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Military Veterans from Curtisville

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Those veterans buried in the Curtisville Cemetery, Curtis Township, Alcona County, Michigan are identified with an asterisk *before their names.

CIVIL WAR(1860-1865)

* William H. Bamfield, Co. H, NY Volunteer Infantry, Grand Army of the Republic
* Joseph Bell, Jr., Co. K, 16 Maine Infantry
* Robert Goodfellow, 1827-1900, Co. K, 14 NY Heavy Artillery
* John Hopkins, Sgt, Co. F., 10 NY Cavalry
* William Wilkinson, 1846-1911, Grand Army of the Republic


* John Hopkins, Sgt, Co. F, 10 NY Cavalry

WORLD WAR I (1914-1918)

Photo of Polar Bear Division in Archangel, Russia.

America's Polar Bear Expedition

War Between Whites and Reds in Russia. The hardest and longest fighting centered in Russia. In 1917 the Allies stationed some 15,000 British and Americans at Archangel, Russia.

There were also some 8,000 Americans in Siberia. A large complement of Michigan's Eighty-fifth Division, 339th Infantry Regiment found themselves in Russia. They were a major part of America's Polar Bear expedition that aided the White Russian forces in their futile efforts to unseat Russia's new Communist regime.

Fierce fighting took place in Russia between the Bolsheviks (Red) and the anti-Reds (Whites) in 1918 and 1919. The revolutionary Reds finally won. The allied troops and the Michiganians returned home in the summer of 1919. [1,2,3,4 below]

Ernest Berry, Peter Curley,Thomas Curley and Charles D. Curtis served in this regiment. Ernest Berry lost his life while stationed in Russia. These individuals are buried in the Curtisville Cemetery.

* Donald G. Bell, 1897-1982, Private, U.S. Marine Corps (served in France)
---Ernest Berry (died in Russia in Polar Bear Division)
---Thomas Curley (served in Russia in Polar Bear Division)
* Charles D. Curtis, 1892-1980, Cpl, U.S. Army,
----------(served in Russia in the Polar Bear Division)
* George H. Edwards, Indiana, Mess Sgt, 41 Regt. Coast Apt. Corp. Causis Gordon
----------(in training camp when war ended)
---Grant Gordon (died in training camp)
---William Landon (served in France)
* Cassius A. Miller
---Bill O'Meara
---Jay Rymer (served in France)
* Harold Sayce, 1894-1971, Pfc, Base Hospital 15
---Guy Sells (served in France)
---Riachard Simons (in training camp when war ended)
* John J. Tyson, 1893-1964

WORLD WAR II (1941-1945)

* Lewis E. Adams, S2, U.S. Navy
* Richard Zane Bamfield, 1924-1943, Cox, U.S. Navy Reserves, killed in action
* Doug W. Blaisdell, 1917-1964, F2, U.S. Army
---Gene Curtis, U.S. Army, (Army of Occupation - Germany)
---Stanley Curtis, Sgt, U.S. Army, (Army of Occupation - Germany)
---Mere G. Draper, Sr., F1, U.S. Navy
---Earl Dyer, U.S. Army
---Donald V. Heisel, U.S. Army
---Fred La Fleur
---Manley La Fleur, U.S. Army, killed in action
---Howard McMillen, Navy, D-Day Invasion
---Frank O'Meara
---Bob Pope
---Lewis Redmond, Army Air Force, South Pacific
---William Redmond, Invasion of Germany
---Virgil Redmond, in service after the war
---William S. Sanford, Sgt, U.S. Air Force
---Glenn Shedenhelm
---Roy Shedenhelm, in service after the war
* Ray W. Spencer, U.S. Navy


Prisoner of War

Lavern A. Curley, verteran of World War II and a prisoner of war for 43 months, was born November 25, 1917, at Curtisville, the son of Peter and Stella Curley.

From March 13, 1940 to October 19, 1945, he was in military service, with overseas duty in the Asiatic-Pacific Theater, serving in the Field Artillery. He was captured on Java and taken by the Japanese to Burma to work on the Burma Road. When he was released he only weighed 84 pounds.

A fellow prisoner of war said, He was alive today because Lavern had slapped him and forced him to eat rats to stay alive. It wasn't fair that Lavern should die in an automobile accident after everything they had been through. [5 below]


1. Dunbar, Willis F., A History of the Wolverine State, Eerdmans Pub. Co., Grand Rapids, MI, 1965, p. 535

2. "War Between the 'Whites' and 'Red' in Russia," Compton's interactive Encyclopedia, Compton's NewMedia, Inc., 1995

3. Kolb, Richard K., "Polar Bears vs. Bolos," VFW Magazine, Kansas City, MO: Jan. 1991, p. 16-20

4. Kolb, Richard K., "Walking on Eggs Loaded With Dynamite," VFW Magazine, Kansas City, MO: Feb. 1991, p. 14-17

5. Obituary - Lavern A. Curley, Monroe Evening News, Monroe, MI: Sept. 13, 1952

KOREAN WAR (1950-19--)

* Ronald Douglas Born, 1932-1980, Cpl, U.S. Army
* Clifford W. Farthing, 1930-1982, Sgt, U.S. Air Force
---John A. Karoly, U.S. Marines
---Harry McMillen, U.S. Army
---Robert Milholin, Cpl, U.S. Army

VIETNAM WAR (1965-1972)

---David Bailey, MSgt, U.S. Air Force, 1967-1990
---Susan Bailey, Sgt, U.S. Air Force, 1974-1983
* Roy Harrison Demott, 1927-1962, Sp. 6, U.S. Army
---Allen Fish, TSgt, U.S. Air Force, 1963-1971
---Henry Heilig, Army ---John Heilig, Army * Victor Lawson, U.S. Air Force
---James Dewey London
---Dennis Rock, U.S. Air Force
---Ronald J. Sortor, MSgt, U.S. Air Force, 1960-1980


* William S. Sanford, 1929-1982,Sgt, U.S. Air Force
* Ronald Betts
* Louis Peterson

"When Johnny Comes Marching Home"

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The above material submitted by Ronald J. Sortor. Thanks Ron.

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