Everything Venice

Everything Venice

Fading light
Falling night
Trumpet call, as the sun, sinks in flight
Sleep in peace, comrades dear,
God is near.

To the bugle call "Taps"

Their lives for our freedom

    Approximately 29 residents of Venice gave their lives in service to their country, according to documentation thus far located. From World War I through Vietnam, residents of Venice did their part serving in the military, but unfortunately for many families their loved ones didn't return. Sons, fathers, brothers, uncles, nephews; volunteers and draftees; officers and enlisted personnel - they answered the call of their country and left their families and friends behind to do their duty.
    Our research is far from finished, but, to date, there has been found just one documented casualty from Venice in World War I, but at least two other men may have been in the military during that time. Twenty-three have been found to have died during World War II. Fortunately, there are no documented casualties from Venice during the Korean War, but five young men died in Vietnam.
    It is our place, our duty, to never let these former Venice residents ever be forgotten.

"The War to End All Wars"

    There have been three draft cards located for Venice men to potentially serve during World War I. According to several books and official lists of the U.S. government concerning casualties during the war, only John Baumann has been documented. He is listed as having "Died of Disease."
    World War I was fought at the same time a world-wide epidemic of influenza killed more than 50 million people, and soldiers succumbed to influenza and other infectious diseases especially after surgeries to remove bullets, shrapnel and limb amputations. In addition to Baumann, the other two draft cards are for Patrick Devany and Charles Conway. Photos of the draft cards are below.
    A photo of Baumann, found in a three-volume set "Soldiers Of The Great War" published in 1920, appears above. Two other men are on a list that the committee has, but the only documentation found is a photo of Elijah Peppers that indicates he was from Madison, but nothing for an Ossie Class. All five names are on the Granite City War Memorial.


To view a larger image, click on any of the above photos.

World War II

    When the Venice History Committee began collecting any and all information about Venice, a list was obtained from the American Legion Venice-Madison Post 307, that included the names of men who died during the various wars. The list was titled "Venice Veterans Killed in Action" and was included in the DVD set available from the committee.
    When doing further research for this website, it was found many of the names appeared to be familiar to Madison and it was found that at least half of the men listed under World War II were, in fact, from Madison. This made sense, as the list was obtained from the Legion and its membership was from both Venice and Madison. Twenty-five of the names on the Legion list appear on the Madison War Memorial.
    There are 23 men on the Legion list for whom documentation has been found as having died in the line of duty during the war. Their names are listed on a special display below.
    There was documentation found for one more man, Clyde R. Warford, a private in the Marine Corps, whose name is not included on the Legion list. His parents are listed as Mr. & Mrs. Alvin Warford, 808 Main St., Venice. It is possible that Clyde Warford never lived in Venice.
    There are five more names on the Legion list which do not appear on the Madison War Memorial, nor was any documention found on official goverment lists of World War II casualties. These men are Arnold R. Cork, Charles Dickey, Clarence Lahner, Joseph Misulkonis and Steve Severs.
    One more name on the Legion list, Peter Mushill, was found on the official U.S. Navy list. Although his parents are listed as Mr. & Mrs. John Mushill, Hildebrand St., Madison, Peter Mushill's name is not included on the Madison War Memorial, dedicated to all from Madison who died in World War II. Of course, he may have lived in Venice at some time before his time in the Navy.
    If anyone can help provide information or documention that will clarify any of the mentioned research, or would like to provide photographs of any of these men, please contact the webmaster at venicememories@yahoo.com.
    As with all lists, even "official" government lists, errors and omissions are inevitable. One name on the Legion list and inscribed on the Madison War Memorial, Anthony A. Bargiel, later returned to Madison and was quite alive. The intention here is to make this list as accurate as possible and your help is greatly appreciated.
    Again, the list below is based on the research and documentation located. It will be constantly updated as new information is received.

Loyd A. Brawley USN Coxswain
Nicholas J. Cohan Army SGT
Eugene M. Conway Army CPL
Robert H. Dunbar Army TEC 5
Edward T. Ferguson USMC PFC
Donald Hickerson Army PFC
Herman Mayes Army PFC
William G. Miller Army PVT
William E. Murray Army PVT
Orvil D. Naeve Army PFC
Oscar Parker Army PFC
Wilburn Pearce Army PFC
John R. Pinkley Army PVT
Oscar Ponce Army PVT
Harold Reed USN Seaman 1st Class
Marshall Roland Jr. Army PFC
Cecil L. Singleton Army PFC
Ernest J. Smith Army PFC
Samuel Soliday Jr. USN Seaman 2nd Class
Anthony J. Suljic Army PFC
Newton J. Tapp Jr. USMC PVT
Russell Thomason Army PVT
Robert B. Wilson Army 1LT

Korean War

No men from Venice have been found to have died while serving during the Korean War. If you have any information about anyone from Venice dying in Korea, please contact us at venicememories@yahoo.com.

Gone too soon

    Five young men from Venice lost their lives while serving in Vietnam. Three served in the U.S. Army and two in the U.S. Marine Corps. Their ages ranged from 18 to 24.

    Here is brief biographical information on the five Venice men killed in Vietnam, in the order that they died fighting for their country and our freedom.

PVT Donnell Bell, U.S. Army, was the first Venice resident to die in Vietnam. He was an infantryman and died on Feb. 25, 1968. He was born on Aug. 9, 1949, but no further information has been located. He was 18.

Donnell Bell on the Virtual WallŪ

    PFC Melvin John Freise, U.S. Marine Corps, was born on April 13, 1950. According to military records, he was a machine gunner. He died on April 23, 1969, at the age of 19. He graduated from Venice High School in 1968.

John Freise on the Virtual WallŪ

    PFC Gary Lee Wallen, U.S. Marine Corps, was born on Oct. 24, 1950. He is listed as an antitank assaultman. He died on May 31, 1969, at the age of 18. He also graduated in the Class of 1968.

Gary Wallen on the Virtual WallŪ

    SP4 Robert James McIntosh, U.S. Army, was born on April 18, 1949. He served in the Army's field artillary group. He died on Dec. 2, 1969, at the age of 20. He was a member of the Venice High School Class of 1967 graduates.

Bob McIntosh on the Virtual WallŪ

    SP4 William Emmett Barritt, U.S. Army, was born on May 13, 1946. He worked in helicopter maintenance. He died on Aug. 14, 1970, and was the last man from Venice to die in Vietnam. He graduated from VHS in the Class of 1964 and was 24 at the time of his death.

Bill Barritt on the Virtual WallŪ

  A photo of Bill Barritt in the door of
a U.S. Army helicopter.

    You can also visit the following two websites to view additional information on these Venice men and anyone else who was killed while serving in Vietnam. Click on either link to be directed to that website.

Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Washington D.C.

City Hall Memorial

Above is the War Memorial, in front of the Venice City Hall built in 1925, which includes an Army cannon and a bronze plaque on a concrete base. Below is a close up of the plaque.

Granite City Memorial

This is the Veterans Memorial in Granite City which includes the names of men from Venice who died in war. The memorial is at Niedringhaus Avenue and 21st Street.

The purpose of what has become known as "Taps" was not originally for funerals and memorial ceremonies. To learn about the origins of the bugle call, its name and the various lyrics written for it, visit the following websites:

A project of the Venice History Committee