Original USNTS Picture Left
Original USNTS Picture Right
My aunt, Terry Kaiser (Williams), contributed these photos of my grandfather’s (Ralph Scott Williams Jr.) United States Naval Training Station class, taken 11/17/1942 in Great Lakes, Illinois. He is in the second row, second from-the-right. The original photo was torn in-half and had considerable damage as can be seen in the above pictures. I decided to have the photos retouched and put back together. I contacted Miles Abernathy at 399Retouch, asking if this could be done. For an affordable price and fast turnaround time, I thought they did a great job.
Ralph Scott Williams Jr. Retouched USNTS Picture
Now, I need to find a reputable online professional photo printing service to print copies (7 1/2 inches x 19 3/4 inches). This picture will look great framed and be a nice addition to our family picture collection.
Update: I had to resize and crop the image to 5 inches x 15 inches. I used MPix to print and ship the picture. Hopefully, it will look nice when it arrives.
Brian Davis – Christine Davis (Williams) – Ralph Scott Williams Jr.
Woody Burl Davis Military Portrait
Munden Paul Hargrave Military Portrait
Many thanks to Margie Richardson for sending the above pictures of my grand uncles, Woody Burl Davis and Munden Paul Hargrave. It is a great starting point for my research into their military service. I hope to meet with Woody’s daughters, Judy Kay and Cheryl, next month. Margie will send more info on Paul’s service in the near future. Woody served with the United States Marine Corps and Paul with the United States Navy, both during World War II.
Brian Davis – James Michael Davis – James Nead Davis (brother of Woody Burl Davis)
Brian Davis – James Michael Davis – James Nead Davis (sister of Annell Hargrave (Davis)/brother in-law of Munden Paul Hargrave)
Sherman Harry Davis Pocket Watch
This pocket watch was given to me by my uncle, Sherman Patrick Davis, when I graduated from the University of Delaware in 1999. It belonged to my great grandfather, Sherman Harry Davis. He passed away 5/5/1992 in Tyler, Smith County, Texas. I am lucky to have this among my family belongings. I’ve kept it locked away for many years and will pass it down to my son when he graduates from Texas A&M University in 2027. If you have any family treasures you’d like to contribute, please take a picture of the item and email it to me.
Brian Davis – James Michael Davis – James Nead Davis – Sherman Harry Davis
My grandfather, Ralph Scott Williams Jr., served on LCI(L)-11 during World War II from 5/21/1943 – 11/4/1944. I have sent a letter to the Modern Military Records Unit (NWCTM), a branch of the National Archives, requesting copies of the records (deck logs, casualties, diaries, etc.) pertaining to this ship. It took part in the invasion of Sicily, the assault landings at Anzio, and the D-Day assault at Normandy, France.
I’ve recently been working on a timeline for my grandfather’s naval service. When completed, it will probably have its own website. Most likely, it won’t be completed until sometime next year, but should be very informative to those interested.
LCI(L)-11 = Landing Craft Infantry (Large) #11
Brian Davis – Christine Davis (Williams) – Ralph Scott Williams Jr.
Chris Bradford, the website administrator for the 753rd Tank Battalion, emailed today that his government contact in Washington D.C. will be sending the KIA documents on my great grand uncle, Charles Richard “Dick” Waits, on Friday or Monday. Hopefully, they will shed more light on the events surrounding his death. Be sure to check back for more updates.
Brian Davis – Christine Davis (Williams) – Ralph Scott Williams Jr. – Nellie Ruth Williams (Waits/ sister of Charles Richard Waits)
Wiley Berry and Leta Louise Gibson (McKinney) Headstone
I recently received the following comment on ancestry.com regarding the above picture, taken in the Noonday Cemetery in Noonday, Smith County, Texas:
Her actual birthdate was October 22, 1911. Years ago, I found her birth certificate entry made by her father, Samuel McKinney filed at the Smith County Courthouse in a large book. I’ve been told that when this headstone was made, the year 1911 was put on (or was to be put on) the stone, but she thought she was born in 1912 and made them change it. She was my grandmother; I’m the daughter of her eldest daughter. I gave her a copy of her birth certificate at her birthday party one year – I think it made her mad because she said that made her one year older! We all still smile when someone mentions that story.
The comment was submitted by Barbara Purdue (Massey), a distant cousin through the Gibson family (see post below regarding Eliza Ruth Gibson (Harris). I’ve replied to her comment and hope to post more information soon.
Brian Davis – James Michael Davis – James Nead Davis – Marjorie Leaine Davis (Kirkpatrick) – Burla Eugene Kirkpatrick (Gibson) – Berrien Wiley Gibson (common ancestor)
Arthur, Jennie, and Florence Backus Portrait
Portrait of my 2nd great grandfather, Arthur Bernard Backus (Backhouse), his first wife, Jennie Maria (Sarles), and their daughter, Florence Emma Backus, taken approx. 1893 in Gainesville, Cooke County, Texas.
Brian Davis – James Michael Davis – Georgia Lou Davis (Barlow) – Katie Maybelle Barlow (Backus) – Arthur Bernard Backus (Backhouse)
- Eliza Ruth Gibson Headstone
The tombstone featured this Tuesday is of my 3rd great grandmother, Eliza Ruth Gibson (Harris). My wife and I visited her grave 2/09, on a road trip through northern Texas. Eliza Ruth was born in 1839 in Washington County, Arkansas to Samuel and Jane Harris (Smith). Her family moved to Cherokee County, Texas between 1844 and 1850. She later married my 3rd great grandfather, Berrien Wylie Gibson, on 6/24/1858 in Tyler, Smith County, Texas. They resided in Smith County, Texas until Berrien Wylie’s death in 1888. She was later committed to the North Texas Hospital for the Insane (now the Terrell State Hospital) in Terrell, Kaufman County, Texas. Eliza Ruth was a patient there from approx. 1900, until her death on 10/21/1920.
Eliza Ruth Gibson Death Certificate
Her death certificate lists the cause of death as “Arteriosclerosis”, with “Insanity” as a contributing factor. Due to privacy laws, I have been unable to obtain any of her patient information from the hospital or the state of Texas.
Wildwood Cemetery Historial Marker
Wildwood Cemetery Entrance
She was buried in Wildwood Cemetery, located on the hospital grounds, in a numbered grave. Through the generosity of donors and volunteers, the Wildwood Cemetery Association has placed a “dignified and permanent headstone inscribed with the name and dates of birth and death” on many of the graves, including Eliza Ruth’s. Please click here to read more about the hospital, Wildwood Cemetery and the “Numbers to Names” campaign.
Brian Davis – James Michael Davis – James Nead Davis – Marjorie Leaine Davis (Kirkpatrick) – Burla Eugene Kirkpatrick (Gibson) – Eliza Ruth Gibson (Harris)
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James Nead Davis Military Record
My paternal grandfather, James Nead Davis, served with the United States Marine Corps from 6/6/1946 – 4/29/1947. His date of entry into the service occurred one day after the declaration of German defeat was signed by the four allies on 6/5/1946.
“Papa” graduated from Robstown High School in Robstown, Texas 5/1946 and worked as a service station attendant before his enlistment. His U.S. Marine Corps Report of Separation (see above) listed Math as his course of greatest interest. What I find interesting is that his name and signature are “James Neal Davis” on the report.
James Nead Davis Graduation Portrait
Currently, I don’t have any pictures of James in uniform. His high school graduation portrait (see above) was taken shortly before his enlistment in the Marines.
Brian Davis – James Michael Davis – James Nead Davis