Robert Leonard Dortch was in the Army during WWII. I’m told he went more by his middle name of Leonard. His registration card says he was 5 feet, 8 inches tall, 165 pounds, blue eyes, black hair and dark complexion. After the war, Leonard lived in Norfolk for awhile. While married to Virginia Johnson, he ran a restaurant with her in Norfolk.
These pictures (below) are believed to be soon after Leonard married Virginia (Dec 1953). He wanted to introduce his bride to his friends and show her where he grew up. These pictures were most likely taken in Forkesville, where these people who are pictured lived. The first picture is Leonard with his wife Virginia Johnson, and Annie Burton Wright. The second picture is (left to right), Ida Lee White, her sister, Leonard, Grady Clary’s wife, Annie Burton Wright and Grady Clary. Leonard was also married to Patricia Morse. And he had a relationship in high school and later in life with Ida White. Leonard had 4 children. One child with Patricia and 3 children with Virginia.
Leonard was the son of Charles Dortch and Rosa Lee Perkinson. Leonard’s father was an alcoholic, and his brother David died in an accident of a still catching on fire. When WWII started, only his mother and sister Drew were still living. His father and 2 brothers had died. His mother died in 1945. His sister Drew Dortch, (the wife of Charlie Clark ) was on his registration card as next of kin.
Leonard was one of the first people I started asking about on my early visits to Mecklenburg; asking if people knew where he lived or anything about his family. I’m a descendant of Charles’ sister, Theresa India Dortch. Leonard’s parents and brothers were buried in the Perkinson, Smelley, Walker family cemetery off Country Club Rd. Drew was buried by her husband in a veteran cemetery in Richmond. I met Ray Hines who told me he was good friends with Leonard. Ray told me he was at Leonard’s funeral and the burial was at Crestview in 1988. He also helped me ID some of the people in the pictures. I’m told Charles Dortch had a farm off Route 1. (Or highway 1), and that Leonard was raised there.
All of the pictures in this post were shared with me, by Jamie Malagorski.
Roy Jones with his wife Bertha and children Evelyn and baby Leroy.
Julie’s note: Robert Leroy Jones, known as Roy Jones was a soldier in WWI. It was not an experience he wanted to talk about, which I think is an important story too. Don Bell told me, “When I was in the Army he’d always ask me ‘how many boys are in the camp?’ I told him we had women in the camp too. Uncle Ashly Thompson was also in war and lost an arm in combat. Like most veterans of extreme combat, they did not talk about it. I served 20 years and know this to be true.” Don Bell told me had a long history of veterans in his family. I asked him to tell me so I could put these stories with Roy Jones’s military spotlight. Pictures and stories of this post are shared by Don Bell. I made this chart to go along with the people from Richard Jones family that Don wrote about below. Thank you Don!
I’ll try to put this in the perspective of my ancestors on my mother’s side of the family, the Joneses. Also will include spouses who served in WWI or II.
Edward Jones was injured and in hospital a few times during the war. He was in the 14th VA, Co F. He was released from Point Lookout Prison in Maryland 14 Jun 1865. His muster roll said he was 5 foot, 7 inches tall. He had light complexion, dark eyes and dark hair.
Edward’s son Richard was my great grandfather and with his second wife, Martha Alice Malone, they had seven children. I will list them below and provide a short description of military service as I understand it.
1. Charles Edward Jones born July 6, 1884. I have no record of service in WWI. He did have a son, John Barner Jones who was drafted into WWII at the age of 36. He served in Italy and Africa and apparently saw some combat but due to injuries was given an admin job behind the lines. He became the driver for wartime correspondent, Ernie Pyle, and drove for him for a while. Pyle later returned to the US to cover the Pacific Theater and was killed at Okinawa.
2. Grace Ellen Jones. Of course she didn’t serve nor did her husband. She had a son, Richard Davies Walker. During WWII he served with the 1329th Service Command at Camp Patrick Henry. He was an MP (military police). Camp Patrick Henry served as a Prisoner of War Camp and Davies Walker guarded German prisoners.
3. Boyd Beasley Jones was born July 1889. I remember him well. He served in WWI with the 28th Infantry Division, L Company, 110th Infantry regiment. I have read somewhere that my Uncle Boyd and my grandfather, Roy, trained at Camp Lee Virginia near the beginning of the war. During that time the Spanish Flu was a pandemic. One of my relatives went to Camp Lee, now Fort Lee, to visit them but could not because they were in quarantine. Don’t we know?
