Sunday, April 15, 2012

This Week in SigEp Patriot History, 09 – 15 APR


If you want to succeed you should strike out on new paths, rather than travel the worn paths of accepted success. ~ John D. Rockefeller

10 APR 1926
World War I Veteran and OH Gamma Brother Captain Robert Lester Tavenner, U.S. Army died on this date in Columbus, Ohio while serving as an instructor in the Department of Military Science and Tactics at Ohio State University.

Robert was born in Clark County, Ohio on 05 JUN 1885. He attended the College of Arts at OSU where he was also in the Corps of Cadets. Brother Tavenner graduated in 1908.

On 05 AUG 1917, Robert was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Ohio Army National Guard, and beginning 21 JUN 1918 he was assigned to the 37th Division of the American Expeditionary Force.

Brother Tavenner selflessly led his men, and soon after his arrival in the European Theater he would perform acts earning him the Distinguished Service Cross – the highest award the U.S. Army presents after the Medal of Honor.

In General Order 98 (1919), the U.S. War Department stated, “The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to Captain (Infantry) Robert L. Tavenner, United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in action while serving with 148th Infantry Regiment, 37th Division, A.E.F., near Cierges, France, 29 September 1918; and near Olsene, Belgium, 31 October 1918. Without regard for his own safety, Captain Tavenner personally conducted a tank in an attack on a machine-gun nest. After several of the tanks had been put out of action and the others had withdrawn, he walked up and down the firing line under heavy machine-gun fire, cheering his men, despite severe losses, fought till all of their ammunition was exhausted. On 31 October he was severely wounded while making a personal reconnaissance of the enemy's position.”

Respect can be paid to Brother Tavenner at Mound View Cemetery, Mount Vernon, Ohio.

13 APR 1945
On this date, World War II Veteran and OK Alpha Brother First Lieutenant Frank Marion Pinney, U. S. Army was killed in action at Cebu City, Cebu, Philippines.

A son of Tulsa, Oklahoma, Frank was born 12 SEP 1917, and graduated from Stillwater High School. He became a SigEp while attending Oklahoma A & M for three years, where he was also a member of the Pershing Rifles, Scabbard and Blade, and the Aggie Society.

Brother Pinney enlisted in the Army in MAY 1941, and during his service he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Purple Heart, Combat Infantry Badge; Presidential Citation.

Frank is memorialized alongside other patriotic citizens of Oklahoma on the website for The Oklahoma Veteran’s Memorial Gardens, Oklahoma’s War Dead, World War II Years 1941 to 1945.

Respect can be paid to Brother Pinney at Rose Hill Memorial Park, Tulsa, Oklahoma.

14 APR 1953
U.S. Marine Corps World War I Veteran, Governor (Virginia) and VA Zeta Brother William Munford Tuck began his service to the citizens of Virginia and the United States on this date as a member of the Eighty-third Congress. Brother Tuck was subsequently reelected, serving in the seven succeeding Congresses.

12 APR 1970
On this date, Vietnam War Veteran, WV Beta Brother and Captain James Mitchell Atchison, U.S. Army made the ultimate sacrifice in Vietnam. His heroic actions on that day are recognized in the following award citation issued by Headquarters, II Field Force Vietnam, General Orders Number 1984 (May 21, 1970):

“The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 2, 1926, takes pride in presenting the Distinguished Flying Cross (Posthumously) to Captain (Armor) James Mitchell Atchison, United States Army, for heroism while participating in aerial flight evidenced by voluntary action above and beyond the call of duty on 12 April 1970, while serving as a Pilot with the Air Cavalry Troop, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, in the Republic of Vietnam. On this date, Captain Atchison was flying a reconnaissance mission over known enemy locations. While making several low-level passes, the craft came under intense ground fire from the dense jungle. Although he was wounded, he realized that the helicopter's controls were seriously damaged and attempted to aid the pilot to maneuver the craft. Captain Atchison quickly briefed the crew on how to prepare for the crash. As a result of his actions, four men were saved and soon evacuated. Captain Achison's actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit and the United States Army.”

