The Fifth Field

A New Knights Templar? Part 3


Max Weber: Monopoly of Power of the State

The 800-pound gorillas in the room that could make the establishment of a New Knights Templar difficult are nation states.

One could easily make the argument that the history of mankind has been a violent one.  In ancient times, kings and queens could send their empires to war or order the execution of a criminal or political opponent with as little as a nod of the head.  Within empires, local tribal leaders often held similar power over life and death.

By the time of feudalism – during the period of the Crusades – European kings depended on loyal vassals to do their bidding and so often turned a blind eye when these vassals sometimes felt the need to do violence to one another over a slight or family grudge.  At the same time in Europe, the Catholic Church held great power, and often in consultation with secular rulers, could urge the faithful to “take up the Cross” and go on Crusade with the full knowledge that violence would result.  Religious courts also could try individuals on perceived religious violations – such as heresy.

With the rise of the nation state, governments desired to be the sole arbiter of the use of legitimate violence within their borders.  This phenomenon was perhaps best described by German philosopher Karl Emil “Max” Weber.  The modern state, he believed, emerged from feudalism by expropriating the means of political organization and domination, including violence, and by establishing the legitimacy of its rule.  Writing during the period 1890 to 1920, Weber – in his work – Politics as a Vocation, Weber defined a concept he termed Gewaltmonopol des Staates (Monopoly of Power of the State) as any organization that succeeds in holding the exclusive right to use, threaten, or authorize physical force against residents of its territory, which was most seen at the level of a nation state.  According to Weber, this could only occur via a process of legitimation of that organization.  He then went into detail that this social authority was most often seen in three forms, which he labelled as charismatic, traditional, and rational-legal.

According to Max Weber, the state was the source of legitimate physical force, with the public police and the military as its main instruments; he also added that private security could also be used with state authorization.  Weber delved into several levels concerning the monopoly of force, believing that this did not mean that only the government could use physical force, but that the state was the only source of legitimacy for all physical coercion or adjudication of coercion. This would provide citizens with the backing of law when individuals found themselves in a situation requiring the use force in defense of self or property; the right derived from the state’s authority.  This fits with other philosophers’ views that the state can grant another actor the right to use violence without losing its monopoly, as long as it remains the only source of the right to use violence.

As nation states progressed, many expanded on this theory and in many cases desired that they have a monopoly on the potential to use force.  Starting with totalitarian régimes, governments began to limit ownership of firearms – stating that weapons were the root cause of violence – but in actuality believing that an unarmed citizenry will be a docile citizenry.  Over the last half century, these policies have been adopted in traditional democracies.  England – the home of the Magna Carta, actually enacted The Unlawful Games Act in 1541 that required every Englishman between the ages of 17 and 60 (with various exemptions) to keep a longbow and regularly practice archery.  It was repealed in 1960 by the Betting and Gaming Act.  Great Britain now has some of the tightest gun control laws in the world.  Only police officers, members of the armed forces, or individuals with written permission from the Home Secretary may lawfully own a handgun; in all other cases, handguns are prohibited weapons.  Rifles and shotguns require a certificate from the police for ownership, and only after a number of criteria are met, including that the applicant has a good reason to possess the requested weapon.  The government has determined that self-defense or a simple wish to possess a weapon is not considered a good reason.  Furthermore, secure storage of rifles and shotguns is also a factor when licenses are granted; this has devolved to mandatory overnight storage of a shotgun not in the owner’s home, but at an authorized shooting or hunting club safe.

Nation states also are fairly reluctant to permit their citizens to fight for any group that is not the armed forces.  The United Kingdom has laws preventing their nationals from enlisting in foreign armed forces, and they are examining the loss of citizenship for those citizens that join terrorist organizations.  Prior to now, the legislation hasn’t been used much; for example, way back in the Greek War of Independence, British volunteers fought with the Greek rebels, which could have been unlawful; it was unclear whether or not the Greek rebels were a “state” per the Foreign Enlistment Act, but the law was clarified, saying that the rebels were a state.

