Thursday, March 08, 2012

This Week in SigEp Patriot History, 05 – 11 MAR


We keep being asked, so we will repeat it again. For more than 10 years, the SigEp Patriots Project (SPP) has had several goals, and one of the most important goals is to honor and remember the service, accomplishments and sacrifices of brothers who serve our family, friends and fellow brothers while defending the freedoms we enjoy in this great Nation. At the moment, while the American public has the macro view of the withdrawal of forces from Afghanistan, several SigEp Patriots are training to deploy to Afghanistan in the near future. In addition, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has stated that more than 1000 World War II Veterans pass away every year, and SPP is concerned that once those brothers are gone their stories are gone with them. We want to capture the stories of all SigEp Patriots.

Feel free to keep the questions coming.

08 MAR 1918
On this date, NY Beta Brother and U.S. Army Lieutenant James “Jimmy” Armand Meissner, reported to Major John Huffner, commander of the 94th Aero Squadron, 1st Pursuit Group, U.S. Army Air Service, American Expeditionary Force. Known as the “Hat in the Ring Squadron” it was the first entirely American fighter squadron in WWI. Jimmy went on to be the most successful SigEp Ace fighter pilot to serve with the U.S. Army Air Service in World War I, attain the rank of Major, and found the Alabama Air National Guard.

07 MAR 1925
World War II Veteran and DE Alpha Brother Pharmacist Mate Second Class Donald Lee Huston, U.S. Navy was born on this date.

05 MAR 1933
On this date, OH Alpha Brother and Second Lieutenant Emil Eugene "Skip" Chiles Jr., U.S. Air Force was born in Lima, Ohio.

11 MAR 1949
U.S. Navy World War I Veteran, World War II Army Veteran, KS Gamma Renaissance Brother and Brigadier General Arthur E. Stoddard, U.S. Army Reserve was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General on this date.

10 MAR 1978
World War II Veteran and IN Alpha Brother Brigadier General Marion Charles Smith, U.S. Air Force (Retired) died on this date.

Marion was born in Kansas City, Kansas in 1909. After a year at the University of Kansas he transferred to Purdue University where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1931. At Purdue he was active in the Purdue Band, Symphony Orchestra, debating and dramatics.

When he was commissioned a first lieutenant in APR 1942 at Warner Robins Air Force Base in Macon, GA it was the beginning of a long and successful career. Within months his unit proceeded to England, and by DEC Brother Smith was in North Africa where he held various assignments supporting combat aircraft in the North Africa Theatre. During this period he was promoted to captain and major.

In APR 1943, Major Smith was assigned as assistant chief of staff, personnel to a special task group which was formed to take part in the invasion of the Mediterranean Island of Pantelleria and command the allied garrison. When the group was inactivated in SEP 1943, Major Smith was then assigned as the wing adjutant and assistant chief of staff, personnel in the 42nd Bomb Wing in North Africa. He was promoted to lieutenant colonel and appointed as the wing executive officer and served with the bomb wing in North Africa, Sardinia, Corsica and France until the end of World War II.

In August 1946, he returned from overseas duty and was assigned to the War Department General Staff in the Plans and Operations Division. In this assignment, he was in charge of War Department activities in the establishment and operation of U.S. Latin and South America Army and Air Force missions.

Lieutenant Colonel Smith was assigned to the Pentagon in 1949 where he became the deputy chief of the Operational Plans Branch. In the spring of 1950 he was assigned as executive officer to the Air Force vice chief of staff and was promoted to colonel in JUL 1950.

Brother Smith left the Pentagon and served for almost five years in Europe in various positions at U.S. and NATO commands before returning to the U.S. in the summer of 1955. After successfully completing the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, Marion served for several years at Air Materiel Command and then returned to the Pentagon. In 1960, he became the director of procurement and production, and was promoted to brigadier general in MAY 1961.
Brigadier General Smith retired 30 NOV 1964.

Respect can be paid to Brother Smith in Section 60, Site 4904, Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA.

05 MAR 2003
U.S. Navy World War II Veteran and TN Alpha Brother James Thomas “Jim” Brantley died on this date in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. He graduated from the University of Tennessee with a Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture, and served as a Navy Corpsman during World War II.

Jim was a retired supervisor with ConAgra of Knoxville, TN, and a member of the Coffee County Esquire Association, Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders and Exhibitors Association, Manchester Lions Club, and the American Legion Gold Star Post 78.

Respect can be paid to Brother Brantley at the Robinson Cemetery in Loudon County.

* U.S. Army World War II Veteran, Korean War Veteran and PA Eta Brother Colonel Paul Joseph Scally, U.S Air Force (Retired) passed away in Sterling, Virginia on 25 FEB. Paul’s family has asked that memorial contributions be made to the Rehoboth Beach Volunteer Fire Company, P.O. Box 327, Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Brother Scally. The SigEp Patriots Project pledges that their service to the Nation will never be forgotten.

* Welcome home from Afghanistan, SigEp Patriots! U.S. Army Operation ENDURING FREEDOM Veteran and VA Zeta Brother Tom Kelly just returned to the States after a successful deployment, and CA Upsilon Brother and fellow Operation ENDURING FREEDOM Veteran Major Mason Moore, U.S. Army is back after completing a one-year deployment. Thank you for your service, Brothers!

* Congratulations to CA Theta Brother and California National Guardsman Frank Beardsley and his fiancée Allysa on the birth of their son Mason Tucker Beardsley on 06 MAR.

* There are now 21 chapter points of contact (POC) as SPP welcomes NY Chi Brother Captain Bill Toft, U.S. Army as the NY Chi POC. Thanks for your leadership and commitment!

Others interested in serving as POCs can write to

Correction: In the previous edition, Brother Max Witkowski was listed incorrectly as the WI Beta POC. He is in fact serving as the WI Zeta POC for SPP, and is the former WI Zeta Chapter President.

* 1,191! SPP now has the names and information of nearly 1,200 SigEp Patriots who serve/served in the U.S. military, and we look forward to hearing from you!

* 444! With the addition of the following four SigEp Patriots, the membership of the official SPP Facebook group – SigEps Who Serve – now numbers 444:
Marine Corps Veteran and NY Epsilon Brother Ron Sigeti, NJ Zeta Brother and New Jersey National Guard solder Rich Schmidt, WI Zeta Brother and Army ROTC Cadet Joel Meller, and AL National Guardsman and AL Theta Brother Josh Sims.

Welcome Brothers!

To join the group, go to Not on Facebook? Join our listserve by sending an email to For both, you will be asked to provide 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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