Archive for January, 2014

Special 1942 Signal Corps issue of Radio News now available online

January 30, 2014
1942 Special Signal Corps Issue of Radio News

Cover of November, 1942 special Signal Corps issue of Radio News

American Radio History has uploaded the November, 1942, Special U.S. Army Signal Corps Issue (265 page in Adobe PDF format.)

That joins the February, 1944, Special U.S. Army Signal Corps Issue,


WWII Signal Corps veteran John Moriarty’s daughter Pat Nagel loaned original copies to the Unofficial Informal Archive of the U.S. Army Signal Corps in Northwest Europe in WWII to make the stories and photos available to families of  WWII Signal Corps veterans.

That is now possible thanks to the work of American Radio History.


The Unofficial Informal Archive of the U.S. Army Signal Corps in Northwest Europe in WWII donated the originals to the Virginia Holocaust Museum.


For more information:

Radio News

American Radio History

Unofficial Informal Archive of the U.S. Army Signal Corps in Northwest Europe in WWII.

Virginia Holocaust Museum

Adobe PDF Reader


Shortlink: http://wp.me/p2ix3W-md
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The Civil War letters of Anson Croman’s comrade Dwight Brewer

January 18, 2014
Dwight Brewer

Undated photo of Dwight J. Brewer (1842 to 1881), Company F, 20th Michigan Volunteer Infantry Regiment.
Photo © Dennette D. McDermott

None of Anson Croman’s, our Civil War ancestor, letters if any have survived.

However, the letters of Dwight D. Brewer from Jackson, Michigan who served with Anson in Company F, 20th Michigan Infantry Regiment have survived.

His 2nd great-granddaughter, Professor Dennette D. McDermott, just published facsimiles of her ancestor’s CIvil War letters.

The Civil War Letters of Dwight J Brewer

© Dennette D. McDermott

In his letters Dwight does not mention Anson Croman.

However Dwight’s letters give insight into both the routine and the combat experiences that Anson would have shared and reported home to family and friends.


A model for sharing family history artifacts.

While Dwight’s letters may be a historical footnote in the Civil War’s broader context, they are deeply meaningful to families such as ours who have no other way to get such an intimate and personal look at what our ancestor experienced.

For that we are very grateful to Professor McDermott’s sharing.

The same occurred with my late father’s WWII service. If he wrote letters home none have survived. As did Professor McDermott, another family shared with my family a privately published collection of letters from their family member who served in the same battalion but different company as my late father.

What Professor McDermott has done is a model for what other families can do with their historical artifacts especially letters.

Too many are sold to private collectors or simply thrown away. Such items are best donated to historical societies, archives, libraries or museums where they will be available for other families researching their history, especially those such as mine with holes in our family’s records that can only be filled with the help of other families.


In late 1863 at Knoxville, Tennessee Dwight contracted smallpox and remained in a hospital when the 20th Michigan was redeployed to Virginia.

For the rest of the war, Dwight served at Knoxville. After his recovery his duties included growing vegetables for the patients in the hospital. As a farmer, he’d have been skilled at that.

At the end of the war, he was discharged from Nashville and returned to Michigan.


Dennette D. Mc Cermott at the Michigan monument, Vicksburg National Military Park, Mississippi.

Dennette D. McDermott at the Michigan Memorial, Vicksburg National Military Park, Mississippi. Our ancestors served together there from June to August. 1863 prior to their deployment to Knoxville, Tennessee.
Photo © Dennette D. McDermott


For more information:

The Civil War letters of Dwight J. Brewer

Vicksburg National Miltary Park

Michigan Memorial at Vicksburg, Mississippi

Anson Croman and the Civil War


Shortlink: http://wp.me/p2ix3W-lJ

215th Signal Depot Company addition a model for the Unofficial WWII Signal Corps Archive

January 3, 2014
Staff Sergeant William H. Johnson  Photo ©  Kathleen A. Johnson

Staff Sergeant William H. Johnson Photo © Kathleen A. Johnson

The recently added section on the 215th Signal Depot Company is one of the most complete as it includes:

  • The late William H. Johnson’s story as told to his daughter Kathleen.
  • Photos
  • Additional recollections from Dolores Johnson, his wife and Kathleen’s mother.
  • Kathleen Johnson’s compilation of a unit roster.
  • Kathleen Johnson’s completion of the story with a summary of her father’s postwar life.

215th Signal Depot Company section is the model for unit pages on Unofficial Informal Archive of the U.S. Army Signal Corps in Northwest Europe in WWII.


For more information:

215th Signal Depot Company

Signal Units in the Normandy Campaign

Unofficial Informal Archive of the U.S. Army Signal Corps in Northwest Europe in WWII


Shortlink: http://wp.me/p2ix3W-lx

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