SigEp Military History


This Week in SigEp Patriot History
July 29, 2012


“I always wondered why somebody doesn't do something about that. Then I realized I was somebody.” --Lily Tomlin

July 23, 1943
- On this day, World War II veteran and IL Alpha brother Corporal Willard Harold Lindeman of the U.S. Army Air Corps was killed in action in New Guinea while serving as a gunner with the 408th Bomber Squadron, 22nd Bomber Group, Heavy. Willard was born June 30, 1920, and enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps in January 1941. After a year at the University of Illinois, Brother Lindeman left for service in the Pacific.
Respect can be paid to Brother Lindeman at National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, Hawaii, Plot Q, Row 0, Grave 73. The SigEp Patriots Project (SPP) pledges that Willard and his patriotic sacrifice will always be remembered.

July 26, 1945
- On this day, USS Hissem (DE-400) arrived at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, following service in the Atlantic Theater, and she would remain there through the end of the war. Hissem was named after IL Alpha brother Ensign Joseph Metcalf Hissem of the U.S. Navy Reserve, who was killed in action during the Battle of Midway. For his heroic actions at Midway, Brother Hissem was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross, making him one of the most-decorated SigEp Patriots.

July 26, 1958
- Korean War veteran, Ace American test pilot, SigEp Citation recipient, and IN Alpha brother Captain Iven Carl "Kinch" Kincheloe Jr. of the U.S. Air Force was killed on this day while flying in an F-104 starfighter over the Mojave Desert when it crashed near Rosamond Dry Lake. Brother Kincheloe won fame for piloting the Bell X-2 research rocket plane to a world's record of 126,200 feet on September 7, 1956, and was nicknamed “America’s No. 1 Spaceman.”
Iven was born in Detroit, Michigan on July 2, 1928, and was interested in aircraft from a very young age. At just four years old, he took his first airplane ride with a barnstormer, and he learned to fly at the Niles airport, obtaining his pilot’s license at age 16.
Brother Kincheloe graduated from Purdue University with degrees in mechanical and aeronautical engineering and entered the Air Force through the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC). He took pilot training at Randolph Air Force Base, Arizona, and earned his wings in 1950. Later that year, he began flying mission over Korea. Before the conclusion of hostilities, he had flown more than 130 missions and shot down 10 Communist planes, making him one of 12 Air Force pilots with 10 or more jet victories. For his exemplary wartime service, Iven was awarded the Silver Star, three Distinguished Flying Crosses, and four Air Medals.
After serving as an instructor and participating with an exchange program with the British Royal Air Force, he returned to the U.S. in Janary 1955 for assignment at Edwards Air Force Base, California, where he participated in flight development of all present-century-type aircraft for the Air Force. Brother Kincheloe test piloted 70 different types of U.S. and foreign aircraft before being selected as a pilot for the X-2 and taking it to its record altitude in September 1956. For this achievement, he was presented with the Mackay Trophy, as well as another Distinguished Flying Cross, and nicknamed “America’s No. 1 Spaceman.”
Brother Kincheloe was selected as one of the first three pilots in the next rocket-powered aircraft program, the X-15, and would have been part of the Man In Space Soonest project if not for his crash in July 1958. Later that year, the Society of Experimental Test Pilots established the Iven C. Kincheloe Award to recognize outstanding professional accomplishment in the conduct of flight testing, and his accomplishments and memory live on each year the award is presented.
In September 1959, Kinross Air Force Base in Michigan, was renamed Kincheloe Air Force Base in his honor, and remained in service until September 1977. He posthumously received a number of awards, including the Air Force Association David C. Shilling Award, the Astronautic Award from the American Rocket Society, and the Legion of Merit from the Air Force. A monument also stands a few miles east of his hometown of Cassopolis, Michigan. It is an angular stone slab 12 feet high bearing a silver model of the X-2 pointed skyward.
In 1992, he was inducted into the Aerospace Walk of Honor in Lancaster, California, and in 2011, Iven was inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame at the National Museum of the United States Air Force at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.
Respect can be paid to Brother Kincheloe at Section 2, Site 4872-1 at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia. While gone, Iven and his patriotic service to the nation will always be remembered by SPP.

July 28, 2004
- AL Beta brother First Lieutenant William “Bill” Denson Yates Jr. of the U.S. Army died on this day. Bill was a member of the fall 1951 pledge class and graduated from the University of Alabama in 1955. In addition to SigEp, Brother Yates was in ROTC and received a commission upon graduation. Upon his discharge from the army, he returned to his hometown of Lanett, Alabama, and later owned and operated Yates Printing and Office Supplies until his retirement in 1997.
Respect can be paid to Brother Yates at Old Oakwood Cemetery in Lanett. He is gone, but SPP pledges that Bill and his patriotic service will always be remembered.

