Monday, April 22, 2013

The Last Two Weeks in SigEp Patriot History, 08 – 21 April

If you want to succeed you should strike out on new paths, rather than travel the worn paths of accepted success. ~ John D. Rockefeller
Given the holdings of the SigEp Patriots Project (SPP) have become quite extensive and the desire of the author to keep “This Week” a reasonable length, it must be stated that this and further editions of this work will not be a full representation of what is known to SPP. We thank all of you for your contributions to date, and we remain interested in hearing from anyone willing to honor and celebrate the service of SigEp Patriots. If you would like to share or learn about a SigEp Patriot, please write to me at
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 The Ohio State University (OSU).
On 05 AUG 1917, Brother Tavenner was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Ohio Army National Guard, and subsequently assigned to the 37th Division of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF). Soon after arriving in the European Theater, he selflessly led his men while performing heroic acts that earned him the Distinguished Service Cross (DSC) – the highest award presented by the U.S. Army second only to the Medal of Honor.
Brother Tavenner is one of five SigEp Patriots to be awarded one or more DSCs.
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, AEF, 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 After several of the tanks had been put out of action and the others had withdrawn, he walked up and down the firing line under heavy machine-gun fire, cheering his men, despite severe losses, fought till all of their ammunition was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.”
Robert was born in Clark County, Ohio, and attended the College of Arts at OSU where he was also in the Corps of Cadets. He graduated in 1908.
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 made the ultimate sacrifice during action at Cebu City, Cebu, Philippines. 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 and Presidential Citation.
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.
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 reelected to 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 Atchison'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 in Paintsville, Kentucky, James graduated from Frederick High School in 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. He received his commission as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army upon graduation in 1967.
Brother Atchison is one in a long line of SigEp Patriot aviators. In April 1969, he 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. James’ tour of duty in Vietnam started in OCT 1969, and he received his Captaincy in DEC 1969.  In addition to the Distinguished Flying Cross, Brother 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 Admiral Elmo Russell Zumwalt, Jr., U.S. Navy was nominated on this date by President Nixon to be Chief of Naval Operations – the highest military office in the U.S. Navy. Admiral Zumwalt became a Renaissance Brother several years after his retirement.
18 APR 1993
On this date, U.S. Army War II Veteran and OK Alpha Brother Carmon Coleman Harris died in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
17 APR 2002
NY Alpha Brother Major Oscar Bomboy Millard, U.S. Army (Retired) died on this date. Oscar was born in Centralia, Pennsylvania, and graduated from Syracuse University with a business degree. Later he was a resident of Jacksonville and Atlantic Beach, FL. After retiring from the Army, Brother Millard had a career in Civil Service Finance before completely retiring. His memberships included Northeast Florida Chapter of the Retired Officers Association, Solomon Masonic Lodge #20, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Free Masonry.
Brother Millard was laid to rest with military honors, and respect can be paid to him at Arlington Park Cemetery, Jacksonville, FL.
16 APR 2005
On this date, TN Eta Brother Joshua Sean Lawrence raised his hand and swore to defend the United States against all its enemies. Sean, a Captain in the U.S. Army, was killed in action in Kandahar, Afghanistan on 08 OCT 2011.
19 APR 2005
Just three days after Josh Lawrence joined the Army, Operation IRAQI FREEDOM Veteran and NY Eta Brother Specialist Jacob M. “Puck” Pfister, U.S. Army was killed in action in Baghdad, Iraq when a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device detonated near his dismounted patrol. He was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Georgia. Brother Pfister was awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart and was posthumously promoted to Corporal. He was 27 years old, and his wife was pregnant with their first child, Maddison.
 Jacob grew up in Buffalo, NY and attended Grover Cleveland High School, where he played tight end on the football team and received a citizenship award at graduation. After attending Buffalo State College, he joined the Army and moved to Florida.
Jacob’s mom described her son as a serious man who loved his family. “The way he put it to me is, ‘Mom, who would you rather have over there defending you, me or some other joker?”’ That was classic Puck.
Donations may be made to the Maddison Pfister Fund, c/o J.P. Morgan Chase, 2300 Main Place Tower, Buffalo, NY 14202.

