SigEp Military History


This Week in SigEp Patriot History
July 29-August 4, 2013


Things were quite busy at Conclave, so this blog entry is a bit overdue. Another Conclave is in the books, and it was a great one for SigEp Patriots and the SigEp Patiots Project (SPP). It is unfortunate that so many SigEp Patriots have died in the two years since Conclave Phoenix without having their stories archived for eternity. However, the names of more military brothers were stated during the necrology at the Brotherhood Luncheon - including statements by several presenters of the brothers' combat veteran status - than I can recall during my previous four Conclaves.

In addition, one of our own - Vietnam War Veteran, Operations IRAQI FREEDOM and ENDURING FREEDOM Veteran and PA Epsilon Brother Rear Admiral Charles R. Kubic, U.S. Navy (Retired) was awarded the SigEp Citation for lifetime achievement in his military career. SPP awarded its first registration scholarship this Conclave, and it was great to see Operation ENDURING FREEDOM Veteran and MT Alpha Brother Specialist Branden Ramsdell, U.S. Army enjoying himself at his first Conclave.

Finally, SPP T-shirts were on sale and on display (see logo on archives page. A special thanks to IA Beta Brother Jeff Prouty for sporting his T-shirt during the Sound Mind/Sound Body 5K, as well as to Kosovo and Operation ENDURING FREEDOM Veteran, FL Theta Brother Lieutenant Commander Chris Sacra, U.S. Navy and SPP Point of Contact NE Beta Brother Cory Butler for their diligent support and assistance. White SPP T-shirts remain available for $10 in large and extra large sizes. Please email me at with the details of your T-shirt request.

Fraternally and Respectfully,

Brother Ed Jones, NY Eta '96
Chief Petty Officer, U.S. Navy Reserve
Founder, SigEp Patriots Project
(As a reminder, you can see the online version of this work including the pictures on

01 AUG 1918
On this date, World War I Veteran and Ace and NY Beta Brother Major James Armand Meissner, U.S. Army Air Corps had his fifth air victory while a member of the 147th Aero Squadron while flying a SPAD XIII over Fere-en-Tardenois, France northeast of Paris.

03 AUG 1941
CA Beta Brother Richard A. Halpern was commissioned an Ensign, U.S. Navy Reserve on this date.

30 JUL 1983
World War II Veteran, U.S. Congressman (Delaware) and DE Alpha Brother Major Herbert Birchby Warburton, U.S. Army died on this date. Upon his graduation, Brother Warburton was commissioned a second lieutenant through the Recruit Officer Training Command (ROTC) program, and it appears he graduated from the Dickinson School of Law before commencing active duty as a first lieutenant of the One Hundred and 22nd Antiaircraft Battalion. Upon his release from active duty in 1945, Brother Warburton began practicing law in Wilmington.

Born in Wilmington in 1916, Herbert served as city solicitor from 1949 to 1952 before being elected to the Eighty-Third Congress (1953-55). Continuing his service to the American public, Brother Warburton was appointed special assistant to the Secretary of Labor, James P. Mitchell (02 MAR 1955 - 07 NOV 1957), as general counsel, Post Office Department (07 NOV 1957 - 20 JAN 1961), and as minority counsel to the House Government Operations subcommittee (MAR 1961 to SEP 1964).

Upon his death, Brother Warburton was cremated and the family retained his ashes.

02 AUG 1994
On this date, World War II Veteran, U.S. Congressman (Virginia) and VA Kappa Brother Major William Pat Jennings, U.S. Army died in Marion, Virginia following an accident in which a tractor he was driving overturned and crushed him. Brother Jennings entered the U.S. Army in JUL 1941, serving in the U.S. for two years, and in the European Theater of Operations for two and a half years with the 29th Infantry as a platoon leader, company commander and operations officer.

Following his combat service, William was assigned as an instructor in ROTC at the University of Illinois when he was discharged in MAY 1946 at the rank of major. He was Smyth County Sheriff from 1948-54 before being elected to the 84th and the five succeeding Congresses (03 JAN 1955-03 JAN 1967) as the representative of Virginia's 9th District.