Both the British and American governments turned a blind eye toward their citizens’ participation in the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s.  The United States has laws that seem to both make fighting as a mercenary or fighting as part of a non-US entity overseas legal and illegal at the same time.  The United States has not banned Americans from fighting with militias against ISIS, although it considers the Turkey-based Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK), a terrorist organization.  The Kurds have turned to the Internet to find foreign fighters, creating a Facebook page called “The Lions of Rojava” with the stated mission of sending “terrorists to hell and save humanity.”  The United States has pushed recently for a legally binding United Nations Security Council resolution that would compel all countries in the world to take steps to “prevent and suppress” the flow of their citizens into the arms of groups considered to be terrorist organizations. 

This is where the problem may arise.  The government of the United States, as well as governments in many European countries, has been extremely reluctant to name militant Islam as an enemy, fearing to antagonize any Muslim that may take offense.  Rather than target groups that are true terrorists – calling a spade a spade – it will be tempting to broaden the category to include about any group that is armed and fighting in these conflicts.  Should such a broad definition be adopted, it will be the nation states attempt to kill a New Knights Templar in its cradle and could put any volunteer in legal jeopardy.  To be continued…

A New Knights Templar? Part 32015-09-19T20:19:45-06:00

A New Knights Templar? Part 2


Pope Francis: stopping aggression is legitimate

Certain conditions would have to exist before a New Knights Templar be formed in such a way that it could endure for the long haul, as the battle against militant Islam will not be won in the near future – in fact, it may become the Second Hundred Years War.

A New Knights Templar would likely differ from the original version in many respects.  The Catholic Church officially endorsed the first Knights Templar in 1129; the New Knights Templar – while it may contain many Roman Catholics – could very well consist of non-Catholic Christians, Jews, Jews, Hindus, Muslims and members of other faiths; it is not inconceivable that Atheists might even join.  The commonality of volunteers for the New Knights Templar will not be religion – which was the common denominator of the “Poor Knights of Christ and the Temple of Solomon” that later became known as Knights Templars.  The common denominator will not be nationality, just as it was not in the original warrior group.

The most-likely common characteristic of all would-be volunteers to participate in the New Knights Templar would be a belief that there is both Good and Evil in the world and that militant Islam – such as ISIS – has demonstrated on a daily basis that it is Evil.  Furthermore these volunteers, brave men and women from around the world, would likely believe that Good should be triumphant, that Good must defend those who cannot defend themselves and that each individual can make a difference in this struggle against Evil.

Not every would-be volunteer for the New Knights Templar would be a member of an organized religion or would even be interested in what the leaders of major religions might think of the concept of the New Knights Templar taking up the sword to combat militant Islam and defending those innocents in its path.  However, for some volunteers, it would be important to have the moral support of those leaders and it appears that they will.

Enroute to South Korea on August 14, 2014, Pope Francis commented on the military victories by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS or ISIL) that have resulted in persecution and murder of Iraqi Christians and other religious minorities.  Earlier, a papal communique against this violence was sent to all the nunciatures and the Pope wrote a letter to the United Nations’ Secretary General.  The Pope, additionally, met with the governor of Iraqi Kurdistan and named Cardinal Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, as his personal envoy to Iraq.

Pope Francis made the following remarks on that flight with respect to ISIS/ISIL in Iraq: “To stop the unjust aggressor is licit…One single nation cannot judge how you stop this, how you stop an unjust aggressor…Stopping the unjust aggressor is a right that humanity has, but it is also a right of the aggressor to be stopped so he does not do evil.”

In April 2015, the Community of Sant’ Egidio, a Catholic lay movement focused on ecumenical and inter-religious dialogue as well as conflict resolution, called for the creation of “safe havens” for Christians in Iraq and Syria, as well as the creation of an international police force capable of identifying and apprehending the authors of terrorist acts.  In May 2015, Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York marked  the desperate plight of Christians in Iraq and Syria with an urgent plea for Americans to take action before it’s too late.  “When it comes to the persecution of Christians, we are talking about an… international emergency.”

