FAMILY MEMBERS IN THE MILITARY - THE GREAT WAR

"The Brief Military Career of Private Lawrence Edward Freeze" was written in 1999 and presented at the Phi Alpha Theta Regional History Conference at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville in March 2001.  Revised in June 2011.

For a good introduction and overview of World War I, see Norman Stone, World War One: A Short History (Basic Books, 2009).

 

World Wars Memorial, Coffee County Courthouse, Manchester, TN



To the memory of my great uncle - Lawrence, 1895 - 1918


PVT Lawrence Edward Freeze.  Postcard photo, location and date unknown.  From the Personal Collection of Martha Swanger, Manchester, TN.

 

Grave of Private Lawrence Freeze, 117th Infantry, 30th Division, Somme American Cemetery, Bony (Aisne), France

Date of Death - September 25, 1918 (KIA)

 

The Information about Somme American Military Cemetery and Memorial, by the American Battle Monuments Commission, is an information sheet with a map of the cemetery and a page of selected headstone epitaphs.  The ABMC Commemorative Sites Booklet as well as Somme American Cemetery Visitor Booklet are available online.

Correspondence about PVT Lawrence Freeze.pdf Correspondence about PVT Lawrence Freeze.pdf
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The Correspondence about PVT Lawrence Freeze includes two letters from Colonel William E. Ryan, Jr., Director of Operations and Finance of ABMC, dated July 24, 1992, and October 22, 1992, to Basil R. Fletcher, Sr., my father.  Also included is the response from the National Personnel Records Center, no date, to my formal inquiry, probably around 2005, to obtain additional information and possible medals awarded to my uncle.  If you read the letter, you will see that I learned very little, since as a nephew I did not qualify as "next of kin."  The honor of the World War I Victory Medal for my uncle who was Killed In Action was assumed before I sent the request.  Help to access the Tennessee World War I Gold Star Records is available online.

 

 

 

FAMILY MEMBERS IN THE MILITARY - WORLD WAR II

"The World War II Stint of Basil R. Fletcher, Sr." is based on personal interviews with Sergeant Fletcher, my late father (b. 1923, d. 2010), who served in Papua New Guinea in an army signal corp unit during World War II. He always was very proud of his service in the United States Army.  He spoke positively about his military experience and maintained contact with members of his unit as long as he was able with cards, letters, and attendance at reunions.

For an excellent, concise overview of World War II, see Gerhard L. Weinberg, World War II: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford, 2014).




Members of 333rd Signal Company, 54th Troop Carrier Wing

Copyright - David W Fletcher, Personal Collection of B. R. Fletcher, 2014

Standing: Lt. Francis P. Boudo, Lt. Charles W. Duffy, Lt. Alan L. Cameron, and Capt. George W. R. Wilson.  Kneeling:  Pfc. Robert Klein, Sgt. William E. Manuel, Cpl. Dominic S. Del Torto, 1st Sgt. William Kolar, and Sgt. Basil R. Fletcher.

 

Lt. Alan L. Cameron, Sgt. Fletcher, and Their "Buddies"

Copyright - David W Fletcher, Personal Collection of B. R. Fletcher, 2014

Sergeant Basil R. Fletcher with the 333rd Signal Company in New Guinea

Copyright - David W Fletcher, Personal Collection of B. R. Fletcher, 2014

 

Photos of 333rd Signal Company, 54th Troop Carrier Wing, in Papua New Guinea, 1944

Copyright - David W Fletcher, Personal Collection of B. R. Fletcher, 2014

 

Sergeant Basil R. Fletcher in U.S. Army Tunic

Copyright - David W Fletcher, Personal Collection of B. R. Fletcher, 2014

Technical Sergeant Basil R. Fletcher in U.S. Army Khaki Uniform

Copyright - David W Fletcher, Personal Collection of B. R. Fletcher, 2014

 

Letter from Sgt. Basil R. Fletcher ("Somewhere In New Guinea") to Parents, Vernon and Ruth Fletcher (in Summitville, Tennessee), dated 19 May 1944.  Nelda is Sgt. Fletcher's younger sister.  "The Laundry" was at Camp Forrest in Tullahoma, Tennessee where Sgt. Fletcher worked prior to his enlistment.

Copyright - David W Fletcher, Personal Papers of B. R. Fletcher, 2014

 

 

 

OTHER MEMORIALS



 

Camp Memorial Park (entrance above) in Fayetteville, Georgia is where my maternal grandparents, Ralph and Vessie Winn, are buried and has a nice plaque (shown below) to honor all U.S. veterans.

 

 

 

 

 

 

MILITARY ISSUES


"Draft Registration and Student Financial Aid" (March 2005) surveys the complicated legal issues that have been used to decide cases challenging the constitutionality of linking student financial aid to male draft registration for military service. 

 

Draft Women? Poll by Capital Soup (Source: Sachs Media Group)

 

World War I Draft Registration Notice (Copyright Unknown)

 

Anti-Vietnam War March, Location Unknown (Copyright Unknown)