Happy Memorial Day!!!!

Today is the day where we celebrate, and mourn, the men and women who died while serving in the US Armed Forces.


In this blog, I celebrate and mourn the soldiers who served in the US Armed Forces in the Wissahickon Valley region. For this special occasion, I researched fallen soldiers from websites like Find A Grave to soldier databases. And since this blog relates to the Wissahickon Valley region, I only researched the cemeteries within the area (Ambler, Whitpain, and Lower Gwynedd) where the fallen soldiers were laid to rest. Most of them may not be from the area, but we still honor them.


Here's the list of cemeteries where the fallen soldiers laid rest at:

  • 11 from Whitemarsh Memorial Park- Ambler, PA

  • 6 from Rose Hill Cemetery- Ambler, PA

  • 5 from Church of the Messiah Cemetery- Lower Gwynedd, PA

  • 3 from Boehm's Reformed Church Cemetery- Blue Bell, PA

  • 2 from Gwynedd Friends Cemetery- Lower Gwynedd, PA

  • 1 from Mount Pleasant Baptist Church Cemetery- Ambler, PA

  • 1 from Saint John's Lutheran Church Cemetery- Center Square, PA

  • 1 from Union Meeting House Cemetery- Blue Bell, PA

American Civil War (April 12, 1861 – May 9, 1865): 8 fallen Civil War veterans. The youngest was 17. The oldest was 44.

  • Sgt. Jacob LeBold (1818-1862)- Company B 71st Regiment, Pennsylvania Infantry; killed in action at Antietam; burial at Boehm's Reformed Church Cemetery

  • Pvt. Josiah Weidner (1821-1861)- Company D 51st Regiment, Pennsylvania Infantry; burial at Mount Pleasant Baptist Church Cemetery

  • 1st Sgt. David Knipe, Jr. (1829-1861)- Company E 4th Regiment, Pennsylvania Infantry (3 months, 1861); contracted Typhoid Fever; burial at Saint John's Lutheran Church Cemetery

  • Sgt. William H. Von Derau (1840-1862)- Company G 106th Regiment, Pennsylvania Infantry; burial at Boehm's Reformed Church Cemetery

  • Pvt. George S. Marlin (1841-1863)- Company C 104th Regiment, Pennsylvania Infantry; died at Port Royal, South Carolina; burial at Rose Hill Cemetery

  • Pvt. Ellwood Roberts (1847-1864)- 195th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry; burial at Gwynedd Friends Cemetery

  • Pvt. John M. Holmes (-1862)- Company F 51st Regiment, Pennsylvania Infantry; "Died of Fever contracted at Camp Curtin, Harrisburg, Pa. 11-21-61"; burial at Union Meeting House Cemetery

  • Lt. William Buzby, Jr. (-1864)- Company B 1st Regiment, Pennsylvania Cavalry (15th Reserves); burial at Gwynedd Friends Cemetery

World War I (July 28, 1914-November 11, 1918): 6 fallen WWI veterans. The youngest was 23. The oldest was 30.

  • Pvt. 1st Class Nevin K Fisher (1888-1918)- burial at Rose Hill Cemetery

  • Pvt. Harvey F. Meyers (1888-1918)- Company 7 2nd Battalion; burial at Rose Hill Cemetery

  • Capt. Harry Ingersoll (1890-1918)- Company H 313th Regiment, 79th Division; burial at Church of the Messiah Cemetery

"With their concrete machine gun nests and bands of barbed wire snares and entanglements, the Germans had held Montfaucon since 1914. In the attack in which Ingersoll died, the Germans used both poisoned gas and machine gun fire to fight off the Americans who were trying to cut through the barbed wire to reach the town. The attack eventually brought Montfaucon under American control on September 27, 1918. Ingersoll is buried in Plot E, Row 20, Grave 39 of the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery in Romagne, France."

  • Lt. Norton Downs, Jr. (1895-1918)- served as a aviator in the 92nd Aero Squadron in Italy; burial at Church of the Messiah Cemetery

"On October 23, 1918, while making a flight in a new British bombing plane, he got lost in a heavy fog, and disappeared. He apparently drowned in the English Channel, and his remains washed up on shore on November 7. He was then interred in a military cemetery in Winchester, England. He is honored in Philadelphia on the Aero Memorial, located at Aviator Park, east side of 20th Street between Race and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway."

  • Percy William Owens (1895-1918)- Latter-day Saint, US Navy Reserve Force, US Navy; burial at Rose Hill Cemetery

  • Pvt. Harry Z. Beideman (-1918)- 58th Infantry 4th Division; burial at Rose Hill Cemetery

World War II (September 1, 1939 – September 2, 1945): 16 fallen WWII veterans. The youngest was 20. The oldest was 33.

  • Edward Seipt (1911-1944)- 3rd Combat Division, 7th Army; burial at Whitemarsh Memorial Park

  • LT Jr Grade George Bradford Patterson (1916-1942)- served in the USS Mary Luckenbach; ship was hit by an aerial torpedo by German Junkers 88 torpedo bomber aircraft; burial at Church of the Messiah Cemetery

  • LT Alan Howard Reed, Jr (1918-1944)- burial at Church of the Messiah Cemetery

"The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Alan Reed, Lieutenant, U.S. Navy (Reserve), for extraordinary heroism and distinguished service in the line of his profession while serving on board the Light Cruiser U.S.S. BIRMINGHAM (CL-62), while participating in the salvage and rescue operations of the U.S.S. PRINCETON after that ship was attacked and her crew ordered to abandon ship during the Battle of Leyte Gulf on 24 October 1944. Lieutenant Reed volunteered to lead a fire-fighting crew to the stricken vessel and, despite the constant danger from further imminent detonations and enemy aerial attack, he fearlessly boarded the PRINCETON in the face of raging flames. Directing his men with skill and superb courage, he succeeded in extinguishing a number of fires before he was recalled to his own ship as a large group of enemy aircraft again approached his task force and contact with an enemy submarine was reported. When the BIRMINGHAM subsequently returned to the PRINCETON, Lieutenant Reed continued his valiant efforts until he was mortally wounded during a sudden violent explosion in the magazine section of the crippled vessel. His conduct throughout was in keeping with the highest traditions of the Navy of the United States. He gallantly gave his life for his country."

