Junior Ray Halladay

United States Naval Reserve Machinist’s Mate 3c Junior Ray Halladay was lost at sea when his ship, the USS Hull (DD-350), went down in a storm on 18 Dec 1944, almost 76 years ago.  Halladay was 20 years old and is considered as having been killed in action or missing in action with his remains being nonrecoverable.  He had enlisted 9 Aug 1943 in El Paso, Texas.  Halladay had been born on 10 Jul 1924 in Reco City, Michigan to Raymond Bert Halladay and the former Laura H. Gabel. In the 1940 Census, Ray B. Halladay was listed as the head of the household and being the operator of a sawmill at White Mountain, Lincoln County, New Mexico and Junior Ray was the middle child of five siblings. A headstone for MM 3c Halladay was placed at Forest Lawn Cemetery, Ruidoso, Lincoln County, New Mexico.

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New Mexico Casualties from the USS Arizona, 12/7/1941

Image credit – history.navy.mil

On a Sunday morning just after 7:00 AM local time on December 7, 1941, two radar installations had picked up large groups of aircraft heading toward Hawaii from the north. A flight of B-17 was due in from the United States and no alarm was sounded. When the first aircraft appeared, it bore the “red sun” insignia of the Japanese navy. The devastating attack on Pearl Harbor followed. The core of the Pacific Fleet, namely five battleships, three destroyers and seven more ships were either sunk or badly damaged, two hundred airplanes were destroyed, about 2,400 Americans were killed and around 1,200 more were wounded. Although the attack on Pearl Harbor is well remembered, Japanese attacks were also carried out elsewhere in the Pacific, including the large installations in the Philippines.

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Ernie Pyle

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(Image credit: Indiana University School of Journalism)

On April 18, 1945, only months before the end of World War II, popular war correspondent Ernie Pyle was killed by Japanese gunfire on the island of ie Shima, during the campaign to retake Okinawa.  At the time of his death Pyle had been serving as a correspondent since before the United States had entered the war and had accompanied troops in Europe, North Africa and the Pacific.

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John D. Anderson, Pearl Harbor Survivor

John Delmer Anderson was a long time weatherman on KBIM television in Roswell, New Mexico.  He had started his career at KSWS radio broadcasting country music after attending Eastern New Mexico University in Portales.  John was one of twelve children.  He had been born in 1917 to Edwin Sigfrid and Laura Lavina Stokes Anderson.  After a sequence of events, John came to live in southeastern New Mexico and was a well-known broadcaster on KBIM for dozens of years.

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The Chavez Brothers, World War II Casualties

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Private First Class Abeslin C. Chavez was born April 28, 1920 to Transito Sanchez Chavez and Angelita Weldon Sanchez Chavez in San Patricio, New Mexico. He enlisted in the United States Army in 1941 from San Patricio at the age of 21. He weighed 150 lb., was 5’10” and was a single man. Prior to his enlistment, PFC Chavez had completed the 9th grade and had been worked on the family farm. PFC Chavez was a member of the 158th Infantry Regiment, “the Bushmasters,” which traces its lineage back to the 1st Arizona Volunteer Infantry formed just after the Civil War. During PFC Chavez’s tenure, the regiment was assigned to Panama before being transferred to Australia in 1943. They were then assigned to New Guinea and ultimately took part in the retaking of the Philippines beginning in January 1945.  PFC Chavez was killed in action on March 20, 1945 and was interred at the cemetery at the former Fort McKinley in Manila.

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The Chase Brothers, WWII Casualties

Albert Bacon Fall Chase was killed in action in World War II, in a 1944 incident involving the Japanese ship Shinyō Maru, known as a “Hell Ship.”  His brother, William Greene Chase, had also died one year earlier during World War II in a noncombat incident at Camp Bullis near San Antonio, Texas.  Both were from Lincoln County in southern New Mexico, were two of the sons of Clarence C. and Alexina Fall Chase and were also grandsons of Senator Albert Fall.

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Joe P. Martinez, Medal of Honor Recipient

Joseph Pantaleon Martinez was born in Taos, New Mexico.  Private Martinez distinguished himself in World War II by his valor in combat, though he gave up his life in doing so.  Private Martinez was born July 27, 1920 to Jose Manuel Martinez and Maria Eduvigen Tafoya.  By the time the United States had declared war on Japan in World War II, Private Martinez had moved to Ault, Weld County, Colorado.  He enlisted in the United States Army from Ault in 1942 at the age of 22.  At the time, he was 5’7” and weighed 145 lb. and was a single man, though at some point thereafter he is believed to have married.  He had been working on a farm in Ault prior to his enlistment.

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White Sands and the Early Days of the American Space Program

As we come to the fiftieth anniversary of the historic Apollo 11 flight, it is nice  to recall that Dr. Robert H. Goddard had predicted in a report that he wrote one hundred years ago in 1919 that it should be possible to reach the Moon by rocket.  Some of the earliest research in rocketry was done in and around Roswell, New Mexico by Dr. Goddard (1882-1945).  Goddard contributed greatly to the technology of rocketry, although the United States government did not seem to get fully behind this work until the years immediately prior to World War II.  By then, Goddard was near the end of his life, although he was rightfully credited for many fundamental discoveries in this area including the use of liquid fuel, patents for gyroscopic control systems, the use of vanes inside the rockets to assist control, the development of gimbal steering and the use of multiple rocket stages, among many others.

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Santiago S. Analla, WWII Casualty

Private Santiago S. Analla was born in 1917 to Francisco Montoya and Florentina Peña Analla.  Santiago enlisted in the Army on March 26, 1941 in Santa Fe.  At the time of his enlistment, he was shown to have had a grammar school education and his occupation was listed as a farm hand.  His marital status was single according to the records and he listed his residence as in Tinnie, Lincoln County, New Mexico.  The next official mention of Private Analla is from the United States Government’s World War II Prisoners of War and World War II Prisoners of Japanese.  Santiago was apparently taken prisoner on or before May 7, 1942 while he was serving in the Coastal Artillery Corps, Army Mine Planter Service.  Analla was attached to Headquarters Battery, 1st Battalion, 200th Cavalry Regiment of the United States Army.

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Fort Stanton and the German Ship, S.S. Columbus

The headline in the Oakland [California] Tribune on December 18, 1940 read “U. S. to Move Nazi Sailors” and related the tale of three hundred German detainees that were to be transferred to old Fort Stanton in Lincoln County, New Mexico.  The prisoners had been held at an immigration station on Angel Island in California since January, 1940.

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