Sunday, December 25, 2011

These Two Weeks in SigEp Patriot History, 12 – 25 DEC

In this edition of “This Week:”- NUTS! The Word That Inspired and Possibly Saved Thousands
- Thirty Years of Service in the Military & NASA
- The Loss of Five Sigma Phi Epsilon Patriots
- Update: SigEp Patriots Project

This time of year we are reminded that time is precious and limited. While this edition of “This Week” is a bit long, it was unavoidable given the balancing of life and family commitments with the drafting of this work and the researching of nearly 2000 pages of SigEp documents. The SigEp Patriots Project (SPP) hopes that anyone with information about a Brother who serves/served will write to us at

19 DEC 1887
On this date, U.S. Army WWI Veteran, Speaker of the North Carolina House of Representatives, U.S. Senator (North Carolina) and NC Gamma Brother Willis Smith was born in Norfolk, Virginia.

17 DEC 1916
U.S. Navy World War II Veteran CO Alpha Brother Donn Beck Brown was born on this date in Dayton, Ohio.

17 DEC 1917
World War II Veteran and CA Beta Brother Captain Richard C. Barrett, U.S. Army Air Corps was born on this date in Los Angeles, California.

14 DEC 1918
On this date, World War I Veteran and OH Gamma Brother Captain Robert Lester Tavenner, U.S. Army / American Expeditionary Forces was promoted to Captain. Two days earlier, Brother Tavenner was released from a hospital in England after being wounded at Cruyschauten, Belgium.

24 DEC 1919
U.S. Army Air Corps World War II Veteran AR Alpha Brother Harold Bell Watt was born on this date in Augusta, Kansas.

12 DEC 1924
On this date, U.S. Army Air Corps World War II Veteran NC Zeta Brother Linzy Price Megginson, Jr. was born in Shelby, North Carolina.

20 DEC 1924
U.S. Navy World War II and Korean War Veteran, OK Beta Brother John Olen Denbo was born in Claremore, Oklahoma.

12 DEC 1934
California Supreme Court Associate Justice and MA Gamma Brother First Lieutenant Armand Arabian, U.S. Army was born on this date in New York City.

22 DEC 1944
On this date 67 years ago, the acting commander of the 101st Airborne Division and its attached troops at Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge was WV Beta Brother (then) Brigadier General Anthony McAuliffe

Through a party consisting of a major, captain, and two privates under a flag of truce that entered the American lines southeast of Bastogne, General von Lüttwitz sent the following ultimatum:

“To the U.S.A. Commander of the encircled town of Bastogne.

The fortune of war is changing. This time the U.S.A. forces in and near Bastogne have been encircled by strong German armored units. More German armored units have crossed the river Our near Ortheuville, have taken Marche and reached St. Hubert by passing through Hompre-Sibret-Tillet. Libramont is in German hands.

There is only one possibility to save the encircled U.S.A. troops from total annihilation: that is the honorable surrender of the encircled town. In order to think it over a term of two hours will be granted beginning with the presentation of this note.

If this proposal should be rejected one German Artillery Corps and six heavy A. A. Battalions are ready to annihilate the U.S.A. troops in and near Bastogne. The order for firing will be given immediately after this two hours term.

All the serious civilian losses caused by this artillery fire would not correspond with the well-known American humanity.

The German Commander.”

According to various accounts from those present, when McAuliffe was told of the German demand for surrender he said "Nuts!" At a loss for an official reply, Lieutenant Colonel Harry Kinnard suggested that his first remark summed up the situation well, which was agreed to by the others. The official reply: "To the German Commander, NUTS!, The American Commander" was typed and delivered by Colonel Joseph Harper and Major Jones to the German delegation. Harper had to explain the meaning of the word to the Germans, telling them that in "plain English" it meant "Go to hell."

Brother McAuliffe went on to serve in the Korean War, achieve the rank of General (4-stars) before retiring, and receive the SigEp Citation.

