SigEp Military History


This Week in SigEp Patriot History
July 1-7, 2013


As the original Independence Day, July 4, 1776, was just that -- the day the subjects of King George III inhabiting the American colonies declared their independence from British rule. It is important to remember that the fledging Continental Army and Navy had to go out and make that declaration a reality, and secure our independence by defeating the Royal Army and Navy.

My holiday weekend was spent in Normandy, France, and it was a very moving experience. There were so many incredible tributes honoring the brave Americans who participated in D-Day and the subsequent liberation of Europe, and the French people living in the area -- young and old -- still remember and respect the sacrifices that were made on their behalf.

01 JUL 1957
On this date, U.S. Army World War II Veteran and VA Zeta Brother Robert Jefferson Wood was assigned as the Army's Deputy Chief of Research and Development, working on a variety of projects, including anti-missile weapons and germ and gas warfare systems.

In the early '50s, Brother Wood was involved with the creation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's military system. In 1986, he retired as a four-star general, and was subsequently awarded the SigEp Citation.

07 JUL 2006
U.S Army National Guard (Montana) Veteran MT Beta Brother Daniel William Ayres died on this date at his home in Cody, Montana. Born in Bozeman, Montana in 1929, Daniel graduated from Gallatin County High School and attended Montana State University, Bozeman, and the University of Montana in Missoula.

Brother Ayres was an active Gideon, a certified swimming and sailing instructor and a 4-H leader. He was also a sandblast artist in the Bozeman Granite Works, a family-owned business, and worked as a dairy-route driver, proprietor of Rainbow Water Service, a real estate broker, and a charter tour bus driver. He especially enjoyed tours into Yellowstone Park.

07 JUL 2008
On this date, World War II, Korean War and Vietnam War Veteran and VA Eta Brother Commander Donald Eugene Cummings, U.S. Navy (Retired) died in The Woodlands, Texas. Brother Cummings served in the U.S. Navy from 1946 to 1969 as a fighter pilot. While in the service, he boxed in the finals of the Olympic trials. His last assignment was as Air Boss on the aircraft carrier USS Shangri-la (CV-38) serving with the Atlantic Fleet and assigned to deploy to the Mediterranean Sea.

While at the University of Virginia Donald was a member of the championship boxing team. After retiring from the Navy, he was the corporate pilot for Campbell-Ewald Advertising Corp.

Respect can be paid to Brother Cummings in Section C-1, Row D, Site 38 at Houston National Cemetery, Houston Texas.

04 JUL 2010
U.S Army Air Force World War II Veteran and OR Beta Brother Vernon Sprague White, 88, died on this date. During WWII, Brother White served in the U.S. Army Air Forces' 95th Bomber Group.

Born in Salem, Oregon in 1921, Vern graduated from Portland's Washington High School and the University of Oregon. He had a lifelong avocation of politics, and his hobbies included history, genealogy, and the concept of smaller government with reduced taxes. He was editor of the Daily Journal of Commerce.

In 1961, Brother White became managing editor of "Western Timber Industry and News," which merged in 1971 with "World Wood Products." He was chairman of the Young Republicans in 1953 and founding president of the Trumpeters in 1957. From 1958 to 1960, Vern was chairman of the Multnomah County Republican Party.

03 JUL 2012
World War II Veteran of the Normandy, Northern France and Rhineland Campaigns and VA Zeta Brother Staff Sergeant Morris Kent Mallory, U.S. Army died on this date.

07 JUL 2012
Vietnam War Veteran and VT Gamma Brother Captain Charles Vincent Masick, U.S. Army died on this date in Cooperstown, New York.

Respect can be paid to Brother Masick at Gerald B.H. Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery in Schuylerville, NY.


  • 05 JUN -- U.S. Army Air Force World War II Veteran MO Beta President Albert Montford Plourde passed away in Webster Groves, MO.
  • 27 JUN -- FL Alpha Brother Captain Wilton Royce Miller, U.S. Air Force, 80, passed away on this day in Tallahassee, FL. A memorial service to celebrate Brother Miller's life will be held at 2:00 p.m., EDT Monday, 08 JUL at CrossWay Church in Tallahassee, 1698 Village Square Boulevard (located near the I-10 and Thomasville Road exit). In honor of Wilton's belief that education is a great blessing, his family suggests donations be made in lieu of flowers to the following scholarship, which Wilton established at the University of Florida prior to his death. Wilton R. Miller Family Excellence Scholarship, Fund #013333, University of Florida Foundation, P. O. Box 14425, Gainesville, FL 32604-2425, (352) 846-3444. Checks may be made to the "University of Florida Foundation, Inc" with "Wilton R. Miller Family Excellence Scholarship" in the memo.
  • 20 JUL -- Korean War Veteran and OH Epsilon Brother First Lieutenant Robert L. "Bob" Harnden Jr., U.S. Air Force passed away in Mentor, OH on this day. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions to the Breckenridge Village Life Care Fund in memory of Robert Harnden, 36859 Ridge Road, Willoughby, OH 44094.
  • 01 JUL -- NY Iota Brother Adam Smith was promoted to Boatswain Mate Third Class Petty Officer in the U.S. Coast Guard! While he is pinning on his new rank insignias on 10 JUL, the 1st is the date of rank of the Navy Reserve's newest LCDR, operations IRAQI and ENDURING FREEDOM veteran and IN Zeta Brother Troy Hanson.
  • 05 JUL -- Operation ENDURING FREEDOM Veteran and FL Iota Brother First Lieutenant Chase Busch, U.S. Army got engaged!
Congratulations to Brothers Smith, Hanson, and Busch!

Please keep sending your good news stories to

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