SigEp Military History


This Week in SigEp Patriot History
November 26 - December 2, 2012


On this anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, let's all remember the brothers and non-brothers who served on this day and especially those that lost their life in defending themselves, one another, and the nation.

There is not a comprehensive and complete list containing the names of every brother who has served in the U.S. military... not yet. That is one of several goals of the SigEp Patriots Project (SPP), and we will have that list one day. However, at this time, SPP does not know of any brother who was serving at Pearl Harbor on 07 DEC 1941. Do you know of one? If so, we would love to hear from you.

While facts are facts, the writing of history can be a matter of perspective. During my service here in the United Kingdom, I have been fortunate to see the British perspective of WWI and WWII, and accounts of battles during those conflicts are perceived differently among British, American and Russian historians even while the countrymen were fighting side-by-side. Fiction is when people rewrite the facts.

27 NOV 1917
World War I Veteran AR Alpha Brother Emmet Marshall Ratliff was promoted to First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army on this date.

28 NOV 1939
World War I Veteran and Renaissance Brother Captain Chaplain James A. Naismith, U.S. Army National Guard (Kansas) died on this date. In 1916, he was ordained as a Presbyterian minister, and he directed daily chapel services at the University of Kansas for several years. Later that year, during World War I, he spent four months as chaplain and chief hygienic officer for the First Kansas Regiment (National Guard), which was stationed on the Mexican border, and from 1917 to 1919 he served a similar capacity at U.S. army bases in France, using hygiene training and athletics to help maintain and protect U.S. soldiers' morale.

James was born 06 NOV 1861 in Almonte, Ontario, Canada, and in 1890 he moved to U.S. to start a teaching job at Springfield College in Massachusetts where he would invent the sport of basketball in 1891, and taught until 1895.

After a year at the University of Colorado Medical School, he took a position as a professor at the University of Kansas where he taught from 1898-1937. During this, on 04 MAY 1925, James became a naturalized U.S. citizen.

Brother Naismith was a Freemason, and is a member of Canada's Sports Hall of Fame, the U.S. Basketball Hall of Fame, and the College Basketball Hall of Fame.

Respect can be paid to Brother Naismith at Memorial Park Cemetery, Lawrence, Kansas.

02 DEC 1944
WI Beta Brother Ensign Lee Otis Nelson, U.S. Navy Reserve was wounded in action in France on this date.

27 NOV 1950
On this date, U.S. Army WWI Veteran, Speaker of the North Carolina House of Representatives and NC Gamma Brother Willis Smith began his service to the people of North Carolina as a U.S. Senator.

30 NOV 1964
World War II Veteran and IN Alpha Brother Brigadier General Marion Charles Smith, U.S. Air Force retired on this date after 22 years of service to the Nation.

28 NOV 1994
World War II Veteran, U.S. District Court Chief Judge Northern District of Florida and FL Alpha Brother Major Winston Eugene Arnow, U.S. Army JAG Corps died on this date in Pensacola, Florida.

Born in Micanopy, FL, 13 MAR 1911, Brother Arnow was a dedicated son of Florida. A lawyer and later municipal judge in Florida (1940-42, 1946-49), his service to the citizens of Florida was only interrupted during his service to the nation in the U.S. Army during World War II.

On 29 NOV 1967, Brother Arnow was nominated by President Lyndon B. Johnson and later confirmed by the Senate to serve as the U.S. District Judge for the Northern District of Florida. He began serving as chief judge in 1969, and served in this capacity until 1981. A member of the American Bar Association, American Judicature Society, Blue Key, Elks, and Rotary.

Respect can be paid to Brother Arnow at Roberts Cemetery in Pensacola, FL.

26 NOV 2008
U.S. Army Veteran TX Delta Brother Terry Bob Burr died on this date in Kingwood, Texas. Born 10 NOV 1934 in Houston, TX, he was a pharmacist and retired from Walgreen Pharmacy in 1996.

Respect can be paid to Brother Burr at Moorehead-Melton Cemetery, Henderson, TX.

27 NOV 2011
U.S. Marine Corps World War II Veteran NE Alpha Brother Jay Franklin Hoffman died on this date in Carlsbad, California. After graduation from the University of Nebraska he enlisted in the Marine Corps and was called to active duty in MAY 1943. Brother Hoffman proudly served in the Second Marine Division in the South Pacific Theater of Operations.

Jay was born in Austin, Minnesota on 02 APR 1922. After the war, Jay and his wife bought land in Carlsbad where he combined his business skills with his love of animal husbandry and began raising chickens for egg production. Their ranch, Marja Acres, supplied eggs to market chains and military commissaries throughout Southern California and Arizona. After selling the egg business in 1970, he continued to manage commercial operations at Marja Acres. Jay was a member of Oceanside Yacht Club, Oceanside Museum of Art, and was honored with a PTA Life Membership.

Donations may be made in Jay's memory to the Carlsbad Unified School District, 6225 El Camino Real, Carlsbad, Calif., 92009.