12 DEC 2004
U.S. Army Air Force World War II Veteran AL Beta Chapter President Glen Allen Deuel passed away on this day in Huntsville, Alabama at the age of 82. Brother Deuel was born in Loxley, Alabama, and grew up in Castleberry, Alabama. After high school he enlisted and served in the 15th Army Air Force, 460th Bomb Group of World War II. When the war was over, he attended the University of Alabama and graduated with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. After graduating from college, Glen worked for two years on B-52s for Boeing in Seattle, Washington. He then went on to Redstone Arsenal in 1952 of Huntsville, Alabama, and joined the ABMA Wernher Von Braun first launch team and later NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center where he worked on major space programs from 1952-1979. He was also a member of the American Rocket Society. While walking the beaches of Cape Canaveral during the first Redstone launches of our space program, Glen found a new passion in sea shells. He was a founding member of North Alabama Shell Club and Past President of Conchologists of America, the national organization of shell collectors. Glen served his country during WWII and through his work at NASA for a combination of 30 years. He also served his community as a member of Huntsville’s Metro Kiwanis Club and received Layman of the Year Award.

12 DEC 2008
U.S. Veteran NY Beta Brother Gerard F. Fox of Garden City, NY, passed away on this date. Brother Fox was an expert in bridge design, and taught at Columbia University.

16 DEC 2008
Lifelong Wilmington, Delaware resident, U.S. Navy Veteran and DE Alpha Brother Howard C. Simpkins, Jr. died on this date. Brother Simpkins was awarded the rank of Eagle Scout and served as an assistant Scout Master. He also received the Outstanding Leadership Award and the God and Country Award. Howard entered the University of Delaware in 1952 and attended through 1954. While at the University of Delaware, he was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity having been initiated into the Fraternity in a one initiate symbolic ceremony at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA in the Sig Ep House. He went on active duty in the Naval Reserve and served aboard the USS Timmerman and the USS Hancock before returning to the University of Delaware in 1957 and graduating in Political Science in 1959. The next year, Brother Simpkins started his high school teaching career in the original Claymont High School in the math and then social studies departments while also coaching the boys' and girls' tennis teams. With the closing of Claymont High School in 1990, he taught for six years at Mount Pleasant High School before retiring in 1996. Howard received his master's degree from West Chester University, and helped maintain a 12-mile section of the Appalachian Trail near Harrisburg, PA for over twenty-five years, starting when his sons joined Boy Scout Troop 528 at Grace Episcopal Church. When the Scout Troop disbanded, he continued to maintain the Appalachian Trail through the Brandywine Valley Outing Club.

12 DEC 2010
DE Alpha Brother Corporal Charles J. “Bud” Foster III, U.S. Marine Corps died on this date. Born 12 OCT 1937, Brother Foster was a graduate of Claymont High School, and The University of Delaware. He was a proud member of United States Marine Corps Recruit Platoon 361, Parris Island, SC where he was the honor graduate and expert marksman. For many years he operated Brandywine Security Service, a family business and retired from The State of Delaware Division of Emergency Management. Brother Foster was a superior athlete. He was a multi-sport letterman in high school and college, a member of the Rehoboth Beach Patrol, a Penn Relays medalist, and qualified for and ran The Boston Marathon multiple times. His hobbies included building and maintaining the beautiful gardens at his homes as well as voraciously reading American Military histories. Since his retirement Bud enjoyed travelling and celebrating his Irish heritage. One of his fondest memories was celebrating his 70th birthday in Dublin, Ireland with his wife, children and friends.

Respect can be paid to Brother Foster at St. Joseph on the Brandywine Cemetery in Wilmington, DE.

