SigEp Military History


This Week in SigEp Patriot History
May 27-June 2, 2013

“Those who throw dirt only lose ground.” (From a chalk board on ESPN’S Pardon the Interruption)

28 MAY 1917
On this date, NY Beta Brother James Armand Meissner dropped out of Cornell and enlisted in the U.S. Army Signal Service (the branch of the Army then tasked with flying) as a Private First Class. He went on to become a World War I Ace, earn the rank of Major, and founded the Alabama Air National Guard – serving as the unit’s first commanding officer.

02 JUN 1917
Like Brother Meissner, NH Alpha Brother James Vincent Forrestal answered the call of duty following the declaration of war by Congress, and enlisted in the U.S. Navy as a Seaman Second Class on this date. Brother Forrestal went on to become Secretary of the Navy, and serve as the first Secretary of Defense.

30 MAY 1961
U.S. Army Veteran NC Beta President Charles Henry Mateer was killed on this date after volunteering to serve as a co-pilot with Air America (CIA) in Laos. Born in Charlotte, North Carolina in 1936, Brother Charles was in ROTC at North Carolina State University, and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army upon graduation from there in 1958. He served as an Army helicopter pilot before flying with the CIA.

Respect can be paid to Brother Mateer at Sharon Memorial Park in Charlotte, NC.

01 JUN 1962
AZ Alpha Brother Edward C. Logan was commissioned on this date through Air Force ROTC at Arizona State. Brother Logan retired a Lieutenant Colonel in 1982 after serving in Okinawa, Thailand, Korea, NY, DC, TX, OK, and CA.

03 JUN 1967
On this date, a SigEp Patriot made the ultimate sacrifice. PA Iota President and Second Lieutenant Charles Joseph Schultz, U.S. Marine Corps was killed in action in Vinh Huy Village, Que Son Valley, South Vietnam.

The previous day, during Operation UNION II in the Que Son Valley, the Marines found the enemy entrenched in and around the Vinh Huy village complex. Heavy fighting on the 2nd and 3rd cost 67 American lives. Charles was assigned to F Company, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division.

His awards include the Purple Heart, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service and Vietnam Campaign medals.

Brother Schultz is honored on Panel 21E, Line 52 of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and respect can also be paid to him at the site of his interment at Hillside Cemetery, Metuchen, New Jersey.

28 MAY 1982
World War II Veteran, SigEp Citation Recipient and TN Alpha Brother Brigadier General Everett Herbert Qualls, U.S. Army (Retired) died on this date in Bradenton, FL. During WWII, Brother Qualls served in the Second Armored Division on the War Department General Staff in the North African and European Theaters. From 1948 until May 1961, he commanded the 435th Transportation Highway Transport Command, a U. S. Army Reserve transport unit in the Washington, DC area. He retired 29 May 1961.

Everett received a B. S. degree in civil engineering from the University of Tennessee. After graduation, he worked as assistant engineer and director of the Motor Transportation Department of the Tennessee Railroad and Public Utilities Commission in Nashville until May 1936. He later became director of District 7, Bureau of Motor Carriers, Interstate Commerce Commission, Nashville.

In 1937, he was appointed assistant director of the Bureau of Motor Carriers, Interstate Commerce Commission, in Washington and served in that position until December 1958, when he was appointed director of the bureau. He remained in the position until his retirement in 1965.

Respect can be paid to Brother Qualls at Mansion Memorial Park & Funeral Home, Ellenton, FL.

30 MAY 2004
Another SigEp hero was lost to us on this date. Bosnia & Operation IRAQI FREEDOM Veteran, TN Theta Brother First Lieutenant Kenneth Michael Ballard, U.S. Army was killed in Najaf, Iraq while serving as a tank platoon leader with 2nd Battalion, 37th Armored Regiment, 1st Armored Division.

Ken was born in Mountain View, CA in 1977, and upon graduating from the high school there in 1995 he immediately enlisted in the Army. He served in Bosnia, Germany and Macedonia as a tank loader. Ken was awarded a military scholarship to attend Middle Tennessee State University, where he received his degree in international relations. He returned to the Army in 2002 as a tank lieutenant. In part because he started out an enlisted man, Brother Ballard earned a reputation as a leader who always took care of his troops.

His awards include three Bronze Stars – two for Valor, Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal (with two oak leaf clusters), and the Combat Action Badge.

Respect can be paid to Brother Ballard at Section 60, Site 8006, Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA.

