SigEp Military History


This Week in SigEp Patriot History
December 24-30, 2012

"Diligence overcomes difficulties, sloth creates them"
-Ben Franklin


Another year has come and gone, and with it at least 86 of our brother patriots. They served during World War II, in the Korean, Vietnam and Gulf wars, as well as in Bosnia. Sailors, Soldiers, Marines, Guardians and Airmen, active and reserve, they rest in peace as those of us who serve now – their legacy – continue to stand the watch.

The SigEp Patriots Project wishes you and yours a terrific 2013!

30 DEC 1919
Following his service in World War I, NH Alpha Brother James Vincent Forrestal was discharged from the Navy Reserve at the rank of Lieutenant on this date.

26 DEC 1943
On this date in SigEp Patriot history, USS Hissem (DE-400) – a destroyer escort of the EDSALL class named in honor of World War II Veteran and IL Alpha Brother Ensign Anthony Metcalf Hissem, U.S. Navy Reserve – was christened and launched in Houston, TX. Brother Hissem was declared Missing In Action / Buried at Sea when none of the aircraft from his squadron returned following an attack against the Japanese during the Battle of Midway. USS Hissem proudly defended the nation from 1944-1970, actively serving in World War II, Vietnam and the Cold War.

24 DEC 1944
World War II Veteran and KS Beta Brother First Lieutenant John J. Jackson, U.S. Army was killed in action in Belgium on this date. Brother Jackson graduated from Kansas State in 1941, and he taught and coached at Osborne, Kansas for a year. In JUN 1942 he joined the Army, and his armored division was sent overseas in AUG 1944.

Respect can be paid to Brother Jackson at Greenwood Cemetery, Eureka, Kansas.

27 DEC 1944
On this date, World War II Veteran and NY Beta Brother Second Lieutenant Earl Whitney Benjamin, Jr., was killed in action in Belgium while assigned to a field artillery unit. Earl completed ROTC at Cornell in 1943, and was commissioned at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.

Respect can be paid to Brother Benjamin at Plot K-104-6 at Ithaca City Cemetery, Ithaca, New York.

26 DEC 1953
World War I Veteran, U.S. Ambassador and KS Alpha Brother First Lieutenant Monnett Bain Davis, U.S. Army died on this date in his sleep in Tel Aviv from a heart ailment while serving as U.S. Ambassador to Israel.

Following his service in Europe with the American Expeditionary Force during World War I, Brother Davis entered the United States Foreign Service. Monnett served as U.S. Consul in Port Elizabeth (1921-23), and Saltillo (1924); as U.S. Consul General in Stockholm (1933-34), in Shanghai (1935-36 & 1946), in Singapore (1936-37), and in Buenos Aires (1938-41). Brother Davis was appointed U.S. Minister to Denmark from 1945 to 1946, and then U.S. Ambassador to Panama (1948-51) before his final post as U.S. Ambassador to Israel in 1951.

Respect can be paid to Brother Davis at Arlington National Cemetery in Section 2, Grave 4876.

25 DEC 1959
World War II Veteran and AR Alpha Brother Lieutenant Colonel Charles Albert Browne, Jr., U.S. Army Reserve died on this date in Wichita, Kansas. Brother Browne was an active member of Wichita Alumni Chapter and an employee of the Newt Harrell Insurance Agency of Wichita.

Respect can be paid to Brother Browne at Bentonville Cemetery, Bentonville, Arkansas.

28 DEC 1968
World War II Veteran and MO Alpha Brother Lieutenant Commander Russell T. Miller, U.S. Navy died on this date in Los Angeles, California at the age of 57.

Respect can be paid to Brother Miller at Section 161, Row Z, Site 11, Los Angeles National Cemetery, Los Angeles, CA.

29 DEC 1969
On this date in SigEp Patriot history, World War I & II Veteran and VT Alpha Brother Brigadier General Guy Ichabod Rowe, U.S. Army (Retired) died in Sarasota, Florida. At Norwich, Brother Rowe was a corporal, sergeant, sergeant-major, and major in the Corps of Cadets; played on the class football team, and was president of the YMCA before graduating in 1909 with a bachelor of science in civil engineering. His first military service was as a Captain with the Vermont National Guard from 1908 to 1909, and after graduation was commissioned a second lieutenant of Infantry in the Regular Army on 18 JAN 1910 and assigned to Company C, 13th Infantry Regiment.