July 25, 2010
- On this day, World War II and Korean War veteran, member of the Mississippi House of Representatives, and MS Beta brother General William E. “Bill” Callicott of the U.S. Army and Mississippi National Guard (retired) died in Memphis, Tennessee. He was 86 years old. He owned and operated the Callicott Insurance Agency, a business his grandfather began in 1915. The business remains operated by the family today.
A lifelong resident of Senatobia, Mississippi, he was born on June 16, 1924, and was a 1942 graduate of Senatobia High School. In 1943, he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps and served with his father and brother in the European Theater for the duration of World War II.
After the war, Brother Callicott graduated from Mississippi State University and was called into service during the Korean War, ultimately becoming the Commander of the Mississippi National Guard’s 108th Armored Cavalry Unit, headquartered in Senatobia. He retired from the National Guard in 1979 with the rank of general. For a number of years, he served as the veterans affairs officer for Tate County and was a liaison between the county’s servicemen and a variety of veterans service agencies.
In the late 1950s, he was elected to the Senatobia Board of Aldermen. He was subsequently elected to the Mississippi House of Representatives, where he represented Tate County from 1960 to 1976. Beginning in 1978, he served three terms as mayor of Senatobia. During his tenure as mayor, he was particularly focused on the elimination of substandard housing within the city and the promotion of Senatobia as a candidate for industrial development. Bill was a member of the Senatobia Rotary Club, the American Legion, a founding member of the Back Acres Country Club, and also a member of the board of directors for Peoples Bank.
Respect can be paid to Brother Callicott at Bethesda Cemetery in Senatobia. He may be gone, but SPP pledges Bill and his patriotic service will always be remembered.

July 27, 2011
- A year ago today, we lost World War II veteran and MA Beta brother Corporal Harold Ashby Melden Jr. of the U.S. Marine Corps when he passed away in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts. He was 87 years old.
Harry was born is Salem, Massachusetts, on June 19, 1924. Following his graduation from South High in Worcester, Brother Melden attended Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), where he earned a B.S. in electrical engineering and was a member of Skull, the Athletic Council, and a founding member of the Poly Club. He was a member of the senior honor society, class treasurer, and captain of the football team. In 1987, he was inducted into WPI's Athletic Hall of Fame. While at WPI, he also proudly served in the Marine Corps from 1943-1946 in the engineering and signal battalions. He was stationed in the Pacific Theater from 1945-1946 and returned to graduate from WPI in 1949.
Harry joined the Worcester Gas Light Company, later Commonwealth Gas, in 1950. He retired in 1985 as vice president of gas supply and system control. He was inducted into the American Gas Association's Industrial and Commercial Hall of Flame. Harry was president of the Greendale Kiwanis from 1970-1971 and a member of the Retired Men's Club of Greendale, the Masons, and the American Legion.
Respect can be paid to Brother Melden at Mountain View Cemetery in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts. While he is gone, SPP pledges that Harry and his patriotic service will always be remembered.

* U.S. Navy World War II veteran and KS Gamma brother Ralph Clark Ufford passed away on 20 JUL 2012. Brother Ufford served in the navy from 1943-1946 before attending University of Kansas.
* On July 22, 2012, World War II veteran of D-Day and MO Alpha president Lieutenant Commander Charles Warner Kenworthey of the U.S. Navy Reserve (retired) passed away in San Antonio, Texas. Charles was a petty officer aboard a landing craft on D-Day and attended the University of Missouri after the war.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family, friends, and chapter brothers of SigEp Patriots Ufford and Kenworthey. They are gone but will never be forgotten.

* Congratulations to NY Rho brother Rich Dolan, VA Xi brother Chase Daniels, and MS Gamma brother Dustin DuBose on their successful completion of Air Assault School this past Friday.
* OH Gamma brother Sergeant Kurt Starin of the U.S. Army graduated from WLC at Camp Ashland last week. Way to go, Kurt!
* Yesterday, Operation Enduring Freedom veteran and RI Beta brother Sergeant CJ Wesley of the U.S. Army graduated from the Warrior Leader Course at the NCO Academy at Fort Dix, New Jersey, and OH Gamma brother Yannis Hadjiyannis of the U.S. Army completed training at the NCO Academy at Camp Ravenna, Ohio. Both of them worked incredibly hard to earn a spot on the commandant’s list. Well done, brothers!
* More SigEp success! Yesterday, Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran and IL Eta brother First Lieutenant Kolby Bissell of the U.S. Army graduated from Pathfinder School at Fort Benning, Georgia, and NY Chi Brother and ROTC Cadet Pat Mcpartland graduated from LDAC Thursday! Keep charging hard!
* OH Gamma brother Second Lieutenant R. Scott Dudis of the U.S. Army recently completed the officer basic course at Fort Sam Houston, Texas!
* AL Theta brother Major Michael S. Thornton of the U.S. Army learned he will pin on lieutenant colonel soon. Congratulations, Michael! Wishing you continued success!

Write to to discuss becoming a SigEp Patriots Project POC and share memories about your service or that of your brothers. To join the SPP listserve, send an email to, including your name, rank, branch of service, and military status (active, reserve, retired, discharged, etc). To join SigEps Who Serve, send the same information to or visit

Fraternally and Very Respectfully,
Brother Ed Jones, NY Eta ’96
Chief Petty Officer, U.S. Navy Reserve
Founder, SigEp Patriots Project