There is no record available of where Brother Hoffman was laid to rest, and the SigEp Patriots Project welcomes this information so as to be able to pay respect to Jay.

29 NOV 2011
U.S. Army Air Force World War II Veteran WI Alpha Brother Joseph Michael Kortenhof died at the age of 84 at his home in St. Louis, Missouri. He served in the U.S. Army Air Force, and afterward earned degrees from Lawrence College and the University of Michigan Law School.

Joe was born 18 AUG 1927 in Kimberly, Wisconsin. He attended Holy Name of Jesus Parish School and graduated from Kimberly High School in 1945.

He began work as a trial lawyer in St. Louis in 1953, and established his first firm, Murphy & Kortenhof, in 1960, which later became Kortenhof & Ely. In recent years he was a partner at the Kortenhof McGlynn law firm. He specialized in insurance and products liability defense and malpractice defense for doctors, hospitals and lawyers. He served as an adjunct professor teaching trial practice at Washington University School of Law. Joe received the Missouri Bar Foundation's Lon O. Hocker Trial Lawyer Award, the Lawyers Association of St. Louis Award of Honor, and the Ben Ely, Jr. Outstanding Missouri Civil Defense Lawyer Award. He was listed in "The Best Lawyers in America", "Who's Who in American Law" and "Who's Who in America."

He also served as trustee of Lawrence University and received the Jupp Award for outstanding service to Lawrence.

Donations in memory of Joe may be made to St. Mark's Episcopal Church, 415 S. Main St, Waupaca WI 54981 or Lawrence University, 711 E. Boldt Way SPC 1847, Appleton, WI 54911-5699.

There is no record available of where Brother Kortenhof was laid to rest, and the SigEp Patriots Project welcomes this information so as to be able to pay respect to Joe.


  • U.S Coast Guard and U.S. Navy World War II Veteran Oregon Beta Brother Russell Warren Cole passed away 11 NOV 2012 at his home in Los Angeles, California at the age of 97. He was drafted into the Coast Guard and later into the U.S. Navy during World War II.

  • U.S. Army Air Corps World War II Veteran and OH Iota Brother Robert Merritt Gates passed away 22 NOV 2012 at the age of 85. A memorial service will be held at Friendship Village, 1290 Boyce Road, Upper St. Clair, PA today at 3 pm. Interment private in the National Cemetery of the Alleghenies. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Mr. Gates' name to Friendship Village/Employee Appreciation Fund, 1290 Boyce Road, Upper St. Clair, PA 15241 or to The Early Learning Institute, 2510 Baldwick Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15205.

  • World War II Veteran and CA Gamma Founding Father Staff Sergeant Clifton C. Gilbert, Jr., U.S. Army passed away in late November or early December. He resided in Southern California for most of his life. He attended UC Santa Barbara and lettered in boxing. He served as a Staff Sergeant in the U.S. Army Infantry and served in Europe in World War II.

  • U.S. Navy World War II Veteran IA Beta Brother Darrel D. Reil passed away in Monroe Township, NJ on 28 NOV 2012. He joined the Navy after high school, and served in the Philippines during World War II. Following the war, he earned his bachelor's degree from Iowa State University. Contributions in his memory can be made to Princeton (hospice) Home Care Services, 208 Bunn Dr., Princeton, NJ 08540.

SPP sends its thoughts and prayers to the family, friends and chapter brothers of these SigEp Patriots.

  • GA Eta Brother Master Gunnery Sergeant Bill Scheible, U.S. Marine Corps has completed his training and mentoring of Marine warriors and leaders, and has retired from the Marine Corps. Congratulations Bill! Thank you for your service. We have the watch.

  • Love is in the air. Recently, SC Epsilon Brother Second Lieutenant Patrick Hamlin, U.S. Army became engaged. If you have not seen the video of his proposal it is worth a look. Prior to Patrick popping the question, Operation IRAQI FREEDOM Veteran and VA Omicron Brother Second Lieutenant Andrew Frazzano, U.S. Army became engaged. Congratulations to Patrick and Andrew!

  • In Seattle in late November, FL Gamma Brother Captain James “Kimo” Pascual successfully completed his first marathon. Way to go, Kimo!

  • The SPP database now contains the names and other information about 3,365 SigEp Patriots, and it increases every day. As does the number of chapter points of contact around the country. A big welcome to brothers from AR Beta and AL Theta.

  • SPP currently has nearly 670 pages of stories, announcements and articles about our patriotic brothers, as well as more than 500 photographs of these honorable men.

  • SigEps Who Serve - the official SPP Facebook group - is the only such group created by and for SigEp Patriots. If you are a military brother please go to to join more than 520 brothers-in-arms. To confirm membership in the group we ask for your military affiliation, military status, and home chapter. If you wish to pass this via email please send it to Finally, we hope you will help SPP find fellow SigEp Patriots by sending them the link and/or email address.

  • Not on Facebook? No problem. To join 100 brothers on the SPP list serve drop an email to

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