Brother Jennings was elected Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives for the 19th Congress, and reelected to the four succeeding Congresses, and served from 10 JAN 1967, until his resignation 15 NOV 1975, to become president of Slurry Transport Association.

His memberships included Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion, Freemasons, Shriners, and Kiwanis.

03 AUG 1995
WA Alpha Brother Lieutenant Colonel Gilbert Jay John, U.S. Army (Retired), 64, died on this date in Spokane, Washington. Brother John served in the Army from 1953 to 1974, and upon his retirement became a high school counselor from 1975 through 1990.

Respect can be paid to Brother John at Pines Cemetery in Spokane.

01 AUG 1997
Vietnam War Veteran and Prisoner of War, SigEp Citation Recipient, and KS Beta Brother Brigadier General James Downs Latham, U.S. Air Force retired on this date. His final assignment was as assistant deputy under secretary of the Air Force for International Affairs at the Pentagon. After his retirement from the Air Force, Jim went to work for Lockheed-Martin in Fort Worth, Texas.

28 JUL 2004
AL Beta Brother First Lieutenant William "Bill" Denson Yates, Jr., U.S. Army died on this date. Bill was a member of the Pledge Class of Fall 1951 and in ROTC at the University of Alabama. Upon graduation, he was commissioned in the U.S. Army, and after his discharge Brother Yates returned to his hometown of Lanett, Alabama. There he owned and operated Yates Printing and Office Supplies until his retirement in 1997.

Respect can be paid to Brother Yates at Old Oakwood Cemetery, Lanett, AL.

02 AUG 2010
On this date, U.S. Navy World War II Veteran of Tarawa, Marshall Islands, Saipan, Tinian, and Iwo Jima VA Epsilon Brother John Howard Lawrence died peacefully at the age of 90.

Following graduation, John joined the Navy in AUG 1942, and was present at some of the most intense battles of the Pacific Theater of Operations - serving as the Gunnery Officer and later the Executive Officer on USS LST-84 during the amphibious invasions listed above. He was awarded a Navy Commendation Medal for taking charge of a shipboard fire fighting detail to battle a gasoline fire between three gun batteries on the ship, and he received a Purple Heart Medal for a wound received during a kamikaze attack at the invasion of Saipan. He later served as the Executive Officer of the USS Agenor (ARL-3), a landing craft repair ship.

Respect can be paid to Brother Lawrence at Collinsville Cemetery in Collinsville, Connecticut.

03 AUG 2011
U.S. Army World War II Veteran and MI Alpha Brother George Allan Roney, 89, died on this date in Ventura, California. George was an undergraduate at the University of Michigan when he was drafted in to the Army in 1942. After his training, Brother Roney served in the European Theater. After the war, he completed his Bachelors Degree at Wayne State University in Detroit.

George worked in Detroit with various companies, beginning with Michigan Mutual Life Insurance. His career culminated with 17 years in management for the U.S. Postal Service. George and his wife retired to Hendersonville, NC, in 1990, and in 2009 moved to Ventura to be closer to family. George loved sports. He played hockey and baseball at the University of Michigan and played golf throughout his life. He instilled a love of sports in his children and spent many hours coaching and supporting them in their various activities.

George was active in his church, in the Knights of Columbus and in his obituary listed himself as a life member of Sigma Phi Epsilon.

Respect can be paid to Brother Roney at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Southfield, MI.

03 AUG 2011
On this date, U.S. Army World War II Veteran and National Guard (Idaho) Soldier, UT Alpha Brother Worth Barber McNeel, died in Pocatello, Idaho. He was 90 years old. Worth had nearly completed his third semester at (then) Utah State College when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor in DEC 1941. With that, he joined the College’s Enlisted Reserve Corps, and in APR 1943 joined the U.S. Army. Worth was trained in anti-aircraft artillery, and in JAN 1944, he arrived at Pearl Harbor. He later served in the Philippines, Okinawa and Korea, and was discharged in 1946. In later years, he was a member of the Idaho National Guard in Blackfoot, ID.

