12 January 2009

Memorial Marker?

The above marker is important to me for a few reasons. Yes, it belongs to an ancestor of mine (my first cousin once removed; my great-grandfather John J. DOYLE's grandson). Yes, it was of a soldier who'd died during war (WWII). It is also, however, the photograph that gave me my start in genealogy. The story is relayed in an early post of my Oracle of OMcHodoy blog, and can be found HERE.

While back in my early research days I was intent on figuring out the subject of this marker and his relationship to me, tonight I ponder other things about this photograph. Such as: Where is it? Is it at the site of his death? What is that structure behind it? Who took the photograph and when?

Hopefully, the Blogger "Click-Photo-To-Enlarge" feature is working (it often doesn't) and you can click on the above image to enlarge. Engraved on this marker is John's Name, Rank, Serial Number, and Place and Date of Death. I really don't know what the information under the serial number is, though I suspect it has something to do with the unit he was with during his service.

I also know some basic information on how John J. DOYLE died in Chenkung, China on 18 Nov 1943, thanks to a preliminary report of the incident causing his death, obtained from Accident-Report.com:

INQUIRY NUMBER: 07-431118-513
DATE: November 18, 1943
PILOT: John A Visk
LOCATION: Chingkung, China
REMARKS: Dove into ground
TOTAL PAGES OF REPORT:10 (Usually includes routing slips and other memos)

I could order a full copy of the report for about $26.00, and I really should. I think it would be fascinating.

At any rate, I know of two other markers for this same John J. DOYLE. I believe they are both at St. Mary's Help of Christians Cemetery in Pittston, Luzerne County, PA. In fact, I'm almost sure they are, but why would he have two? It looks like the one on the left is newer; was it placed in much more recent times to preserve his memory and the information on it in anticipation of the gravestone's ultimate demise? Or is it in some other place?

The answer would probably be very easy to find if I could remember who sent it to me! I think the one on the left was sent by a cousin in NJ who travels to Pittston often and the one on the right was sent by a cousin in Pittston, but am not sure. I'll email them to find out.
But that does remind me: It's time to start my next major project: Reviewing every entry in my genealogy data base and attempt to re-create the sources of my information. My earlier entries were not carefully cited, I'm afraid.

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