28 July 2008

Not in right now...

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19 July 2008

Singing the Praises

As a historian who spends a great deal of time conducting research and not alot of writing, I'm often confused with librarians. In the past, I have taken great offense to this. "I'm a professionally trained historian! I do more than simply look things up!" However, in the course of this latest research project and the Texas one, I have come to respect librarians much more.

It was a librarian who found copies of the Senate hearings and had them inter-library loaned to me. It was this librarian who found several sources for me that I was unable to find on my own. All hail the talents of the librarian!

Speaking of the Senate hearings--oh what a treasure trove of information this is. In some places its nearly a verbatim repeat of the court martial so while I wait for those records, I'm at least getting a glimpse into those proceedings as well! Only one problem--it's on microfiche--and at last check, I don't have a microfiche reader at home where I like to do my reading and note taking on this case. However, one new innovation in microfilm and fiche technology is the reader than can be connected to a computer and create digital copies of the film or fiche! We have this at work, albeit not yet hooked up, but it will be on Monday! I can't wait!

Happy weekend to all,

09 July 2008

Lastest Research Project III

Finally, another nut cracked. I think I found the son of the Lieutenant! I wrote a letter asking him if he is the son of the Lt and if so, if he'd be willing to meet with me to discuss his father. I know it's a long shot but I'm hoping that maybe it will yield some good information.

I am still waiting to hear from several repositories for records or any additional materials. I hope to hear something soon. The more I read, the more I think that the Lt was railroaded and drummed out of the service wrongly.

More to come as it appears.

05 July 2008

Latest Research Project II

The Marine in question was seemingly a well respected aviator, he was sent to France ahead of all Marine aviation units to scout out locations for the squadrons. Somewhere along the way, he ended up in a British aircraft, shot down 5 enemy planes, crash landed behind enemy lines, captured a German soldier, saved a French colonial soldier and made it back to friendly lines---all unscathed.

This is the bone of contention. The story was picked up by Frazier Hunt of the Chicago Tribune and made headlines back in the states. There was an unwritten regulation that stated no publicity was to be had. The Lieutenant was put in for commendations and as the fervor was building the British began an informal investigation as to the exact exploits. Before too long, the Lieutenant found himself charged with falsehood. Court-martialed for spreading lies and garnering publicity falsely.

The trial gained more headlines in the press than the exploits. Several 'giants-to-be' of the Corps were called to testify, and if the local press was to be believed, the Lieutenant was going to be found not guilty. However, that was not to be. The young Lieutenant was tried, convicted and dismissed from the Marine Corps in 1919.

All this was gained from the biographical file on the Lieutenant. However, there had to be more information. A random two line entry buried in a 1921 newspaper stated that the Lieutenant (by then a private citizen) had testified before a Senate subcommittee regarding his court martial. Further research yielded that the Lieutenant's hearings lasted into 1925!!

The materials of the History Division exhausted, the next steps were mandatory if the truth was to be discovered. What did his service record indicate? Does his court martial records still exist with the Navy JAG? What about the Senate Subcommittee hearings? The Commandant of the Marine Corps and Secretary of Navy were both involved at various stages--what do their records indicate?

Soon --- as records are consulted and copies are received, the truth will be revealed.