Respect can be paid to Brother Pfister at his gravesite at Saint Vincent de Paul Cemetery, Derby, New York, and at a memorial cenotaph located at Fort Stewart, GA.
20 APR 2006
On this date, World War II Veteran and DE Alpha Brother Pharmacist Mate Second Class Donald Lee Huston, U.S. Navy died in Cape Coral, Florida. Don retired as a Civilian Personnel Management Specialist from the Department of Army.
Respect can be paid to Brother Huston at Section WIV, Row A, Site 19 of Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Bear, Delaware.
10 APR 2010
U.S. Army Air Corps World War II Veteran and TN Alpha Brother James Milton Delzell died on this date.  James served in the Pacific Theater during WWII. 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.
Respect can be paid to Brother Delzell at Woodlawn Cemetery in Nashville, TN.
16 APR 2010
World War II Veteran and NC Delta Renaissance Brother Lieutenant Reginald Frederick “Mutt” McCoy, U.S. Army Air Corps died on this date in Laurinburg, North Carolina. During WWII, he was stationed in North Africa, Italy and Corsica, and was awaiting transfer to the Pacific Theater when the war ended.
“The Legend of Laurinburg” attended local schools, and studied at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. Before completing his college degree, he returned to Laurinburg to help support his mother and siblings and began a 60-year career in the Mercantile and Agribusiness sector that was interrupted by his service to the Nation. Mutt became President of John F. McNair, Inc. and later President and Chairman of McNair Investment Company.
He was awarded the Silver Beaver Award by Boy Scouts of America in 1957 and supported their work throughout his life. His son's chapter made him an honorary member.
21 APR 2011
U.S. Navy World War II Veteran NC Delta Chapter President Charles Taylor Foley died on this date in Stuart, Florida. He was 84 years old. Born and raised in Charlotte, NC, he wintered over in Stuart, while spending the summers in Oxford, OH where he had resided since 1970.
Charles attended the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill earning a degree in business administration after his service to the nation. He was extremely active at UNC, in addition to SigEp, he served as president of the YMCA on campus, sang in the Men's Glee Club, was Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee in the student legislature, President of the Veteran's Association and Vice-president of the University Club.

A businessman his entire working life, he worked for several companies including H.K. Porter, Proctor and Gamble and Square D before becoming a successful small business owner. He sold his final business, Foley's Energy Shop, located outside Cincinnati, OH, in 1997.

Respect can be paid to Brother Foley at the mausoleum at Sharon Memorial Park, Charlotte, North Carolina.
16 APR 2012
Two SigEp Patriots who served our country in the U.S. Army during World War II died on this date.
OK Beta Brother Kenneth Hardy “Buddy” Bell died in Oklahoma City, OK. A 1955 graduate of OU, Brother Bell served with the 101st Airborne, and upon his discharge he spent 20 years in California before returning to Oklahoma. He owned the Golf Outlet in Oklahoma City.
MO Alpha Brother Paul R. Manocchio died in Morristown, NJ at the age of 87. Paul proudly served and was awarded the European-African-Middle-Eastern Theatre Ribbon (with 3 bronze stars), American Theatre Ribbon, Good Conduct Medal, and World War II Victory Medal.
Respect can be paid to Brother Manocchio at Saint Mary’s Cemetery, Boonton, NJ.
Mid-April 2012
This time last year, family, friends and brothers welcomed home Operation ENDURING FREEDOM veterans OH Kappa Brother Sergeant Mike Woodall, U.S. Marine Corps and FL Iota Brother Corporal Alex Boody, U.S. Marine Corps!
* Congratulations to VA Pi Brother Lieutenant Steven Whelpley, U.S. Navy on his recent engagement to Jessica Belz!
* The SPP official Facebook group – SigEps Who Serve (SWS) – has nearly 570 SigEp Patriots, and we are gaining additional brothers nearly every day! You can join SWS by going to Not on Facebook? Join the SPP listserve by sending an email to For both, you will be asked to provide your home chapter, rank, branch of service, military affiliation and whether you are a combat veteran.
* The SPP database now has the names of more than 3,830 SigEp Patriots who serve/served in the U.S. military.
Fraternally and Respectfully,

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