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Old 18th December 2017, 05:49
Edward L. Hsiao Edward L. Hsiao is offline
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Gerard M. H. Williams

Gentlemen,

Doe anyone has a biography of Gerard M. H. Williams,a 7 victory ace of the USMC? I was at a different forum and was looking at his groupings. Was it true that Williams was born in France?

Sincerely,

Edward L. Hsiao
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Old 18th December 2017, 06:02
Frank Olynyk Frank Olynyk is offline
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Re: Gerard M. H. Williams

Very little has been written about him. But he was born in Nice, France.

Enjoy!

Frank.
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Old 21st December 2017, 05:05
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25Kingman49 25Kingman49 is offline
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Re: Gerard M. H. Williams

Gerard Maurice Haralson Williams was born 21 Sep 1921 to Andree Fernande Vignaux and Samuel Reily Williams at Nice, Alpes-Maritimes, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, France, then lived in Paris. Gerard had an older brother Jack Reily born 14 June 1920. Even though born in France both brothers were United States citizens as their father was a US citizen. According to the 1940 Census, Gerald was living in Maplewood, Essex, New Jersey, USA working as an electrician.

To be clear on the back story here. Gerard's father was born in St Francisville, Louisiana, USA, (in this part of Louisiana on the Mississippi River 26 miles northwest of Baton Rouge it is likely he spoke French or at least a Cajun language variant) during WW I he deployed to France Dec 1917 with the US Army, as a 1st Lt in the Coastal Artillery Corps, then remained in France postwar working as an electrical engineer for a United State pump manufacturing company. The family in general was well traveled. Although not germane to this study Gerard's brother Jack Reily Williams was a USN veteran serving from 14 June 1938 to 22 January 1946. He passed away on 7 August 2006 at Naples Florida, USA.

Gerard enlisted in the United States Marine Corps on 17 Sep 1942 becoming a USMC Aviator with distinguished service. Gerard became a World War II Marine Corps ACE, credited with shooting down SEVEN enemy aircraft in aerial combat. 1st Lt Williams (MCSN: 0-25779), USMC, was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight as Pilot of a Fighter Airplane in Marine Fighting Squadron TWO HUNDRED FIFTEEN (VMF-215), in actions against enemy Japanese forces in the Pacific Theater of Operations during World War II.

On 17 March 1945 1st Lt Williams married Martha Lee Dermody at Corpus Christi, Texas.

USMC service assignments; note: not a complete record, compiled from various USMC Muster Roles is as follows:

Oct 1943, 2nd Lt.: Headquarters Squadron 23, Marairg-23, Maha, C/O Fpo, San Francisco, California
Oct 1943, 2nd Lt.: Marine Fighting Squadron 223, C/O Fleet Post Office, San Francisco, California
Jan 1944, 2nd Lt.: Marine Fighting Squadron-215, Mag-12, Smaw, Fmf
Apr 1944, 2nd Lt.: Marine Fighting Squadron 215, Mag-21, 2Nd Maw, Fmf
Jan 1945, 1st Lt.: Aviation Detachment, Marine Barracks, Natb, Nas, Corpus Christi, Texas
Jul 1945, 1st Lt.: Aviation Detachment, Marine Barracks, Natb Corpus Christi Texas.
Jan 1946, 1st Lt.: Aviation Detachment, Marine Barracks, Natb, Corpus Christi, Texas.
July 1946, Capt.: Aviation Detachment, Marine Barracks, Natb, Corpus Christi, Texas.
Jan 1947, Capt.: Aviation Detachment, Marine Barracks, Natb, Corpus Christi, Texas
Apr 1952, Capt.: Officers Volunteer Reserve Third Marine Corps Reserve District
Apr 1953, Capt. : Inactive Status Personnel 1Stmcrrd, 495 Summer St Boston Mass
Apr 1958, Capt.: Isl Avn Off Vol Res Martc Nas Glen

Capt Gerard Maurice Haralson Williams passed away on 21 Aug 1990 at age 69 at New Bern, Craven County, North Carolina, USA.

I’ve added a photo and brief bio caption to his findagrave memorial here:

https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/...erard-williams
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Last edited by 25Kingman49; 3rd January 2018 at 20:44.
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Old 23rd December 2017, 04:43
Edward L. Hsiao Edward L. Hsiao is offline
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Re: Gerard M. H. Williams

Dear Sir,

Thank you so much for this information. I take it that Gerard's father was married after World War I to a French lady when he took a job in France.

