Thursday, December 8, 2011

Uncle Frank Samsel, WWII Veteran

Well, I should have posted this yesterday, but I was a bit preoccupied.  So, better late than never. 

In honor of Pearl Harbor Day (yesterday), this is a picture of one of my relatives who served in WWII. 
This picture was labeled "Corsica, March 3, 1944, Frank Samsel, 3rd from left".  Francis I. Samsel was my Granny's brother, My mom's uncle.  I don't know a whole lot about him, but that he was the son of immigrant parents.  His mother and father came to the United States from Poland at the turn of the century.  Frank was the 2nd youngest of 9 children.  Although, if memory serves me correctly, my Granny mentioned that she had several siblings that died at a very young age.  The WWII record that I found for him states that he was Enlisted in the Army on 27 August 1942 in Philadelphia to the Branch Immaterial - Warrant Officers, USA.  It also states that he was only educated to grammar school.  He was single without dependants.  For occuption it just states:  "Unskilled public service occupations, n.e.c.".  He was 5' 5" and 117 pounds.  I'm unsure how long he was enlisted, but I'm proud of him, nonetheless!

Thanks to Uncle Frank and to all those who served and continue to serve our country.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Is that you, Jonas?

The Hunt for Jonas Robinson (My 3rd Great Grandfather)

Me and Pop (and Jake and Emma and Ivan) made our rounds of the cemeteries today, with my new addition, Greenwood Cemetery.  I got a pretty detailed map from a member of the organization that volunteers to help maintain the grounds.  With that, I felt pretty confidant that we could find him (and the other 5 people buried with him).  We drove in past the newly remodeled main building and drove up to a "Receiving Vault"...that's something I've never seen before.  But it was clear that they are making changes to that.  We thought we drove up to about the right spot and got out to start wandering.  However, none of the section markers matched the all!  So, I assume they are reassigning the sections, somehow.  We tried to work out roughly where his section should be and started hunting.  From afar, the cemetery looked well kept, but as we walked, we came across toppled over head stones, others so sunken into the ground that all that was visible was the very top. 

Robinson, Robinson, where is Robinson?  There it was.  And that's all that is says, "Robinson". 

No names, no dates.  A bit of a letdown.  I did wander around a bit more, but no other Robinsons to be found.  I guess I'll have to wait to confirm.  There are plans to reset all of the stones in the future.  You can see the top of at least one headstone in this picture.  I wonder if this is just the top the stone?  Maybe they will reopen the office soon and someone can help me locate it for sure.