Born 02 JAN 1945 in Paintsville, Kentucky, James graduated from Frederick High School, Frederick, Maryland, and earned his B.A. in History at the University of West Virginia where he was a member of the marching band, Sigma Alpha Theta History Honorary Fraternity, ROTC and the Scabbard & Blade Society, in addition to Sigma Phi Epsilon. He received his commission as a 2nd Lt. in the U.S. Army, upon graduation in 1967.

In April 1969, Brother Atchison graduated from the Army Primary Helicopter School at Fort Wolters, TX. He was then stationed at Hunter Army Air Field, Savannah, GA, where he received advanced flight training, and earned his Wings in AUG 1969. His tour of duty in Vietnam started in OCT 1969, and he received his Captaincy in DEC 1969. In addition to the Distinguished Flying Cross, Captain Atchison’s awards include the Air Medal (with seven oak leaf clusters), Purple Heart, and National Defense Service Medal.

Respect can be paid to Brother Atchison at Section 8, Site 6371 at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA.

14 APR 1970
World War II, Korean War and Vietnam War Veteran, Chief of Naval Operations and Renaissance Brother Elmo Russell Zumwalt, Jr., U.S. Navy (Retired) was nominated on this date by President Nixon to be Chief of Naval Operations – the highest military office in the U.S. Navy.

15 APR 2007
U.S. Navy World War II Veteran and TX Alpha Brother Elbert Eldridge Miller died on this date in Beaumont, TX. Born in Beaumont 14 JUL 1924, Elbert performed his patriotic service before attending University of Texas and graduated in 1948.

10 APR 2010
Operation IRAQI FREEDOM Veteran and OK Beta Brother Major General Darrell Lee Moore, U.S. Marine Corps assumed his duties as Director, Reserve Affairs, Quantico, VA on this date.

10 APR 2010
U.S. Army Air Corps World War II Veteran TN Alpha Brother James Milton Delzell died on this date. Born 24 JUN 1924, James served in the U.S. Army Air Corps in the Pacific theater during World War II. After the war, he received his bachelor's degree from the University of Tennessee. He retired from National Life and Accident Insurance Company, and served on the Board of Ravenwood Country Club.

* On 05 APR, World War II Veteran and AL Alpha Brother Lieutenant Donald Culler Jennings, U.S. Navy Reserve passed away in Hinesville, Georgia.
* On 07 APR, we lost U.S. Army Veteran and UT Alpha President Richard Dale Crump to bacterial meningitis at the age of 45.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Brothers Jennings and Crump.

12 APR 1922 – World War II Veteran and NY Delta Brother Lieutenant Edward Nicholas Stevensen Jr., U.S. Marine Corps was born in Queens, New York on this date.
13 APR 1923 – On this date, U.S. Navy World War II Veteran, Korean War Veteran and NE Alpha Brother Doctor F. Gene Dixon was born in Superior, Nebraska.
12 APR 1937 – U.S. Army Veteran VA Alpha Brother Thomas Wade Adams was born on this date.
10 APR 1974 – On this date, NH Alpha Brother Captain Timothy Francis Farrell, U.S. Marine Corps was born.

Happy Birthday Brothers! Did we miss you? If so, it is because we don’t know your birthday. Send an email to if you wish to allow us the honor of celebrating your day.

* Welcome home to Operation ENDURING FREEDOM Veterans OH Kappa Brother Sergeant Mike Woodall and FL Iota Brother Corporal Alex Boody, U.S. Marine Corps!
* Congratulations to Operation ENDURING FREEDOM Veteran and OH Sigma Brother Lance Corporal Steven Maire, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve for completing a Tough Mudder this week.

* The SPP official Facebook group – SigEps Who Serve – is very happy to welcome CA Theta Brother and U.S. Marine James Riggins and U.S. Army Veteran FL Nu Brother Brian Grogan!

Any brother who serves/served can join SigEps Who Serve by going to Not on Facebook? Join the SPP 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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