Category Archives: Military

June 1944: Wilbur Lewis, Jr. Is Wounded in Action on Anzio Beachhead

Word has been received by Mrs. Wilbur F. Lewis jr. that her husband has been wounded in the Anzio beachhead campaign, sometime between May 19 and 29.

Pfc. Lewis was a member of a special Commando Platoon of the Infantry. He was inducted into the service in August, 1943, completed his basic training at Fort McLellan, Alabama, and specialized training at Camp Mead, Baltimore, Maryland, and embarked for foreign service in the early part of February of this year. He is now confined to a military hospital somewhere in Italy. From information that can be obtained he is making rapid recovery.

Pfc. Lewis is a graduate of Boston university and is the junior member of the firm, S. H. Lewis and Son, real estate and insurance, located in Davis square, Somerville.

Pfc. Lewis has never seen his daughter, Wendy Gilbert Lewis, who was born on April 20 of this year. Mrs. Lewis and daughter are living with Pfc. Lewis’ parents at 51 Foskett street, Somerville.

Lt. Wilbur F. Lewis, Silver Star Winner, Home from Service

Lt. Wilbur F. Lewis, Silver Star Winner, Home from Service
Somerville Press

Recently arrived home from two years of distinguished service overseas, combat infantryman Lt. Wilbur F. Lewis, Jr., son of Mr. and Mrs. Wilbur F. Lewis, 51 Foskett Street, West Somerville, is now reunited with his wife, Marion, and his two-year-old daughter, Wendy whom he had never seen.

A volunteer member of a raider platoon, Lt. Lewis fought his way form Anzio Beachhead in Italy to Salzburg, Austria, with the Fame Third Division of the Seventh Army. Fighting under the French First Army in the Colmar pocket in France, Lt. Lewis was awarded the French Fourragères. Later, he received the Silver Star Medal for gallantry in Action in Besancon, France. Other recognitions awarded Lt. Lewis were the Unit Citation with two clusters, the Purple Heart, for wounds received in the drive to Rome, the Infantry Combat Medal, and four battle stars. Lt. Lewis participated in the initial landing in Southern France on August 15, 1944, for which he was awarded the Bronze Arrowhead.

Going into battle as a private immediately on his arrival overseas, Lt. Lewis soon raised himself to the rank of sergeant, and the later received his commission on the field. At the end of the war, Lt. Lewis took an active part in the occupational program of the Third Division as staff officer in the 30th Infantry Regimental School in Eschwege, Germany, after two weeks training in Paris, France.

Following his discharge on February 27, Lt. Lewis will take up his duties as a member of the firm of S. H. Lewis & Son, Builders, Wilbur F. Lewis, Real Estate and Insurance, and the Franklin Realty Trust, located in the Woodbridge Hotel, 23 College avenue, West Somerville.

My Dad Inducted into Army Aviation’s Order of Saint Michael


My dad, CW4 Geoff Boehm (U.S. Army – retired) was inducted into the Order of Saint Michael (OSM) at the Silver Award level. Those who receive this honor “have contributed significantly to the promotion of Army Aviation in ways that stand out in the eyes of the recipient’s seniors, subordinates, and peers” and demonstrated “the highest standards of integrity and moral character, display an outstanding degree of professional competence, and serve the United States Army Aviation.” So very proud of him.

More information on this recognition.

Tracking Down James Reid

James Reid is my 4th great grandfather, father to Catherine (Reid) Lewis. In Catherine’s obituary, this was written of him:

Mr. James Reid, father of the deceased, was a soldier in the King’s army, and after the Irish rebellion in 1799 was crushed, he came with his family to Canada.

A little more information

Her maiden name was Reid, born at Race End, Donegal, Ireland. The clan from which this branch of the Reid family sprang was noted in Scotland in the seventeenth century. Members of the family lived to the patriarchal age of 90 and 100 years.

Additional Reid family history.

So here are my questions for a professional or more seasoned amateur genealogist than myself:

  1. What is the King’s army that this refers to, and do enlistment records exist for this army?
  2. Would their travel from Ireland to Canada be catalogued somewhere in a passenger manifest (it was likely around 1830)?
  3. What are the records available in Ireland or Scotland during the 18th and 19th century, if any?

With a name like “James Reid,” I am not expecting easy results, or really any results, but if military records do exist, that may be the best chance.

Gibson’s Cane

This story is from The August Chronicle dated October 29, 1876. If you have any information on the whereabouts of the referenced cane, I would love to hear from you. Isaac Mayer, who brought the cane from Germany and gave it to Judge Gibson, was my 3rd great grandfather.


Restored to Its Owner After a Long Separation.

We find the following in the Atlanta Constitution, of yesterday:

The morning after Gov. Smith’s speech in Augusta, your reporter was sitting quietly in the law office of Thos. H. Gibson, when in came the Souther Express man with a walking cane, labeled “From D. H. Chase, for T. H. Gibson, Augusta, Ga.”

Mr. Gibson received it, and stated that it had an interesting history. He went on to say that in the Summer of 1861, while the First Georgia Regiment was stationed at Laurel Hill, in West Viriginia, Judge Gibson visited it. While there the army under General Garnett was forced to retreat before McClellan’s forces. And at the battle of Corrick’s ford, on Cheat river, Gen. Garnett was killed, our baggage train captured, and with it the Judge’s walking cane. A member of the Ninth Indiana Volunteers got it and kept it for several years, when he gave it to Col. R. P. Dehart, who several months ago gave it to Judge D. H. Chase, of Loganport, Indiana.