Following his WWII discharge, Worth returned to Utah State, joined Sigma Phi Epsilon, and graduated with his bachelor's degree in general agriculture in 1947. One of Brother McNeel's first jobs after graduation was as a Veteran's Vocational Agriculture Instructor, and he also drove a bus to make ends meet and support his family. In 1952, he got a job with the Idaho Department of Agriculture as a dairy inspector where he served for 34 years.

In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that you donate to the city of Blackfoot, ID for the American flag fund.

Respect can be paid to Brother McNeel at Grove City Cemetery in Blackfoot.

04 AUG 2011
World War II Veteran, NE Alpha Brother and NE Alpha AVC President Colonel Addis Thompson "Tad" Ward, U.S. Army & U.S. Army Reserve (Retired) died on this date in Scottsdale, Arizona after a short illness. He served in the U.S. Army during WWII and in the U.S. Army Reserves from 1946 to 1983.

Following his graduation from University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Tad was employed in a variety of positions at Miller & Paine from 1949 to 1988, starting as a Management Trainee and retiring as a Divisional Manager and Director. In addition to his continued volunteer work with SigEp, Brother Ward served on many boards and as an officer in many organizations including, president of the Executive Club of Lincoln, and commander of the Birkner Chapter of the Military Order of the World Wars.

Tad loved good food and travelling, having visited all 50 states and many countries on four continents. He was an avid follower of current events and loved discussing them with others, especially his coffee club buddies.

31 JUL 2012
Korean War Veteran and PA Delta Brother Commander Robert Twigg Mullen, U.S. Navy (Retired), 83, died on this date in Melbourne, Florida. He served four years active duty during the Korean War, and continued for an additional 18 years in the Navy Reserves before retiring as a Commander.

Brother Mullen received his Bachelor's Degree in Accounting from The University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School in 1950. While attending the university, Robert was an Ivy League and IC4A track champion. He was most notably a member of the last UPenn team to win the 4 x 800 relay and Distance Medley at the prestigious Penn Relays.

Brother Mullen was the Owner and President of Mullen Brothers Jewelers in Swansea, MA and was a third generation jeweler. Active in his community, Robert was past President and member of the Fall River Kiwanis Club and the Center City Business Association, and a Board Member of the Fall River Five Cent Savings Bank and the Boys & Girls Club of Fall River for over 30 years. He was also a Mason with the King Philip Lodge in Fall River for 50 years.

Contributions in his honor may be made to the American Cancer Society 30 Speen Street, Framingham, MA 01701 or The Autism Project 1516 Atwood Avenue, Johnston, RI 02919.


  • U.S. Navy World War II Veteran and OH Epsilon Brother Harold M. Buckey passed away 25 MAY at home in Walla Walla, Washington. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests gifts in Harold's name to Walla Walla City Library earmarked for their film collection through Mountain View-Colonial DeWitt, 1551 Dalles Military Road, Walla Walla, WA 99362.
  • U.S. Coast Guard Veteran and FL Alpha Brother Marvin F. Buntrock passed away in Florida 26 JUL after a long illness. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Trinity Lutheran Church, 11 SW 11th Street, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33315 and the Sample-McDougald House Preservation Society (Special Fund), P.O. Box 1599, Pompano Beach, FL 33061.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family, friends and chapter brothers of SigEp Patriots Buckey and Buntrock. They are gone, but SPP pledges that they will always be remembered.

  • 30 JUL - Operation ENDURING FREEDOM Veteran and AR Beta Brother Specialist Jacob Hicks, U.S. Army got engaged! Congratulations to Jacob and his fiancée, Kasie.
  • 03 AUG - Vietnam War Veteran, Operations IRAQI FREEDOM and ENDURING FREEDOM Veteran PA Epsilon Brother and Rear Admiral Charles R. Kubic, CEC, U.S. Navy (Retired) was presented the SigEp Citation for career achievement.
  • 03 AUG - Operation ENDURING FREEDOM Veteran and NV Alpha Brother Specialist Thomas Green, U.S. Army re-enlisted for two more years and negotiated a change in MOS. Best of luck to Thomas as he begins the next chapter in his military career.
Have great news? SPP would love to share it with everyone! Just send an email to