For would be volunteers for a New Knights Templar that are Roman Catholics – or other denomination Christians that take interest in the words of the Pope – it appears that the pontiff’s words would clearly permit men and women of conscience to stop the unjust aggression of militant Islam so it does not do evil.  It is equally clear that the Pope is leery about a single nation determining the level of force that it will use to stop aggression, probably because that nation may allow selfish national objectives to cloud the issue of how much force is adequate to stop the aggressor versus how much may be too much.  That concern, while valid, probably would not applicable for members of a New Knights Templar, whose volunteers will be from many countries around the world, not just one.  Each individual would bring the norms and values of the nation from which he or she comes.  No single country would hold sway on the activities of these volunteers.  As will be described later, a New Knights Templar would probably have no world-wide governing body; the power of the organization would rest in the individual conscience, spirit, initiative and creative talents of each member, and every level of bureaucracy layered above the individual would have a stifling effect.

Leaders of Protestant Christian faiths seem to be in the process of making their own declarations that good men and women have their full blessing to fight evil and defend the innocent.  In September 2015, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby decalred that the aerial bombig campaign against the Islamic State (ISIS) was a just war.  He stated that military action was justified on the humanitarian grounds that te victims of ISIS needed help in escaping the barbarity of Islamic extremists.  The Archbishop, principal leader of the Church of England and the symbolic head of the worldwide Anglican Communion, went on to state that: “There is justification for the use of armed force on humanitarian grounds to enable oppressed victims to find safe space.”

If they wish to support the fight against militant Islam, similar proclamations need to be made by leaders of other faiths and some have already come on board.  Rabbi Yosef Mizrachi, born in Israel but now a prominent public figure in New York said the following: “A child who grows up with a Torah education knows that there is good and evil in the world, and knows that he is expected to strengthen the good and counter the bad.  Wrote King David in the 97th Psalm: “Ohavei Hashem sin’u ra” – if you love God, hate evil!  That is the moral passion that Judaism has encouraged for 3,500 years – and that is why those who are imbued with its values understand that the evil of this world is very real indeed, and that all of us have an obligation to do our best to fight it.”

For a New Knights Templar to come into being, with a chance to be viewed as the good of humankind, Muslim Imams must endorse that groups such as ISIS and other militant Islamic entities should be fought by all true Muslims of good faith, along with their brothers and sisters of other faiths.  In March 2015, Imam Syed Soharwardy, the head of the Islamic Supreme Council of Canada, created the edict which condemns radicalization and recruitment for ISIS.  Muslims around the world have long been condemning ISIS, but this is the first time there will be an official fatwa stating so.  Within days, 38 imams and Islamic scholars from across Canada signed the fatwa.  It is a start.

However, another hurdle to the formation of the New Knights Templar would be that entity of which Pope Francis was concerned – the modern nation state – and that will be addressed next.  To be continued…

A New Knights Templar? Part 22015-09-19T20:20:23-06:00

Master Sergeant John C. Woods


John C. Woods on troopship — this photo and several other photos of Woods in The Fifth Field were graciously supplied by the Associated Press archives

