- 20-06-2012, 16:46 #41
It is possible that this lad was an "Honorary" member of the 16th Infantry. The 1st Division spent some time training in Scotland getting ready for D-Day. It was not un-common for US units in the UK to adopt local kids as a sort of mascot. Some were even issued uniforms. That would explain the Recruit. Maybe the young lad was poorly as a child and met an early demise due to ill health.
The US Government may have supplied the headstone as a mark of respect to the boys family.If you're looking for Sympathy you can find it in the dictionary -It's between shit and syphilis.
- 20-06-2012, 18:29 #42
DoB on the headstone says otherwise plus I dont think any US army units were stationed around that part then only places I would imagine they were was Greenock/Prestwick/Tunberry the last two being airfields used for trans-atlantic ferry flights.
As a side note still a fair bit of RAF Turnberry still survivies with many buildings still in use and still with faded cam on them the runway is still there and runs through the golf course.
Last edited by brettarider; 20-06-2012 at 18:32.
- 20-06-2012, 19:05 #43
1930 US Census
Blades family living in Oakland, Michigan. Read name/age/PoB:
John M/33/Scotland -immigrated to US 1923
Janet F/31/Scotland - immigrated to US 1925
Archie F/1yr 8 mo/Michigan
Edward M/8 mo/Michigan
On 3 Jun 1931 Janet Blades and her 5 children arrived in Plymouth on board the liner 'President Roosevelt' - their intended place of residence was Stevenston, Ayrshire. So far can't find them leaving UK/reentering the US.
So looks like this guy was born in the US in 1928 to Scottish immigrants and returned to Scotland (permanently ?????) with his mother and siblings, but not his father (dead ????) in 1931.
Now, we all know the question of 'natural born' is something that exercises the mind of our American cousins. So would he be considered a USCIT? Would he have been liable to the draft in WW2 if the family did remain in Scotland after 1931?
There's some more immigration records I need to trawl through, but I expect they'll add more to family history than this guy's military history.
- 20-06-2012, 19:27 #44
- Join Date
- Jun 2007
- A small drinking village with a fishing problem
Then and currently anyone born in US is a US citizen except for people who are here as diplomatic persons. I recall hearing that when the current king of Thailand was born the US Sect'y of State declared the building at the hospital in Cambridge MA to be part of the Thai Embassy so that the little Prince could be born in Thai territory.Nuair a chacann caora, cacann siad uilig
Giving power and money to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to a teen-age boy - P.J. O'Rourke
A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul - George Bernard Shaw
- 20-06-2012, 19:51 #45
- 20-06-2012, 20:35 #46
- 20-06-2012, 20:50 #47
I knew a Man who born in Brooklyn to US Citizen parents served in the Luftwaffe due to a Bundist Father who shipped the youngster to Germany in 38. He did get released from POW camp to join the USAAF and stayed when it became the USAF serving in Korea. IIRC William Joyce was technically a US Citizen born in lower east side of Manhattan
- 20-06-2012, 22:15 #48
- Join Date
- May 2005
So it starts to look like Archie, like many other 16-17 year olds, decided to join the Army when he left school. Being a US citizen, the US Army would be the Army of choice - better food, pay and clothing. No need to be drafted, it would have looked like a good career move in comparison to what would have been available in the UK at that time.
That leaves the combination of "Recruit" and "WW2" to be explained. From what has been said earlier, joining at age 17 would have put him in the frame for a 1946 WW2 veteran. Given that he didn't achieve a higher rank, that infers a medical discharge during his basic training with a condition that could have caused his demise 2-3 years later.
Of course, he could have been MDed with asthma, returned to Scotland to be with his mum and subsequently run over by a milk cart... Given post-war austerity, his mum must have been quite chuffed to find that her son would get a US-funded burial."Hurrah for the Works Group" just doesn't have the same ring...
"A volunteer is worth ten pressed men."
So, a TA battalion or nine Regular Guards battalions? Not a difficult choice, then (especially as we don't have nine Regular Guards battalions).
I am a number. I am not a free man.
- 20-06-2012, 22:48 #49
OK – this the family history as far as I can reconstruct it.
1919: John Blades, 22, coalminer of 35 Moorpark Road, Stevenston, marries Janet Frew, 19, domestic worker of High Road,Stevenston.
1919/20: Daughter Catherine Saunders Blades born in Stevenston
1921/2: Son David McWhinnie Blades born in Stevenson
Aug 1923: John Blades arrives in St Albans, Vermont from Canada, having started from Glasgow. Intended destination is Gillespie, Illinois [a mining town]. NoK is Mrs Janet Blades of High Street, Stevenston.
Sep 1925: Janet Blades, together with Catherine and David, arrives in US.
1927: Son John Blades born, probably in Detroit
1928: Son Archibald Frew Blades born, probably in Detroit
1929: Son Edward Blades born, probably in Detroit.
1930: Family living in Detroit, John Blades working as a labourer.
1931: Janet Blades and her 5 children return to UK, intending to reside at 35 Moorpark Road, Stevenston.
1940: Catherine Blades marries in Saltcoats
1971: Janet Blades dies in Saltcoats – there is no record of her husband dying in Scotland.
For geographically challenged Sassenachs Stevenston and Saltcoats are pretty much the same place.
So a possible story based on that and the various comments above -
John Blades emigrates from Scotland to the US in 1923 to work as a miner. In 1925 he is joined by his wife and their children. Further children, including Archibald Frew Blades, are born in the US. By 1930 the family are living in Detroit and John Blades has left the mines. In 1931 Janet Blades and her children return to the UK – there is no evidence that John Blades ever returns to UK, it is possible he died in Michigan in 1930/1. Mrs Blades and the children settle in Stevenston/Salcoats (doubtless subject to the yearly purgatory of thousands of pissed-up Weegies who had gone ‘doon ra waa’r for ra Ferr’ (it’s a Scottish thing)).
Archibald Frew Blades was, by dint of being born there, a US citizen and liable to the draft. At some point he enlisted in or was drafted into the US Army and served as a recruit in 16 Inf Regt, 1 Inf Div.
He died in 1949 – his death was not registered is Scotland, which means he did not die in Scotland, nor was he any of several categories of Scot who died outwith Scotland and whose deaths are registered.
Them’s the facts, after that it’s all speculation.
A plain text reading of ‘recruit’ would suggest he was discharged or died before completing recruit training and therefore did not serve with 1 Inf Div whilst it was deployed outside CONUS, unless US units serving overseas trained their own recruits.
But if he served in 1 Inf Div before it left CONUS he would have enlisted at age 14. That implies him returning to the US from Scotland at some point and bluffing his way into the Army (not impossible) – I’m assuming that the US did not draft 14 year olds.
Any other possibility depends on US Army units training recruits whilst outside CONUS. I struggle to believe a division deployed on operations did this, so that would mean the likely periods for him serving were when 1 Inf Div was in UK Aug-Oct 1942, which still leaves the age problem, or that he served after the end of hostilities.
But then there’s the ‘WW2’ bit. I suppose one question is how the US defines ‘WW2’ for gravestone purposes – is it possible that a USCIT living in the UK could enlist/be drafted into the US Army after VE-Day and be sent for recruit training in 1 Inf Div in Germany, and this be considered service in ‘WW2’.?
- 20-06-2012, 23:32 #50
No 35 Moorpark still exists just round the corner from were I grew up! One idea I've had is it possible he joined merch navy worked his ticket across the Atlantic and joined up?BBC News - Youngest World War II service casualty identified