28 MAY 2005
On this date, U.S. Army World War II Veteran IL Alpha Brother George “Scotty” Clark died on this date in Elmhurst, Illinois at the age of 89. Born in Chicago in 1915, Scotty graduated from Austin High School, and attended the University of Illinois. After college, Brother Clark served in the Army Signal Corps in Europe during WWII, and after the war worked his entire life in the silk screen printing business – owning his own shop at one point in the 1950s.

01 JUN 2007
U.S. Army Korean War Veteran TX Alpha Brother Daniel Browne Stuart, Sr. died on this date. Brother Stuart was a member of the College of Business Administration Foundation Advisory Council at University of Texas and endowed a professorship for the teaching of computers and management. Stuart was a member of Park Cities Baptist Church for 37 years and served as a deacon.

30 MAY 2009
On this date, Korean War Veteran and CO Delta Brother First Lieutenant Roger A. Richter, U.S. Army died in Littleton, Colorado. Born in 1929, Roger grew up in Denver and graduated from East High School. Brother Richter earned his degree in mining engineering in 1951, and served in the Army following graduation.

During his career in the insurance industry he served in executive positions in many companies, including president and chairman of Richter/Robb & Co., and president of Sheridan Savings & Loan. Roger was actively involved in community service. A member of Kiwanis in Southwest Denver and Golden for more than 53 years, he also served many years on the Fort Logan Mental Health Citizens' Advisory Board, co-founded Big Sisters of Colorado, and co-organized Girls' Clubs of Colorado, Southwest Denver Community Center and Beaver Ranch Camp for Boys and Girls. Brother Richter was a 32nd Degree Mason; a Shriner; and a member of the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Respect can be paid to Brother Richter at Section 30, Site 63, Fort Logan National Cemetery, Denver, CO.

31 MAY 2010
U.S. Army World War II Veteran PA Delta Brother William H. Gelbach, Jr. of Quincy, Pennsylvania died on this date. During WWII, Brother Gelbach served with the Army Corp of Engineers in the South Pacific Theater.

Born in Hagerstown, MD in 1921, he lived most of his life in the Waynesboro area. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in economics from Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania in 1943.

In his early life, Mr. Gelbach worked for Travelers Insurance Company in Hartford, CT. In 1950, he returned to Waynesboro and established the W.H. Gelbach Insurance and Investment Firm which later became Waynesboro Building & Loan. In 1971, he orchestrated and built the Waynesboro Savings Association and served as Chief Executive Officer and President. Then the Waynesboro Saving Association merged with Home Federal Saving Bank in Hagerstown, MD in 1976. Bill remained with the company as an advisor and served on the Board of Directors. He retired in 1988.

He was a member of the Waynesboro American Red Cross Board of Directors from 1951-1957 and was Chairman of the American Red Cross Fund Campaign in 1952-1953; Waynesboro YMCA Board of Directors from 1952-1978, serving as treasurer and vice president and was the Y's Fund Campaign Chairman in 1951; Rotary Club of Waynesboro, where he was a Paul Harris Fellow and served as Treasurer from 1967 through 1971, President from 1973-1974, and as assistant District Governor for six years; Board of Directors of the Waynesboro Chamber of Commerce, where he served as President in 1972-1973; Mount Pisgah Lodge #443 Free and Accepted Masons; Joe Stickell American Legion Post #15, Waynesboro, and William Max McLaughlin V.F.W. Post #695, Waynesboro.

Respect can be paid to Brother Gelbach at Green Hill Cemetery in Waynesboro, PA.


  • 27 MAY – U.S. Navy World War II Veteran and TX Alpha Brother James Malcolm Railey passed away in Forth Worth, TX.
  • Earlier this week, after completing his flight training, UT Beta Brother Lieutenant Junior Grade Chase Winsor, U.S. Navy learned he is headed to the West Coast to fly F-18s.
  • U.S. Navy Veteran and FL Epsilon Brother Jared Lyon got married on 26 MAY.
  • On 01 JUN, CA Theta Brother Hamid Karimi official put on Staff Sergeant, U.S. Air Force Reserve.
  • SigEps Who Serve – the official SPP Facebook group – now numbers 578 SigEp Patriots. If you serve or have served, please go to to connect and network with your brothers-in-arms. Not on Facebook? SPP also has an email listserve with about 100 Brothers on it.
  • SPP is offering a full Conclave registration scholarship (valued at $440) to an undergraduate SigEp Patriot who is / was in the U.S. military – including ROTC. Send application requests to The deadline for submissions is 5pm (East Coast Time), 12 JUN 2013.

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