During World War II, Master Sergeant John C. Woods served as a hangman assigned to the Loire Disciplinary Training Center at Le Mans, France; in his capacity, he hanged at least twenty-three soldiers – and possibly up to thirty-five – and was the assistant hangman for five others in the European Theater of Operation.
Woods was born in Wichita, KS on June 5, 1911.  Woods, who came from a broken home and was placed in the custody of his grandmother and grandfather when his parents were divorced when he was ten, completed freshman year at Wichita High School, but the dropped out.  He enlisted in the Navy in 1929, but deserted.  Authorities apprehended him, convicted him by a Summary Court-Martial and dismissed him for being mentally unstable and unsuitable for military service.
He received a dishonorable discharge from the Civilian Conservation Corps after six months in 1933, when he went AWOL and refused to work.  Prior to his induction in the Army on August 30, 1943, he lived in Eureka, Kansas; he was married to Hazel Chilcott on September 30, 1933 in Eureka, Kansas; the couple had no children.  At his Army induction, he was listed as having blue eyes, brown hair with a ruddy complexion, standing 5’4½” tall and weighing 130 pounds.
He reported to Fort Leavenworth, KS to begin training on September 19, 1943; he was assigned to Company B of the 37th Engineer Combat Battalion in the 5th Engineer Special Brigade on March 30, 1944.  Woods may have participated in the landings on Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944 with his unit.  He was attached to the 2913th Disciplinary Training Center in October 1944; orders in December 1944 show him assigned to the Provost Marshal Section in the Headquarters of the Brittany Base Section.  Woods was formally assigned to the 2913th DTC on February 12, 1945; on May 7, 1945, he was assigned to the Headquarters of the Normandy Base Section, but was attached back to the 2913th for duty.  On September 3, 1945, Woods was released from attachment and assigned to the Headquarters CHANOR Base Section.
Woods gained international fame in October 1946, as the official hangman for the International Military Tribunal at Nürnberg.  There, he executed ten senior German military and civilian officials previously convicted of egregious crimes against humanity, crimes against peace and war crimes.  During his career as a hangman, he reportedly executed 347 men, but this is a large exaggeration.
Woods was accidentally electrocuted on July 21, 1950 on Eniwetok Atoll.  He is buried in the city cemetery in Toronto, KS, a small town sixty miles east of Wichita, next to his wife.  John Woods was awarded the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal (with one campaign star), the Good Conduct Medal, the Occupation (Germany) Medal, the World War II Victory Medal and a Distinguished Unit Badge.
John C. Woods was a central figure in The Fifth Field, but he deserves his own biography that is now in the making!

Master Sergeant John C. Woods2016-07-26T13:53:18-06:00

The Fifth Field Wins the Lieutenant General Richard G. Trefry Award

2013 Lieutenant General Richard G. Trefry Award

LTG Richard G. Trefry, Inspector General of the United States Army

(June 18, 2014)  The Army Historical Foundation has recognized two authors for 2013 with the Lieutenant General Richard G. Trefry Award for their contributions to the literature on the history of the U.S. Army.  Colonel French L. MacLean was honored for his book, The Fifth Field:  The Story of 96 American Soldiers Sentenced to Death and Executed in Europe and North Africa in World War II (Atglen, PA:  Schiffer Publishing, Ltd.).  Rick Atkinson was recognized for his highly praised Liberation Trilogy, consisting of the books An Army at Dawn:  The War in North Africa, 1942-1943; The Day of Battle:  The War in Sicily and Italy, 1943-1944; and The Guns at Last Light:  The War in Western Europe, 1944-1945 (New York:  Henry Holt), on the U.S. Army in North Africa and Europe in World War II.

Lieutenant General Richard G. Trefry, who had served as an enlisted man in World War II, retired from the U.S. Army after 33 years of active duty.  He served as the Inspector General of the U.S. Army for six years under three Chiefs of Staff and Secretaries of the Army, revolutionizing the Army’s approach to the Annual Inspector General Inspection by transforming it from a compliance event into an inspection that identified and corrected systemic failings that inevitably led to recurring deficiencies and interfered with the ability of unit commanders to accomplish their missions.  After retirement, General Trefry served in the White House as the Military Assistant to the President of the United States, directing the White House Military Office during Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm, as a military advisor to President George H. W. Bush.