Sincerely,

Edward L. Hsiao
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Old 23rd December 2017, 05:52
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25Kingman49 25Kingman49 is offline
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Re: Gerard M. H. Williams

Pleased to help. Yes his father married Andrée Fernande ‘Vignaux’ Williams, attached is a copy of her US passport app. Also attached is the birth record for their eldest son Jack Reily Williams. Sorry no birth document found for Gerard.
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Last edited by 25Kingman49; 3rd January 2018 at 20:44.
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Old 27th December 2017, 06:51
Edward L. Hsiao Edward L. Hsiao is offline
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Re: Gerard M. H. Williams

Gentlemen,

I know there had to be more rare examples of an U.S. air ace who was born in a foreign country under a foreign mother but a father a U.S. citizen. Paul J. Fontana was born in Italy with his father a U.S. citizen and an Italian mother. Got that information of Fontana from I think "Who's Who in the U.S.".

Edward L. Hsiao
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Old 27th December 2017, 07:26
Frank Olynyk Frank Olynyk is offline
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Re: Gerard M. H. Williams

I don't know how well this will format.

Aces -- Foreign Born
Last Name First Name Birthdate Birthplace Country
ANDERSON William Yngve June 28, 1921 Kramfors, Västernorrlands län, Sweden Sweden
ANDREW Stephen Wallace April 20, 1914 Girvin, Saskatchewan, Canada Canada
BYRNES Matthew Sylvester April 20, 1918 Hamilton, Ontario, Canada Canada
CASTLE Nial Kenneth September 27, 1920 Cananea, Mexico Mexico
DAHL Perry John February 18, 1923 North Battleford, Saskatchewan, Canada Canada
FORD Kenneth Murray September 5, 1918 Smyrna, Turkey Turkey
FRANCIS Magnus Wilson October 3, 1918 Sunderland, England England
GLADYCH Boleslaw Michal May 17, 1910 Warsaw, Poland Poland
GODFREY John Trevor March 28, 1922 Montreal, Québec, Canada Canada
GUTT Fred Ernst October 10, 1919 Kronstadt, Roumania Roumania
HANSON Robert Murray February 4, 1920 Lucknow, India India
HARGREAVES Everett Carleton May 10, 1921 Wadena, Saskatchewan, Canada Canada
HILL David Lee July 13, 1915 Chosen, Korea Korea
HOWARD James Howell April 8, 1913 Canton, China China
LANPHIER Thomas George November 27, 1915 Panama City, Panama Panama
LOVE Robert John December 28, 1917 Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada Canada
McCARTNEY Henry Allen August 26, 1918 Montreal, Quebec, Canada Canada
McCLELLAND Thomas Gilbert July 12, 1920 Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada Canada
MUNSON Arthur Herbert November 2, 1919 Carlton Place, Ontario, Canada Canada
NEALE Robert Hawthorne May 3, 1914 Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada Canada
PISSANOS Spiros Nickolas November 10, 1919 Kolonos, Athens, Greece Greece
OLSON Norman Edward March 19, 1915 Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada Canada
PARHAM Forrest Fred October 5, 1917 Nasbey, Saskatchewan, Canada Canada
RUDDELL George Inkerman January 21, 1919 Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada Canada
SYMMES John Carlos Cleves August 19, 1917 Berlin, Germany Germany
WALKER Jack Greenaway July 7, 1920 Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada Canada
WATERS Edward Trebell May 30, 1920 Camborne, Cornwall, England England
WILLIAMS Gerard Maurice Haralson September 3, 1921 Nice, France France

Enjoy!

Frank.
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Old 27th December 2017, 18:06
R Leonard R Leonard is offline
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Re: Gerard M. H. Williams

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Olynyk View Post
. . .
LANPHIER Thomas George November 27, 1915 Panama City, Panama
. . .
Where his father, 2LT Thomas George Lanphier, USMA 1914, was assigned to the 5th US Infantry. Arrived in France with the 8th MG Bn in May 1918 and transferred to the Army Air Service in July 1918. Resigned as a Major, USAAC in August 1928.
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Old 27th December 2017, 21:21
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Re: Gerard M. H. Williams

BG James Howell Howard

https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/...-howell-howard


Commander John Carlo Cleves "Jack" Symmes born in Berlin, Brandenburg, Germany. WWII Naval Aviator flying with VF-21 and VF-15 achieved a total of 10,5 victories, piloting both Grumman F4F Wildcat and F6F Hellcat aircraft, operating from the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Essex (CV-9).

