Sunday, May 06, 2012

This Week in SigEp Patriot History, 30 APR – 06 MAY


This month, hundreds, perhaps thousands of patriotic Americans around the country will graduate from college, take the oath and receive their commission as officers in the U.S. military. Meanwhile, every day across this great land, Americans are signing up to join the military. The SigEp Patriots Project believes the beginning of this selfless journey is worthy of recognition, and it gives us another reason to be proud to call such men brother.

02 MAY 1918
On this date, NY Beta Brother (then) First Lieutenant James Armand Meissner, U.S. Army Air Service won his first aerial engagement while flying a French-made Nieuport 28 about three miles above Foret De La Rappe, France. Jimmy would go on to become a WWI Ace.

For his service on this date, Brother Meissner was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross in accordance with General Order 121, W.D., 1918,
“The Distinguished Service Cross is presented to James A. Meissner, First Lieutenant (Air Service), U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in action in the Toul sector in 02 MAY 1918. First Lieutenant Meissner attacked three enemy planes at an altitude of 4,800 meters over the Foret De La Rappe, France. After a short fight he brought down one of the machines in flames. During the combat the entering wedge and the covering of the upper wings of his plane were torn away and after the battle he was subjected to heavy fire from antiaircraft batteries, but by skillful operation and cool judgment he succeeded in making a landing within the American lines.”

04 MAY 1925
Born in Ontario, Canada, World War I Veteran and Renaissance Brother Captain James Naismith, U.S. Army National Guard (Kansas) became a naturalized U.S. citizen on this date.

01 MAY 1942
MT Alpha Brother John Woodrow Bonner entered the U.S. Army on this date and served during World War II.

01 MAY 1956
On this date, World War II Veteran and VA Zeta Brother General Robert Jefferson Wood, U.S. Army became commanding general of Fort Bliss and commandant of the Antiaircraft Artillery and Guided Missile School.

02 MAY 1998
FL Theta Brother Lieutenant Commander Christopher Sacra, U.S. Navy began his military service on this date. Thank you Brother Sacra for 14 years (and going) of patriotic service!

01 MAY 1999
On this date, TN Theta Brother Kenneth Michael Ballard began his patriotic service in the U.S. Army.

05 MAY 2008
World War II Veteran and VT Alpha Brother Captain George Sander, U.S. Army Air Force of Whiting, New Jersey, died on this date.

George was born 04 JUL 1916 in Philadelphia, PA and raised in Ocean City.  He attended Norwich where he was part of the baseball team, basketball, team, track, intramurals, and was a member of the Junior Weekend and the Winter Carnival Committees.  He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering in 1938.

Following his service as a radar officer in the U.S. Army Air Force, he was a district sales manager for Johnson Controls and made his home in Baldwin, Long Island until his retirement in 1981.

Respect can be paid to Brother Sander at Section KS, Site 8479 of Brigadier General William C. Doyle Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Wrightstown, New Jersey.

01 MAY 2009
World War II Veteran and CO Delta Brother Ensign Floyd D. Burnside, U.S. Navy Air Corps died on this date.

Born in Westfield, Pennsylvania in 1922, Floyd met his wife Charlotte while attending Painted Post High School in New York. Floyd graduated from Colorado School of Mines with a professional degree in petroleum engineering, and in 1941, he enlisted with the Navy Air Corps serving as an ensign with Navy Squadrons 18 and 20 from 1941 to 1946.

On 03 JUL 1948, Floyd and Charlotte were married in Bath, NY. Together they traveled the world, climbing the pyramids in Egypt and kissing the Blarney Stone in Ireland. They raised their family in Colorado, Wyoming and Montana. Floyd spent 28 years with Shell Oil and also enjoyed several years as a petroleum instructor with his friend, Jerry Bond.

Respect can be paid to Brother Burnside at Section 26, Site 900 of Ft. Logan National Cemetery, Denver, Colorado.

* 19 APR – U.S. Army Veteran MO Gamma Brother Donald Preston Wilson, 78, passed away peacefully in his sleep at his home in Roper, North Carolina.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the chapter brothers, family and friends of Brother Wilson. Unfortunately, this list is likely incomplete, and the small group of dedicated brothers working the SigEp Patriots Project could use your help. If you know of a brother patriot that has passed away we appreciate an email to

* Two more brothers honored us this week by joining the SPP official Facebook group – SigEps Who Serve. It is our pleasure to welcome aboard MO Kappa Brother Jake Bauer who recently completed BCT, and AL Alpha Brother Staff Sergeant Chris Howard, U.S. Army.
* We are always looking for brothers-in-arms, and we hope you will reach out. Join us on Facebook at Not on Facebook? Write to to join the listserve. In both cases, 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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