In 1995, General Trefry served on the Board of Directors of American Military University and today, continues to serve on the Board of Trustees of the American Public University System as a member and committee chair.  In addition, he has served as a Senior Fellow for the Institute for Land Warfare in the Association of the U.S. Army and is Program Manager of the Army Force Management School at Fort Belvoir, Virginia.  General Trefry teaches and speaks frequently at service schools, public and private organizations, and at public and private schools and colleges.  In 2009, the Secretary of the Army established the Lieutenant General Richard G. Trefry Lifetime of Service Award, honoring Lieutenant General Trefry’s extraordinary achievement and service to the Army, the Department of Defense, the Federal Government, and our Nation.

General Trefry holds a B.S. degree in Military Science from the United States Military Academy, West Point, and is a graduate of the Command and General Staff College and the Army War College.  In 2006, he received the Distinguished Graduate Award from the United States Military Academy Association of Graduates.

His presentation on “How the Army Runs” has become legendary in military circles in explaining the Constitutional and legal underpinnings of what the Army has and what the Army does.


He had this to say about The Fifth Field:

“I couldn’t put it down… a hell of a good book…the subject is fascinating… you have done yeoman’s work and produced a great book.”
“I had been an enlisted man in World War II and knew that soldiers had been executed, but I did not know how many.  Later, when I was the Inspector General of the United States Army, I was visiting the American Military Cemetery in Luxembourg about 1980.  As I looked at the crosses, I wondered where the soldiers who were executed were buried.  Now, I finally know.”
The Fifth Field Wins the Lieutenant General Richard G. Trefry Award2015-08-31T14:02:17-06:00

Sergeant Richard A. Mosley

(June 2, 2014) Sergeant and Military Police guard Richard A. Mosley served at the Loire Disciplinary Training Center, during which time he escorted seven condemned men to the gallows.  The son of Irish immigrants, Mosley was born in Pineville, KY on February 22, 1904.  He joined the Navy in World War I, but received a discharge for being underage.  He spent five years at the University of Illinois, studying electrical and mechanical engineering.  He subsequently was the foreman for an automobile service center.  Although he was partially blind in one eye, he entered the Army at Los Angeles on August 1, 1942 and became a powerhouse engineer.  After arriving in Great Britain on June 1, 1943, he was transferred to new duties as a military specialty 635 – disciplinarian.  He stood 6’5″ tall and weighed 203 pounds.  On March 1, 1945, he became a first sergeant in the 1008th Engineer Services Battalion.  Mosley was discharged at Fort MacArthur, CA on August 31, 1945.  He was awarded the Good Conduct Medal, the World War II Victory Medal and the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with a Bronze Service Star for Northern France.  Mosley lived in Hanford, CA until his death on January 5, 1953.  He is buried at Grangeville Cemetery in Armona, CA.

However, this is only part of the story.  In May 2014, family members of Sergeant Mosley contacted the author with additional, critical information.  Richard Mosley had died in 1953, but the cause of death was a suicide.  For decades, Mrs. Mosley and her children questioned themselves as to whether they may have contributed to Sergeant Mosley’s decision to end his life.  When you read The Fifth Field, you will see the level of compassion that Sergeant Mosley displayed toward condemned prisoners; a witness to one execution recalled in 2011 how Sergeant Mosley let a man smoke a last cigarette before climbing the stairs of the gallows.

Sergeant Richard A. Mosley did not take his own life over family issues or finances.  In my opinion, Sergeant Mosley was a classic case of Post-Traumatic Stress and he was unable to get the help he needed before it overwhelmed him.

Sergeant Richard A. Mosley2015-09-30T19:59:00-06:00

The Best Military Theorist

Many students at the National War College – and even a few folks today – have asked me who my favorite military theorist is.  Many scholars of military history, strategy and politics have heard of Carl Clausewitz and Sun Tzu and both were indeed influential thinkers.

