Sunday, February 19, 2012

This Week in SigEp Patriot History, 13 – 19 FEB


Yesterday, I had the honor of visiting the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, VA during a visit to the brothers at VA Omicron. If you have never seen this memorial, I highly recommend it. As I stood there and tried to envision the incredible acts of valor and selfless commitment during the largest invasion in world history, I couldn’t help but think, “I wonder how many brothers heroically served on the beaches of Normandy on 06 JUN 1944.” It is a shame that we as a Fraternity can’t recognize the incredible acts performed this day by our brothers, but it is a goal of the SigEp Patriots Project (SPP) to learn the names and accomplishments of those brothers.

15 FEB 1891
WWI Veteran and PA Delta Brother Doctor Major William Bates, U.S. Army was born on this date.

19 FEB 1914
World War II Veteran and NC Delta Brother Staff Sergeant Clifton Robert “Tip” Faucette, Jr., U.S. Army was born on this date.

17 FEB 1921
WWII Veteran and CO Delta Brother First Lieutenant Douglas Lawrence Pearce, U.S. Army Air Corps was born on this date in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. He graduated with an engineering degree, and soon thereafter enlisted in the Army in Salt Lake City as a First Lieutenant, 9th Army Air Force.

On the same date, U.S. Army World War II Veteran UT Alpha Brother Worth Barber McNeel was born in Afton, Wyoming. He served in the Philippines, Okinawa and Korea, and was discharged in 1946. He then went to Utah State, graduating in 1947, and in later years he joined the Idaho National Guard.

14 FEB 2006
On this date, one of our brothers made the ultimate sacrifice, and the SigEp Patriots Project pledges that his selfless devotion to all of us will never be forgotten.

Operation IRAQI FREEDOM Veteran and LA Delta Brother Lance Corporal Matthew Ryan Barnes, U.S. Marine Corps was killed in action six years ago in Qa’im, Iraq. He was 20 years old.

Brother Barnes was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, NC. He was killed when a suicide car bomb attacked the vehicle he was in. Matthew and another Marine were killed when a bomber rammed their Humvee.

Brother Barnes was a student at the University of Louisiana at Monroe until he joined the Marines in May 2004.

Respect can be paid to Brother Barnes at Roselawn Memorial Gardens, Calhoun, LA.

16 FEB 2006
U.S Coast Guard World War II Veteran DC Alpha Brother Vernon Edgar “Ben” Benjamin died on this dates in Bradenton, Florida. Ben was born in East Moriches, Long Island, New York, and a graduate in Electrical Engineering from George Washington University. He served in the United States Coast Guard during WWII as an electrical technician on the atomic bomb project at Los Alamos, NM.

13 FEB 2010
CO Beta Brother Captain Robert Donnice Urbana, U.S. Navy Reserve (Retired) died on this date. Brother Urbana was born in Denver on 25 JAN 1930, and raised there among his large, extended Italian family. Bob joined the U.S. Navy at age 17, went through the naval ROTC program and graduated from the University of Denver in December 1952 with a degree in business and a commission in the U.S. Navy.

The Navy moved Bob to San Diego where he served as executive officer on the USS Koka. He left active duty in 1955, but continued his naval career as a reservist in Boise, Idaho. Bob's passion was the Navy. As a reservist he completed the Armed Forces Staff College, the Naval War College and was a member of the U.S. Naval Advancement Board. Brother Urbana commanded units in Boise; Longview, Washington; and Salem, Oregon. He finished his naval career as the RDAC officer (recruiting district assistance council) for Oregon, retiring in 1978 after 31 years of service. Bob instilled his love of the Navy in the next generations. He had the privilege of swearing in his grandson, Alexander, into the U.S. Navy in 1999. He was a member and past president of the Portland Navy League and served on the Rose Festival Naval committee. At various times in his life he belonged to the Kiwanis, Lions and Rotarians and was a member of the Knights of Columbus.

14 FEB 2010
Operation ENDURING FREEDOM Veteran and FL Iota Brother Lance Corporal Yoni Haim, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve was mobilized to active duty one year ago on this date for his first deployment to Afghanistan. Brother Haim volunteered for mobilization, and is safely back home. We honor his commitment to the Corps and the Country.