18 DEC 2010
U.S. Marine Corps Veteran NC Beta Brother Franklin A. Rouse died on this date in Morehead City, North Carolina. Brother Rouse graduated from Moss Hill High School in Lenoir County, served as the Senior Class President and attained the rank of Eagle Scout. At NC State University, Frank earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering, and was a member of the ROTC Drum and Bugle Corp. He served as President of the Atlantic and North Carolina Railroad, and Vice President of the N.C. Railroad. He was a member of the N.C. Development Council and served as Deputy Secretary of the N.C. Department of Transportation. He was an instrument rated, multi-engine pilot. Upon relocating to Carteret County in the early 80s, he was a developer in Emerald Isle, helping to develop Emerald Plantation and Lands End. He owned and produced Coastal Headline News, broadcasting in Carteret, Craven and Onslow Counties. He was awarded a membership to the N.C. Republican Party Hall of Fame and a recipient of the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, North Carolina's highest civilian honor.

24 DEC 2010
KY Beta Chapter President Pharmacist Mate Third Class Kenneth J. Goodman, U.S. Navy passed away at home on this date. Brother Goodman graduated from Male High School in 1945, where he was captain of the baseball team. He graduated from the University of Louisville where he was president of Sigma Phi Epsilon, and a member of the L Club.
Respect can be made to Brother Goodman at Evergreen Cemetery, Louisville, Kentucky.

* U.S. Air Force Reserve Veteran OK Alpha Brother George Ormiston III passed away 10 DEC.
* U.S. Navy World War II Veteran PA Eta Brother William Roy Moore Jr. died 14 DEC.
* U.S. Army World War II Veteran IN Alpha Brother James David Thomas died 17 DEC.
* U.S. Army Veteran AL Alpha Brother Lawrence Walter Cheney Jr. passed away 20 DEC.
* DC Alpha Brother Colonel Brother Harold Dorsett, U.S. Army (Retired) died 23 DEC.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends of these Brothers, and the SigEp Patriots Project promises that their service to the Nation will never be forgotten.

* There are many reasons to be thankful this holiday season, and for a number SigEp Patriots and their families it has been an extremely happy two weeks.

WELCOME HOME!! We are very happy to let everyone know that the following five SigEp Patriots have returned from service in Iraq and Afghanistan:
KS Beta Brother Second Lieutenant Matt Cavanaugh, U.S. Army,
CA Theta Brother First Lieutenant Adam Wilson, U.S. Army,
VA Pi Brother Second Lieutenant Adam Fitzhugh, U.S. Army,
AR Alpha Brother Specialist Jordan Walker, U.S. Army, and
NY Chi Brother Adam Martin, U.S. Army.
Thank you for your service and the sacrifices you and your family make for our freedoms.

* On 16 DEC, OK Alpha Brother Captain Rich Miller, U.S. Army announced that he and his wife Shari will be having a boy in May, their first child! It was a great week for Rich, two days earlier he passed the Professional Engineer exam! Congratulations to Rich and Shari!

* DC Gamma Founding Father Lieutenant Junior Grade Hunter Sheetz, U.S. Navy recently learned he was accepted to the MBA program at Oxford. Congratulations, Hunter!

* Last week, U.S. Navy Veteran FL Epsilon Chapter President Jared Lyon was named Student Veteran of the Year by the Student Veterans of America National Organization! Great job, Jared!

* Congratulations to TN Gamma Brother Ensign Brett Sorah, U.S. Navy Medical Corps who learned last week that he was matched to surgery at Portsmouth Naval Medical Center.

SigEps Who Serve – the official Facebook group of the SPP – would like to welcome SigEp Patriots Brother Ray Sumner, U.S. Army; OK Alpha Brother Captain Rich Miller, U.S. Army; NC Iota Brother Corporal Dustin Keeton, U.S. Marine Corps and MI Kappa Brother Graham Puranen, U.S. Navy.

We are also very happy to announce that KS Beta Brother Chris Day has joined the SPP team as the newest chapter representative! KS Beta has a rich tradition of patriotic service, and we look forward to working with Chris.

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah!

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