Carl Clausewitz was a German officer and military theorist in the early 1800s, who stressed the moral and political aspects of war; we would say today that this included the psychological aspects of warfighting. His most notable work, Vom Kriege (On War), has been studied by thousands of military officers around the world; ironically, the book was unfinished at his death and may have been completed by his wife.  He stressed the dialectical interaction of diverse factors, noting how unexpected developments unfolding under the “fog of war” (i.e., in the face of incomplete, dubious, and often completely erroneous information and high levels of fear, doubt, and excitement) call for rapid decisions by alert commanders.  These special commanders were said to have a finger-tip feeling for war. 

Clausewitz also discussed the relationship between three elements that later became known as “Clausewitz’s trinity.”  These are “composed of primordial violence, hatred, and enmity, which are to be regarded as a blind natural force; of the play of chance and probability within which the creative spirit is free to roam; and of its element of subordination, as an instrument of policy, which makes it subject to reason.”

Clausewitz also wrote at length about the concept of center of gravity.  This process was to identify the enemy’s hub of all strength, in other words, what characteristic or element led him to victory.  It might be a strong alliance in support; it might be the enemy’s ground forces, etc.  Very rarely was the enemy’s center of gravity a single person or leader, although many intelligence efforts in the past focused on eliminating that one “indispensable” person.  The U.S. was caught in that trap when Seal Team Six killed Osama Bin Laden and many high-ranking leaders opined that this was the end of Al Qaeda; of course we know it was not.  Whenever you see a politician, or a senior military leader for that matter, not address the center of gravity of the enemy, you know that you are listening to a rank strategic amateur, regardless of his pay grade.

Sun Tzu was a Chinese military general, strategist and philosopher who lived in the Spring and Autumn Period of ancient China, about 500 BC.  He is traditionally credited as the author of The Art of War, an extremely influential ancient Chinese book on military strategy.  Sun Tzu has had a significant impact on Chinese and Asian history and culture, both as the author of The Art of War and as a legendary historical figure.  The Art of War presents a philosophy of war for managing conflicts and winning battles and is accepted as a masterpiece on strategy, frequently cited and referred to by generals and theorists.

The work very succinctly presents the tenets for developing and executing a strategy that will defeat the strategy of your opponent.   It is presented in lists and recommendations such as: “All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when we are able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must appear inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.”

Perhaps Sun Tzu’s most famous quotation has been: “It is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles; if you do not know your enemies but do know yourself, you will win one and lose one; if you do not know your enemies nor yourself, you will be imperiled in every single battle.”

While both these theorists have been extremely influential in modern history (and for Sun Tzu much longer), and while I have re-read each numerous times, my absolute favorite military theorist is Colonel Ardant Du Picq, a French Army officer and military theorist of the mid-nineteenth century whose writings – as they were later interpreted by other theorists in the First World War period – had a great effect on French military theory and doctrine.

Ardant du Picq was born at Périgueux, France on October 19, 1821.  On 1 October 1844, he graduated from the École spéciale militaire de Saint-Cyr, the French equivalent of the U.S. West Point and was commissioned a sub-lieutenant in the 67th Regiment of the Line.  As a captain, having previously transferred to the 9th Battalion of Foot Chasseurs, he saw action in the French expedition to Varna during the Crimean War, but he fell ill with cholera and was evacuated to France. Upon recovery, he rejoined his unit in front of Sevastopol and was captured during the storming of the central bastion of the fortress in September 1855.  Released in December 1855, he returned to active duty, first with the 100th Regiment of the Line and later as a major with the 16th Battalion of Foot Chasseurs.  He later served in Syria from August 1860 to June 1861, during the French intervention to restore order following Maronite-Druze sectarian violence.

Du Picq saw extensive service in Algeria from 1864 – 1866, and in February 1869 was selected colonel of the 10th Regiment of the Line.  At the outbreak of war with Prussia on July 15, 1870, he led his regiment to the front.  Directing his men along an elevated road on August 15, 1870, an overhead burst by a Prussian artillery shell fatally wounded him in both thighs and his stomach near Longeville-les-Metz.  He died four days later at the military hospital in Metz from his wounds.  Ardant du Picq’s last words were, “My wife, my children, my regiment, adieu!”

