Monday, May 31, 2010

Remembering All Who Served in Our Family

These are the members of our large extended family who have fought to preserve our freedom. This list is not complete. If you have any stories or photos you wish to share and preserve for our children and their children, we would love to add them to this memorial.

Revolutionary War 1775~178325, 324 total deaths

Benjamin Bellows 1740~1802
Kirstin's Patriot Ancestor

Colonel Bellows was born in Walpole, New Hampshire. He was chosen town clerk when only nineteen years old, and held the office until 1776. He was active in the colonial and state militia, rising from the rank of corporal to that of brigadier general. He served as a colonel of the New Hampshire Militia during the Revolutionary War and fought in the Burgoyne Campaign. He was a member of the state convention that ratified the federal constitution in 1788 and presided over the New Hampshire electoral college that voted for Washington that same year. He was a member of the electoral college that voted for John Adams in 1796. He died in Walpole.

Zachariah Archer 1752~1822
Suzanne, Sean, and Colin's Patriot Ancestor

Zachariah was born in County Down, Ireland and emigrated to Philadelphia with his family in 1772. At the age of 24, he joined the 2nd Battalion of the Pennsylvania Rifle Regiment and served as a private from 1776 until 1779. He fought in the battle of Long Island, where his regiment was taken prisoner on 17 August 1776. He fought in the battles of Trenton and Brandywine, and was in camp at Valley Forge. He died in Marshall, Illinois.

War of the Rebellion 1861~1865
622,000 total deaths 150,000 unknown

Thomas H. Bergin 1838~1888
Jerry's Great Grandfather

Thomas served as a private from 20 January 1865 until the war ended on 27 June 1865. He joined Companies A and K of the 106th New York Volunteers Regiment. He fought in the Battle of Petersburg and most likely witnessed Lee's Surrender at the Appomattox Court House. He died in Brooklyn, NY.

Hiram H. Peyton 1834~1876
Suzanne, Sean, and Colin's Great, Great, Great Grandfather

Hiram was born in served as a first lieutenant and adjutant in the Union Army from 28 august 1861 until 25 September 1863. At age 24 he joined Company F, 30th Regiment Illinois Volunteers. He was wounded on 1 September 1862, after which he returned to battle and suffered three additional wounds. Because he most likely returned once again to battle, these injuries were not documented and he died having never received his rightfully earned pension. He died in Elko, Nevada.

Philippine Insurrection 1899~1902
4,234 total deaths

(For more about this war, go to the History Guy's web site.)

Charles W. Peyton 1863~1944
Suzanne, Sean, and Colin's Great, Great Grandfather

Charles was born in Marshall, Illinois. He served as a private and corporal in the Army and the Philippine Insurrection from 1884 until 1903. He enlisted for three separate tours of duty. At the age of 21, he joined Company B, 26th US Infantry and was later to assigned to Company 1, US Calvary; Company 1 US Artillery; and Company K, 4th US Infantry. He died in Los Angeles.

World War I 1917~1918
116,516 total deaths 1,644 unknown

Donald Vickers 1894~1950
Jerry's Uncle

Don was born in Brooklyn. He enlisted at age 23 and served from 1917 until with the 14th Regiment, Brooklyn under the leadership of General Pershing who was ordered to pursue the Mexican bandit, Pancho Villa. He served
with his brothers-in law, Joe and Edward Kennedy and Steve Praetorius. He died in Brooklyn.

Joseph Kennedy

Edward Kennedy

Stephen Praetorius

World War II 1941~1945
403,339 total deaths 10,000 unknown

Egbert (Bert) Praetorius 1920~2009
Jerry's Cousin

Bert was born in He joined the Army at age 22 in May 1942 and flew as a radio operator on a C-54 between Okinawa, the Phillipines, and Japan, including after the war ended.

William (Bill) Praetorius 1925~
Jerry's Cousin

Bill was born in Brooklyn. He joined the Air Force at age 19 and served in the 857th bomber squadron in the 492nd bomb group, 8th Air Force from June of 1944 until September 1945. He flew at least 14 combat missions as a bombardier in a B24 over France and Holland from a secret base in England never discovered by the Germans. He returned home a first lieutenant.

You might want to read about this remarkable group at the Harrington Museum Site.

Charles J. (Charlie) Peyton 1919~1998
Suzanne, Sean, and Colin's Great Uncle

Charlie was a born in Tacoma, Washington. He was about to be drafted in 1942 at age 23, so he signed up 1 June for the Army Air Force flight school. He became a member of a B17 flight crew as an Engineer Gunner in the upper turret. One of his assignments was to the crew of pilot and actor, Jimmy Stewart, maintaining the crew's engines. Later, he was sent to guard the Panama Canal as a submarine hunter. When he was discharged 11 December 1945, he had reached the rank of T/SGT He died in Tacoma, Washington.

