to believe HRF is a more likes candidate since the muster roll only showed two HF's in the Marines at the time.

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familytreevets

Sand Flea,

 

Ancestry kits test for DNA from both sides of your family. So it would pick up DNA inherited by your mother from your bio gfather and passed onto you.

 

Here are Harold R Flemings I've found:

 

1. b. 9OCT 1915, d. 11SEPT 2005, buried Macomb MI, no military info on headstone.

2. b. 24JULY 1922, d.14JULY 2009, buried Montgomery, PA

3. b. 1909, d. 20NOV 1981, Hammond Indiana

4. b. 20FEB 1920, lived in Coral Gables, FL 1993-1996

5. Draft Card Harold Ross Fleming, b. 1920 Maryland (included him because he may have enlisted in USMC before being drafted)

6. Draft Card Harold Reed Fleming, b. 1918 Virginia (same as above)

7. Draft Card Harold Robert Fleming, b. 1922 Pennsylvania (same as above)

 

One Harold R Fleming rabbit hole was b. 12JUNE 1918, d. 18FEB 2006, buried Elwood Illinois. His gravestone notes he was WWII US Army.

 

Good luck with your search.

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