Monday, July 27, 2015

Photo of the Day

This is a photo of my maternal grandmother taken in 1936, maybe on Easter.  She was 20 years old.
Kathryn Bunting
1915-1998


Saturday, July 25, 2015

Inspection Check List

My maternal great-uncle died on 22 July 1944.   He was buried in an individual grave, uncasketed and in a poncho, in Guam No. 2 Cemetery, Plot C, Row 2, Grave 10.  He was disinterred on 28 November 1947 and his skeletal remains were placed in a casket on 19 January 1948.  On 11 February 1948 his remains were placed on a truck and left the U.S. Mausoleum on the island of Saipan.  Two days later his remains arrived at the Port of Saipan.  On 26 February 1948 he departed Saipan aboard the United States Army Transport Walter W. Schwenk.  His remains arrived at Fort Mason in San Francisco on 23 March 1948.  He then traveled by rail to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, arriving on 31 March 1948.

Before William Bunting's remains traveled to his final resting place, The Beverly National Cemetery in Beverly, N.J., the exterior of his casket needed a touch up.  It needed to be repaired and repainted.  The Nearly three months of travel had taken its toll on the casket.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Photo of the Day

This is a photo of my paternal grandfather taken on April 5, 1978 in his living room in New Castle, Delaware.  He was 59 years old.  The photo was taken by his youngest son, my uncle.
William Odgers, Sr.
1918-1986

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Record of Custodial Transfer

My maternal great-uncle died on 22 July 1944.  He was buried in an individual grave, uncasketed and in a poncho, in Guam No. 2 Cemetery, Plot C, Row 2, Grave 10.  He was disinterred on 28 November 1947 and his skeletal remains were placed in a casket on 19 January 1948.

On 11 February 1948 his remains were placed on a truck and left the U.S. Mausoleum on the island of Saipan.  Saipan is the largest island of the Northern Mariana Islands, a commonwealth of the United States in the western Pacific Ocean.  Two days later, his remains arrived at the Port of Saipan.

On 26 February 1948, he departed Saipan aboard the United States Army Transport Walter W. Schwenk.  His remains arrived at Fort Mason in San Francisco on 23 March 1948.  He then traveled by rail to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, arriving on 31 March 1948.

On 10 April 1948, William Bunting arrived at his final resting place, the Beverly National Cemetery in Beverly, New Jersey.





Friday, July 17, 2015

Photo of the Day

This is a photograph of my maternal grandmother taken at the Adventurer Hotel (the site of many awesome family vacations) in Wildwood Crest, New Jersey in 1980.  She was 65 years old.
Kathryn Bunting Branyan
1915-1998


Thursday, July 16, 2015

Disinterment Directive

After World War II, the U.S. Graves Registration Service began contacting the families of those who died overseas, giving them the option of having their soldier buried in a U.S. cemetery overseas or brought home.  My maternal great-grandparents chose to have my great-uncle's remains brought home to New Jersey.  A Disinterment Directive was completed on 15 October 1947 and the process to bring his remains home and laid to rest in the Beverly National Cemetery had begun.

My great-uncle died on 22 July 1944.  He was buried in an individual grave, uncasketed and in a poncho, in Guam No. 2 Cemetery, Plot C, Row 2, Grave 10.  He was identified by a mortuary plate found on a temporary grave marker.  He was disinterred on 28 November 1947 and his skeletal remains were placed in a casket on 19 January 1948.  He arrived in New Jersey for burial in April 1948.

My grandmother told a story of how her mother had a hard time believing that her son was in the casket.  It is no wonder now knowing that it was his incomplete skeleton in the casket.  She was not allowed to look at his remains and this must have haunted her for the rest of her life.


  

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Photo of the Day

This is my maternal grandmother.  The photo was taken in Wildwood, N.J. in June 1975.  She was 59 or 60 years old.  I love this photo because seeing my grandmother on the beach was a rare occurrence.  She was fair skinned and hated the ocean - you could only get her to go out as far as her knees.
Kathryn Bunting Branyan
1915-1998





Friday, July 10, 2015

Receipt of Remains

Albert, William, and Margaret Bunting
In 2012 I requested my maternal great-uncle's Deceased Personnel File, or IDPF.  I knew very little about his death - just that he died in World War II somewhere in the South Pacific.  I wanted to know more and thought this would be a good place to start.  Boy, was I right.

As I go over every detail on every document, I am learning so much.  More than I ever imagined.  Most of the stories I heard about him came from my grandmother and most of them were stories about how his death affected the rest of their family, especially their mother.

In my great-uncle's IDPF, I am finding clues as to why most of my grandmother's stories were about the events after his death.  I have learned that it took nearly four years for the family to get his body back to the United States for burial.  According to the Receipt of Remains document, his body was to arrive at the cemetery by military escort and the family was to be notified of that arrival.  Was the family there when the hearse arrived?  When was the funeral?  And when was he buried?  These are some of the answers I am looking forward to discovering.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Photo of the Day

This is the husband of my paternal great-aunt.  The photo was taken in the living room of their home in Wilmington Mannor, Delaware in the late 1970s.
Irvin Pinder


Friday, July 3, 2015

A Visit to The Wall That Heals

Today we took our boys and their friend to see the Wall that Heals, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Replica and Education Center.  The exhibition features a half-scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. and it travels throughout the United States.

After we found my maternal uncle's name on the wall, a volunteer came up to us.  He took out his smart phone and found my uncle's war memorial web page.  He told the boys how he died and showed them his picture. We all got a little lesson on how to find names on the wall and what the symbols represent.  The volunteer even took us to the panel that has the name of the youngest Vietnam War casualty, Dan Bullock, and told us his story. The boys were mesmerized.

We made our way over to the education center.  We took a lot of time looking at the display of photos, letters, and memorabilia left at The Wall in D.C.  All of those things put a story to the names on the wall.

It was a great experience and I am so thankful we all go to share it.  My oldest son kept saying how much fun he had (I'm sure because his friend was with him) and that he learned a lot.  That makes me happy.

The Wall That Heals
Paul F. Branyan, Jr. Memorial Page
Dan Bullock Memorial Page

Accrued Pension Form of 13 September 1909

This Accrued Pension Form is found in the Civil War Pension File of my paternal third great-grandfather.  My third great-grandmother filed t...