Vietnam War 1957~1975
58,220 total deaths 0 unknown

Jeremiah J. (Jerry) Sullivan 1940~
My Husband

Jerry was born in Brooklyn. He attended the New York State Maritime Academy in Fort Schuyler, New York. He served as an ensign, junior grade and lieutenant in the US Coastguard during the Vietnam Era from January 1966 until September 1969. He was assigned to Portsmouth, Virginia during his first tour of duty and to New York Harbor during his second. Jerry lives in Seattle.

Karen Dessen Sullivan 1942~1976
Suzanne, Sean, and Colin's Mother

Karen was born in Tacoma, Washington. She joined the Navy at age 22 in September 1964 and served as an ensign and lieutenant, junior grade in the US Navy Nurse Corps until September 1966. She was assigned to the Portsmouth, Virginia US Naval Hospital. Karen died in Seattle.

Frederick (Rick) Dessen 1947~
Suzanne, Sean, and Colin's Uncle

Rick was born in Tacoma, Washington. He enlisted in the Air Force in 1968 at age 21 and over a twenty year span, was assigned to Keesler AFB in Mississippi; Offutt AFB in Nebraska three different times; Linsey AS and Patch Barracks in Germany; Beale AFB, California; and Shemya AFB in Arkansas.  His primary specialty was as an electronics intelligence operations technician.  He retired as a Master Sergeant in 1988 with several awards to his credit: three Meritorious Service medals; a Joint Service Commendation medal; two Air Force Commendation medals; two Outstanding Unit awards; six Good Conduct medals, a National Defense Service medal; Air Force Short and Long Tour ribbons; an NCO Professional Military Education Graduate ribbon; and a Small Arms Expert Rifle ribbon.  Rick lives in Steilacoom, Washington.

Michael Peyton 1948~
Suzanne, Sean, and Colin's Second Cousin

Michael was born in Tacoma, Washington. He served in the Army in Hawaii and lives in Tacoma.

J. Gerard (Jerry) Vickers 1931~
Jerry's Cousin

Jerry was born in Brooklyn, New York. His military career started in 1949 when he attended the US Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, New York. He graduated in 1953 and was commissioned as an Ensign in the US Navy. He started flight training in Pensacola, Florida and was awarded his Naval Aviator Wings in December, 1954.

He was assigned to Fighter Squadron 62 and then to Attack Squadron 46 in Jacksonville, FL. His next assignment was in Pensacola as a flight instructor. Next, was helicopter training and assignment to Helicopter ASW Squadron 6 in San Diego, CA in 1958. HS-6 made a seven month deployment to the western Pacific (Japan, Philippines, etc.) aboard the aircraft carrier, USS Kearsarge. In late 1960, he was assigned to transport squadron VR-21 based in Honolulu, HI and flew routes throughout the Pacific.

In 1963, Jerry left active duty and joined the US Navy Reserves as a Lieutenant Commander. He retired from the inactive reserve in 1973.

In 1963, he started flying for Pacific Southwest Airlines (PSA) and retired from the airlines in 1992. H lives in Coronado, California, where he relives his youth by volunteering as a docent aboard the USS Midway Aircraft Museum in San Diego.


Kevin P. Healy 1964~2004
Suzanne, Sean, and Colin's Cousin

Kevin was born in New York. He enlisted for three different Army tours of duty without once re-upping. During his first tour, he was assigned to the US and to Korea. He had always dreamed of being a helipcopter pilot, so signed up a second time and was sent to flight school in Alabama. During his third enlistment, he was sent to the Army's Defense Language Institute in Monterey. After becoming fluent in Russian, he was stationed in Alaska where he monitored Soviet Union communications. Following discharge, Kevin remembered seeing a recruitment poster inviting veterans to apply to the California Highway Patrol. He tested, was accepted, and for eight years, was a proud CHP officer near Los Angeles. Kevin died in California.

For Our Children and Their Children

Since our blended and extended family does not come from Dubuque, Iowa nor does it have German genes (as celebrated in my two previous blogs), we created this new blog to preserve and honor the diverse and often curious paths our other ancestors took.

They came from Ireland, England, Denmark, Norway, Portugal, the Philippines, and Iran. All except the Philippines have a trace of Celtic blood. Through this maze of tales, we would like our children and their children to explore their rich and varied origins and to appreciate our family's founders' place in history.

Today--Memorial Day-- is a perfect day to begin to trace our clans' contributions. I've already honored the many brave veterans from my branch of the family on my blog devoted to my German heritage. Now it's time to capture the stories of the men (and lone woman) on my husband's and children's side of the family.  These will be finalized and posted in time for Veterans' Day, 11 November 2010.