Before his death in 1870, du Picq had already published Combat antique (Ancient Battle), which associates later expanded into the classic Etudes sur les combat: Combat antique et moderne, most often referred to by its common English title of Battle Studies, which was published in part ten years later, although the complete text did not appear until 1902.

His analyses stressed the vital importance, especially in contemporary warfare, of discipline and unit cohesion.  Du Picq believed that the human element is more important than theories.  War was still more of an art than a science.  One popular quote demonstrating this conclusion drawn from numerous battle studies stated, “Nothing can wisely be prescribed in any army… without exact knowledge of the fundamental instrument, man, and his state of mind, his morale, at the instant of combat.”

Du Picq also thought that great strategists and leaders of men are marked by inspiration. “Generals of genius draw from the human heart ability to execute a surprising variety of movements which vary the routine; the mediocre ones, who have no eyes to read readily, are doomed to the worst errors.”

All of du Picq’s thinking, in my opinion, boils down to one of his fundamental truths:

“Four brave men who do not know each other will not dare attack a lion.   Four less brave, but knowing each other well, sure of their reliability and consequently of mutual aid, will attack resolutely.”

Training, discipline, bravery, teamwork, independent action – everything a young leader needs to know to create a successful organization can be found by reading Ardant du Picq.

The Best Military Theorist2015-12-04T11:52:26-06:00

Grave of Louis Till

Louis Till was hanged at the stockade at Aversa, Italy on Monday, July 2, 1945.  His body was transferred to the American Military Cemetery at Oise-Aisne in 1949, where he was buried in grave # 73 in the fourth row of the plot known as “the fifth field.”  Till had murdered an Italian woman, raped two other Italian women, assaulted an Italian man and assaulted a U. S. Navy sailor to earn the death sentence.  The Army sent his personal effects home to his estranged wife.  Ten years later, Till’s 14-year-old son Emmett wore his father’s ring, bearing the initials “LT” on a visit from to Chicago to Mississippi.  Three men kidnapped Emmett, tortured and killed him.  His body was so disfigured in the incident that it was difficult for authorities to identify him.  Positive identification was finally made, in part, because of the initials on the ring.  The shocking incident of Emmett Till’s death sparked the Civil Rights movement of the late 1950s.

Grave of Louis Till2015-09-08T19:18:16-06:00

Glenn A. Waser

Glenn A. Waser — Captain and Commander of the PBS Garrison Stockade Number 1. He was an MP officer. Born in Ohio in 1909, he graduated from the University of Illinois in 1933. Glenn A. Waser entered the service on July 7, 1942.

If you are a related family member of this soldier, PLEASE Email me; I need additional information on him and hopefully a picture in uniform.  I can also provide additional information on him to you.

Glenn A. Waser2015-09-11T19:05:24-06:00

Bert Ward

Bert Ward — First Sergeant. Born in Michigan in 1909, he enlisted in the Army on April 10, 1939 in Cordele, Georgia. Prior to his enlistment, Ward, who was a candy-maker, lived in Genesee County, Michigan. Bert Ward was discharged ay Indian Town Gap Military Reservation on August 15, 1945 and went to Eaton Rapids, Michigan.

If you are a related family member of this soldier, PLEASE Email me; I need additional information on him and hopefully a picture in uniform.  I can also provide additional information on him to you.

Bert Ward2015-09-11T19:05:55-06:00

John C. Urbaitis

Major (Doctor) John C. Urbaitis — Major Urbaitis was born on September 5, 1906 and died on April 23, 1984. Urbaitis is buried at the Forest Lawn Cemetery in McKean County, Pennsylvania.

If you are a related family member of this soldier, PLEASE Email me; I need additional information on him and hopefully a picture in uniform.  I can also provide additional information on him to you.

John C. Urbaitis2016-02-17T11:56:56-06:00
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