  • Sgt. John R. Wright (1918-1944)- Troop C 113th Calvary; burial at Rose Hill Cemetery

  • 2nd LT George Ely, Jr (1918-1944)- 776th Army Air Force Bombardment Squadron, 464th Bombardment Group; burial at Whitemarsh Memorial Park

  • LT Claudius William Haywood, III (1920-1942)- served in the US Army Air Force; burial at Church of the Messiah Cemetery

  • Capt J. Donald Stone (1920-1944)- Second Armored Division of the US Army; died during the Allied liberation of France; burial at Whitemarsh Memorial Park

  • Richard J Newlon (1921-1942)- Killed when his plane crashed during a training flight near Waynesboro, GA; burial at Whitemarsh Memorial Park

  • Pvt. 1st Class Edward J Bowers (1922-1944)- 120th Infantry 30th Division; burial at Whitemarsh Memorial Park

  • Pvt Joseph D Hall, Jr (1922-1944)- 87th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, 7th Armored Division; died during the Battle of the Bulge; burial at Whitemarsh Memorial Park

  • Pvt. 1st Class George Leslie Carter, Jr (1923-1944)- Company F 15th Infantry Regiment 3rd Division; died in Italy; burial at Boehm's Reformed Church Cemetery

  • Sgt Steve D. Brucker (1923-1945)- Medical Corps, U.S. Army; burial at Whitemarsh Memorial Park

  • PVT John W Kenter (1924-1944)- 7th Infantry Regiment 3rd Division; killed in Italy; burial at Whitemarsh Memorial Park

  • Sgt Marshall Vallence Moss, Jr (1924-1945)- Company A, 311th Infantry, 78th Division; burial at Whitemarsh Memorial Park

  • Pvt. 1st Class Michael Joseph Lix (1924-1945)- burial at Whitemarsh Memorial Park

"The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Silver Star (Posthumously) to Private First Class Michael J. Lix (MCSN: 469584), United States Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity as a Rifleman, serving with Company E, Second Battalion, Twenty-Third Marines, FOURTH Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces on Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, on 8 March 1945. When his platoon was taken under a withering barrage of hostile mortar fire while patrolling forward of friendly lines, Private First Class Lix unhesitatingly left his protected position to aid one of the Marine casualties and, although wounded by shrapnel, valiantly disregarded the overwhelming volume of enemy fire in a determined attempt to remove his comrade from the danger area, continuing his efforts until himself mortally wounded by the shattering mortar fire. His inspiring actions and unwavering devotion to duty in the face of terrific odds reflect the highest credit upon Private First Class Lix and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life in the service of his country."

  • Corp. Bruce Franklin Schwalm, Jr (1925-1945)- Technician 5th Grade 122th Infantry 106th Infantry Division; burial at Whitemarsh Memorial Park

When walking around the cemeteries, you would immediately find the US flags sticking out of the ground next to the tombstones. But what you didn't notice were grave markers attached to the US flag. Even I didn't notice them until I took a closer, wondering what they look like.


Here's what most of them look like:

"Grand Army of the Republic" Civil War Grave Marker
World War I Grave Marker

I recommend paying them a visit to the cemeteries nearby your home, and honor them. Find the US flags with grave markers, like the above pictures, and say thank you to those who fought and sacrificed their lives for us.


Bibliography:


"Antietam: Sgt. Jacob LeBold." Antietam on the Web. Accessed May 24, 2020. http://antietam.aotw.org/officers.php?officer_id=11152.


Bates, Samuel P. History of Pennsylvania volunteers, 1861-5; prepared in compliance with acts of the legislature. (Harrisburg: B. Singerly, 1869-71).


"CIVIL WAR (GAR) GRAVE MARKER." Gettysburg Flag Works. Accessed May 24, 2020. https://www.gettysburgflag.com/military-flags/civil-war-gar-grave-marker.


"Find A Grave." Find A Grave. Accessed May 23, 2020. https://www.findagrave.com.


MOTHAX. "Vandals steal bronze medallions American Legion provides for veteran gravestones." The American Legion's Burn Pit. Last updated August 23rd, 2016. http://www.burnpit.us/2016/08/vandals-steal-bronze-medallions-american-legion-provides-veteran-gravestones.


"Navy Cross - WWII - Navy - R." Home of Heroes Medial of Honor and Military History. Accessed May 24, 2020. https://homeofheroes.com/distinguished-service-cross/service-cross-world-war-ii/navy-cross-world-war-ii/navy-cross-world-war-ii-navy/navy-cross-world-war-ii-navy-r/.


"Revolutionary War Veterans (1775 - 1783)." PAGenWeb Archives. Accessed May 24, 2020. http://www.usgwarchives.net/pa/1pa/tscarvers/veteran-markers/veteran-markers-revolutionary-war.htm.


"Search for Soliders- The Civil War." National Parks Service. Accessed May 24, 2020. https://www.nps.gov/civilwar/search-soldiers.htm.


"World War II Veteran Grave Marker." Oates Promotional Services. Accessed May 24, 2020. https://www.oatesflag.com/product/world-war-ii-veteran-grave-marker/.


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