19 FEB 2010
On this date, World War II Veteran and IN Alpha Brother Captain Harvie M. Merrill, IV, U.S. Army Air Corps died in Winter Park, Florida. Born in Detroit Michigan, he graduated at the top his class at Purdue University with a degree in chemical engineering. In addition to SigEp, he was a member of Scabbard & Blade, and Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society. He did graduate work at Yale University and served in World War II as a captain in the US Army Air Corps. He had a long career at Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Co. Later, he became Vice-President of Stauffer Chemical Co. before becoming President of Hexcel Corp. in San Francisco. As Chairman and CEO there, he initiated international divisions of the company in Paris, London and Brussels and brought the company to listing on the New York Stock Exchange.

19 FEB 2011
World War II Veteran and OH Gamma Brother First Lieutenant Robert Warren Bishop, U.S. Army died a year ago in Terre Haute, Indiana. He was born 26 OCT 1922, in Cleveland, Ohio, and a graduate of The Ohio State University.

Bob is a U.S. Army veteran of World War II where he served in Central Europe as a Company Commander in the Corps of Engineers in General Patton’s 3rd Army. During his career he had worked for General Motors, Philco Corporation, Westinghouse and J.I. Case Company, where he served as general manager of the Terre Haute plant before his retirement. Very active in the Terre Haute community, Bob was past president and a Paul Harris Fellow of the Downtown Terre Haute Rotary Club, and a past president and board member for 16 years for Junior Achievement.

Brother Bishop was laid to rest with full military honors, and respect can be paid to him at Mount Hope Cemetery in Huntington, Indiana. The family kindly requests that memorial contributions may be made to Union Hospital Foundation, 1606 N. 7th St., Terre Haute, IN 47804; or to Hospice of the Wabash Valley, 400 8th Ave., Terre Haute, IN 47804.

* World War II Veteran and NY Delta Brother Lieutenant Edward Nicholas Stevensen Jr., U.S. Marine Corps died on 28 JAN in Windsor Lakes, Connecticut. Brother Stevensen’s obituary stated, “He was commissioned a Lieutenant (most likely a Second Lieutenant) in the U.S. Marine Corps (1943-1946) and served as an Engineering Officer with the Third Marine Aircraft Wing on Midway Island during World War II.”
* U.S. Merchant Marine World War II Veteran Leander Newton "Pete" Trammell, born 13 JUL 1927, in Atlanta, Georgia died 13 FEB 2012 at Hospice Atlanta. After his World War II service he attended Davidson College in North Carolina.
* World War II Veteran and VA Eta Brother Major George Claiborne Calkins, U.S. Air Force (Retired) also passed away on 13 FEB while residing in a retirement community in Winter Park, Florida. Brother Calkins began his patriotic military service at the age of 19 in the U.S. Army Air Corps, and later became an Air Force officer and pilot.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends of these Brothers, and the SigEp Patriots Project pledges that their service to the Nation will never be forgotten.

Last weekend, during his reserve duty, the U.S. Marine Corps recognized the leadership potential of FL Iota Brother Frank Slamka and meritoriously promoted him to the rank of Lance Corporal!
* MD Alpha Brother Adam H. Reiffen, U.S. Navy will be moving to Jacksonville, FL to join helicopter squadron HSM-74 – the Swamp Foxes. HOOYAH!
* After 13 years of committed service in the U.S. Army, Operation ENDURING FREEDOM Veteran and LA Alpha Brother Brock Bosson was honorably discharged on 10 FEB 2012 at the rank of Captain. Thank you for your service!

Congratulations to all of our brothers!

* SPP now has data about 1,080 SigEp Patriots who serve/served in the U.S. military!
* The official SPP Facebook group now numbers more than 430 SigEp Patriots with the addition of the following Brothers: Operation ENDURING FREEDOM Veteran and FL Iota Brother Corporal Alex Boody, U.S. Marine Corps; Operation IRAQI FREEDOM Veteran and former Florida National Guard Staff Sergeant FL Iota Brother Frank Ring; Operation DESERT STORM and OPERATION NEW DAWN Veteran, CA Theta Brother Lieutenant Ian Marks, U.S. Coast Guard Reserve; CA Theta Brother Nathan Fleshman, U.S. Army, and OH Gamma Brother Yannis Hadjiyannis, U.S. Army.

To join the Facebook group go to Not on Facebook? Join our listserve by sending an email to All we need to know is your military affiliation and home chapter.

Fraternally and Respectfully,

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