Early in his career his tours of duty took him to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas; The Philippines; Fort McKinley and Vancouver Barracks, Washington; Yuma, AZ; San Diego, CA and Camp Taliaferro, CA.

He sailed for France in APR 1918 where he commanded a battalion of the 38th Infantry and participated in the Second Battle of the Marne, defeating three enemy regiments. Brother Rowe subsequently participated in the Meuse Argonne offensive, before returning to the U.S. in DEC 1918. In APR 1920 he returned to Europe for duty with Graves Registration Service at various location, before attending the Ecole de l’ Interdance Militaire, in Paris, France. Guy returned to the U.S. in NOV 1923 for duty as Coast Defense Quartermaster at Fort H.G. Wright, NY, and served in various leadership positions in the period between the wars.

After the outbreak of WWII, Brother Rowe commanded the Quartermaster Replacement Training Center, Camp Lee, VA, and in FEB 1944 he became the Commanding General, Jeffersonville Quartermaster Depot, Jeffersonville, IN until his retirement from military service in 1947.

His awards, decorations and citations include the Distinguished Service Cross, Purple Heart, and the Legion of Honor and the Croix de Guerre with Palm by the French government. General Rowe died on 27 AUG 1969.

30 DEC 1969
Vietnam War Veteran and MA Gamma Specialist 4 Donald Alan March, U.S. Army died on this day

Respect can be paid to Brother March at Milton Cemetery, Milton, MA.

26 DEC 1997
On this date, Korean War Veteran and Prisoner of War (POW), TN Alpha Brother Sergeant First Class John William “Bill” Rambo, Sr., U.S. Army & Army National Guard (Tennessee) died at the age of 66 in Burke, Virginia following a lengthy battle with cancer. Bill was a member of the Tennessee National Guard and was among the first to serve in Korea. He was a POW for 19 months, and was given a heroes welcome by his hometown upon his return in 1953. He was awarded the Silver Star, Bronze Star and the Korean Gold Medal of Honor for his military service.

A native of Knoxville, Bill grew up in the Fountain City area and was a graduate of Central High School. After returning to Tennessee, he attended the University of Tennessee where he was active in student affairs before graduating in 1958. Brother Rambo was with Kay's Jewelers for over 30 years, serving in many cities prior to his retirement in 1990 as senior vice president and general manager.

It seems that SigEp was never far from his heart, for in his obituary it stated, "In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to the American Cancer Society or to the Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity General Scholarship Fund, Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity, PO Box 32222, Knoxville, TN 37930."

Brother Rambo was laid to rest with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery, and respect can be shown to him and his selfless service to the nation at Site 1760 in Section 70.

24 DEC 2010
KY Beta Chapter President Pharmacist Mate Third Class Kenneth J. Goodman, U.S. Navy passed away at home in Louisville, Kentucky on this date at the age of 82. Brother Goodman graduated from Male High School in 1945, where he was captain of the baseball team.

Respect can be made to Brother Goodman at Evergreen Cemetery, Louisville, KY.

24 DEC 2011
U.S. Navy World War II Veteran TN Beta Founding Father and Treasurer Herbert Leon Tate, Jr. died on this date at home at the age of 84 after a brief illness. Enlisting in the Navy after graduating from high school, Herb served primarily in the Pacific theater during WWII. After his time in the service, Herb attended Memphis State University. He graduated in 1950 with a business degree and a major in Management.

Herb spent his working career in various positions with the State of Tennessee in the Department of Revenue. He retired as Tax Audit Manager after 47 years of service. In addition to his work for the state, Herb was an active member of many philanthropic organizations. He was a 32nd degree mason, a member of the Scottish Rite and a Shriner. He was also a long time member of the East Memphis Lions Club. Over the years, he held the office of Treasurer and President as well as being elected the Lion of the Decade in the 1980’s.

Respect can be paid to Brother Tate at Memorial Park Cemetery in Memphis, Tennessee.

  • On Thursday, VA Pi Brother Patrick Bryant (U.S. Navy) posted on Facebook that he was leaving his base in the Middle East to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. Let’s all wish him luck!

  • Love is in the air! NY Chi Brother and ROTC Cadet Pat McPartland is now engaged to Brittany Auletta. Congratulations Pat!

Fraternally and Very Respectfully,
Brother Ed Jones, Buffalo State ‘96
Chief Petty Officer, U.S. Navy Reserve
Founder, SigEp Patriots Project