Some service and awards recorded here:

https://www.tracesofwar.com/persons/...n-C-C.htm?c=aw

This account retrieved from ancestry.com from a relative contribution:
"Navy CrossSee more recipients of this awardAwarded for actions during the World War IIThe President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Lieutenant, Junior Grade John Carlos Cleves Symmes (NSN: 0-125720), United States Naval Reserve, for extraordinary heroism in operations against the enemy while serving as Pilot of a carrier-based Navy Fighter Plane in Fighting Squadron FIFTEEN (VF-15, attached to the U.S.S. ESSEX (CV-9), in action against enemy Japanese forces while assigned to a fighter sweep mission against enemy aircraft in the vicinity of Formosa on 12 October 1944. In the face of intense anti-aircraft fire Lieutenant, Junior Grade, Symmes pressed home a mast-head level bombing attack against an escort gunboat, securing a direct hit which caused it to sink immediately. He then escorted a seriously damaged friendly torpedo bomber airplane until it was forced to crash land at sea, close to enemy-held positions. While directing rescue operations an enemy ship attempted to capture the downed airmen. Single-handedly, he attacked the cargo ship repeatedly in the face of its anti-aircraft fire, starting large fires and explosions by strafing. The enemy ship was completely gutted by fire and abandoned, the crew taking to the power boat and persisting in their attempts to capture the downed airmen. He then strafed the power boat, sinking it and thus preventing the capture. He continued his direction of the operations until the rescue was successfully completed. While returning to his carrier, he sighted a small enemy cargo ship which he repeatedly strafed, leaving it in flames and attempting to beach itself. His heroism, courage and skill were at all times in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.General Orders: Commander 2d Carrier Task Force Pacific: Serial 00110 (December 20, 1944)Action Date: October 12, 1944 Service: Navy Rank: Lieutenant Junior Grade Company: Fighting Squadron 15 (VF-15)Division: U.S.S. Essex (CV-9) Print this citation Navy Cross. See more recipients of this award. Awarded for actions during the World War II The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting a Gold Star in lieu of a Second Award of the Navy Cross to Lieutenant, Junior Grade John Carlos Cleves Symmes (NSN: 0-125720), United States Naval Reserve, for extraordinary heroism in operations against the enemy while serving as Pilot of a carrier-based Navy Fighter Plane in Fighting Squadron FIFTEEN (VF-15, attached to the U.S.S. ESSEX (CV-9), in action against enemy Japanese forces in the Philippine Islands during the Battle of Leyte Gulf on 25 October 1944. In the face of intense and accurate anti-aircraft fire and airborne opposition, Lieutenant, Junior Grade, Symmes made a direct hit with his bomb on an enemy carrier which materially contributed to its sinking. His outstanding courage and determined skill were at all times inspiring and in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.General Orders: Commander 2d Carrier Task Force Pacific: Serial 0429 (December 16, 1944)Action Date: October 25, 1944 Service: Navy Rank: Lieutenant Junior Grade Company: Fighting Squadron 15 (VF-15)Division: U.S.S. Essex (CV-9) Print this citation Distinguished Flying Cross See more recipients of this award. Awarded for actions during the World War II The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Flying Cross to Lieutenant, Junior Grade John Carlos Cleves Symmes (NSN: 0-125720), United States Naval Reserve, for extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight in Grumman F-4F fighters from 21 June to 3 August 1943. During this time he participated in thirty-nine combat missions over enemy bases and shipping, while serving as escort or on patrol. On 30 June 1943, when eighteen to twenty-seven enemy bombers and an unknown number of Zeroes attacked our landing force at Rendova Island, he personally shot down two Zeroes in flames. On 4 July 1943, his flight broke up the entire leading flight of enemy bombers before they could get to our shipping near Rendova Island. He shot down one bomber in flames. On 22 July 1943, while escorting Torpedo bombers to the Kahili area, his flight accounted for five enemy planes. Lieutenant, Junior Grade, Symmes personally shot down one Zero and teamed with his flight leader in shooting down a second. On 25 July 1943, while on patrol over Rendova Island, a large enemy force of bombers and fighters attacked our installations. Lieutenant, Junior Grade Symmes went to the aid of an Army P-40 pilot and shot down one Zero.Action Date: June 21 - August 3, 1943 Service: Navy Rank: Lieutenant Junior Grade Company: Fighting Squadron 15 (VF-15)Division: U.S.S. Essex (CV-9) Print this citation Distinguished Flying Cross. See more recipients of this award. Awarded for actions during the World War II. The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting a Gold Star in lieu of a Second Award of the Distinguished Flying Cross to Lieutenant, Junior Grade John Carlos Cleves Symmes (NSN: 0-125720), United States Naval Reserve, for heroism and extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight on 23 June 1944 over an island of the Marianas Group. As pilot of a carrier based fighter airplane, and while greatly outnumbered, he attacked and destroyed two enemy fighter planes in aerial combat, and assisted materially in the destruction of twelve others. Just prior to this action he destroyed an enemy fighter airplane and an enemy dive bomber, both while airborne. His heroism, coolness, courage and skill were at all times in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.Action Date: June 23, 1944 Service: Navy Rank: Lieutenant Junior Grade Company: Fighting Squadron 15 (VF-15)Division: U.S.S. Essex (CV-9)"

Photo and documents attached.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Lt John C.C. Symmes - Copy.jpg (53.9 KB, 1 views)
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Last edited by 25Kingman49; 7th January 2018 at 20:15.
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