The latter a few weeks ago wrote to Mr. M. S. Kean, a prominent dry goods merchant of this city, and who was taken prisoner and fell into the hands of Captain Chase, at the Corrick ford fight, stating he had in his possession a cane captured at that fight, and supposing it was General Garnett’s, wanted to know how he could find the owner. On the 18th instant Mr. T. H. Gibson wrote to Captain Chase, describing the stick his father had lost, and the 24th instant received a reply that the stick described was the one he had, and he would forward it immediately by express, and it arrived this morning. The cane was the more highly appreciated and valued by Judge Gibson by reason of the fact that it was a present to him from a very warm friend, now deceased, Mr. Isaac Mayer, a former citizen and merchant of this place, who brought it from Germany.

Original story as a PDF.

War for American Independence Veterans


Thomas Barclay – Was a gallant soldier in the American army during the revolutionary war. On July 12, 1776, he enlisted from St. Mary’s county, Maryland, in the “Flying Camp”, in which organization he served for some time. In 1779, he was a member of Major Anderson’s battalion of the Third Maryland Regiment, which served in General Washington’s command in New Jersey. While serving with his command in Shrewsbury, New Jersey, he met Catherine, daughter of John Williams, whose property had been confiscated by the continental congress, and who was himself a fugitive because of his loyalty to the King.

John Stickney – South Hadley. Private, Capt. James Hendrick’s co. ; pay abstract for mileage to and from headquarters, dated Charlestown, Camp No. 3, Jan. 13, 1776; mileage for 100 miles allowed said Stickney.


Elias Babcock – Elias Babcock (my 5th Great Grandfather), Corporal, Enlisted May 19th, 1777 to 1780 from Partridgefield and Northampton. Elias was in the Battle of Saratoga, and served through the Carolinas with Gen. Gate’s army. He was also at the surrender of Cornwallis, and was in a number of severe battles which occurred during this war.

Isaiah Babcock, Sr – Committee of Safety, 1779, of Parkersfield, Massachusetts (or Partridgeville, Mass.)

John Ives – He has been described as Major. A D.A.R request for information on December 31, 2006 indicates that he was involved in the Revolutionary War as a Patriot providing a service for the cause. (Patriot Service) is the term recognized by the D.A.R. (His is ancestor number: A060740) The D.A.R. has him as sering in Capt. Hough’s Co., 10th Regt. in the capacity of Private in the alarm at New Haven & Fairfield, Ct. on July 5,6,7, 1779 in the 5th Co. in the 10th Regiment. (Collections, CT Historical Soc. Vol VIII, pg 192) CT Mil. 1775-1783, GRC, Vol II pag 117.

Benjamin Hart

Daniel Appleton

Joshua Woodman – Joshua Woodman (1720-1800) enlisted from Buxton in Capt. John Lane’s company, 1775, and gave six short enlistments under different commands in one year. He was born in Newbury, Essex, Mass., and died in Buxton, Maine.

Nathaniel Gilbert, II – Commanded (Captain) a company in the regiment under Col. Comfort Sage when Tryon invaded the State. He was born and died in Middletown, CT.

Nathaniel Gilbert, III – Corporal in Captain Elijah Gilbert’s Eighth Company of Col. William Bradford Whiting’s 17th Albany Co. Regiment.

Willett Ranney, Sr. – His Revolutionary service there was as follows: Private in Capt. Samuel Wolcott’s Co., Col. Hopkins’ Regt., July 16, 1776-Aug. 5, 1776; marched to Highlands, N. Y.; private Capt. Elijah Deming’s Co., Col. John Ashley’s Regt., July 8, 1777-July 28, 1777, called out by order Maj. Gen. Schuyler to march to relief of Fort Edward; private, same Co., Col. John Ashley’s Regt., Sept. 19, 1777-Oct. 4, 1777, under Brig. Gen. Fellows, ordered out by Gen. Gates to reinforce the Northern Army. Rem. 1778 to New Lebanon, N. Y., and was next known with his large family at Fort Stanwix, now Rome, N. Y.

Willett5 Ranney (Willett4, Willett3, Thomas2, Thomas1), bapt. Aug. 6, 1769, with Benjamin, a twin, Upper Houses, was 7 years of age when his father rem. to Sandisfield, Mass. He m. Oct., 1799, Rome, N.Y., Betsey Robbins, dau. of John Robbins, who came from Bennington, Vt., in 1790. In June, 1790, he leased of Gov. Clinton the 100 acres in “Wright’s Settlement,” adjoining the 100 acres his brother Seth had leased the previous year, and which was long known as the “Ranney Place.” He was to pay one peppercorn each year, if lawfully demanded, for four years, and after that 18 bushels of good winter wheat, on May 1 of each year, in the city of Albany. This lease in 1878 was in the possession of his son Lester. He sublet the lease in 1795 to Cornelius Van Warner, and in 1796 leased a 50-acre tract of Moses Wright, while Butler Ranney leased the adjoining tract. In 1801 both Ranneys sold out. He then rem. to Saratoga County, as the Bible record is that Anson was born in the town of Milton in that county. About 1810 he went to Taberg, and after a year settled in Smithville, near .Adams. His aged parents went with him. When news came that the British had attacked Sackett’s Harbor the militia were ordered out and Willett Ranney, Jr., mounted a horse to go to the defense of his country. The old man, inspired by a love of country yet burning in his bosom, and recalling his own experience in the Revolutionary army, said to his son: “Get off that horse and let me go.” The son obeyed and Willett Ranney, Sr., over 80 years of age, mounted the horse and went as a volunteer. In a few years, 1818, the patriot was laid in the grave and the widow about 1821 followed. In 1826 Willett Ranney, no longer known as Jr., bought a farm in Redfield, and resided on it till 1831, when he went back to the homestead at Smithville, and on which he resided till his death in 1865 at the age of 96 years, at the home of his son Lester.