4. Frank Vernon Jones, October 1891, was not drafted and did not serve in WWI. His son, Weldon Edward Jones served in WWII with the Ninth Air Force 1944-46, Germany and France.
5. Robert LeRoy Jones, June 1894, my grandfather served in WWI with the 30th Infantry Division. I do know that he served in combat but would not talk about it. His son and my uncle Vernon Leroy Jones, deceased, served in the Korean War at the battle of Chosin Reservoir. It was one of the most gruesome fights of that war. It occurred in the dead of winter and in addition to battling 120,000 Chinese, they fought freezing cold. My uncle came back from Korea missing a finger. I think it was frostbite.
6. Rosa Jones, May 1887 married Ashley Thompson who served in WWI. He was wounded and lost an arm. Due to this he received a medical disability pension. That actually made him appear wealthy especially during the great depression. I remember fondly my Uncle Ashley. When I was a teenager he would take me hunting and fishing with him. He adapted to one arm being able to shoot a double barrel shot gun and he rigged his fishing gear for use with one hand. When I was old enough to drive, he brought he along more because it was hard to drive with one arm.
7. Henry Richard Jones, March 1900 was the youngest of my great uncles. He was not drafted nor did he have children. That is the story as I know it. My father Floyd Bell Jr. and my uncle Arthur Bell, both deceased, served in the Navy during WWII. My dad was on a destroyer escort and my uncle was assigned to a hospital ship. My dad didn’t see combat not did my uncle. But, being a small world, they “bumped” into each other in the middle of the Pacific Ocean during war. My Dad’s CO allowed him to visit with his brother on the hospital ship for a one day liberty.
I guess that it is not surprising that I followed all that with a 20 year career in the Army. When I signed up for ROTC at the University of Richmond in 1965, I knew very little of the family history. I guess the apple doesn’t fall to far from the tree.
My father was William P. Bullock and in WW2 he served in the Army Air Corps. He was born in Denniston, Halifax County, VA, in 1916. His mother was Bessie Tingin Bullock and her parents were Presly Tingen and Mary Griffin. They were mostly associated with Halifax County, but the family also resided in Mecklenburg and Brunswick Counties.
Julie’s note: Submitted and written by Sandra Shortridge. Thank you Sandra for sharing your picture and telling us about your father!
Henry Clay Kidd was a wounded WWI veteran. He stayed awhile in a European hospital recovering. Henry was gassed badly during the war. It affected his lungs and skin for the rest of his life. He returned to the United States Apr 1919.
I met Elva Kidd White two months ago (Mar 2020). She showed me this picture (above) of her father. I asked Elva what she did as a teenager for dating or courting. She answered me, “Nothing! My father said I wasn’t allowed to date!” She did not date until after she left home and moved to Richmond. Elva knew Warren White when she was younger. They wrote eachother letters during WWII. I asked Elva how her parents met. She said she didn’t know, that wasn’t the type of question they could really ask. Adults found it intrusive or too personal. This is Elva’s parents: Henry Clay Kidd and Susie Littleton Seymour’s wedding picture. They married 1 Mar 1923, in Brodnax. (Brodnax is a town partly in Mecklenburg County, partly in Brunswick County)
Henry Kidd owned a store in South Hill. At first, Henry’s family lived in town; then they moved to the country to have a farm. Their farm supplied the store with produce, milk etc… Elva told me she never felt hungry. They were always well fed and did well financially during the Depression. Her father tried to help people with jobs, and tried to be a good and fair employer. On Sundays, Henry’s family went to church, then visited with his wife’s family in Brodnax. They had a car, electricity, and a phone at home and also at the store long before more rural parts of Mecklenburg had these luxuries. Elva wrote in her family history memoirs book, “Even during the Depression, I always had plenty of food and the clothing I needed. My father didn’t even finish the grammar grades, but had beautiful handwriting, was a hard worker, and provided for his family. He worked on Saturday nights until midnight, but never worked on Sundays. He started with asthma when he was in his early 40’s: A result of the mustard gas and trench warfare of WWI”
Above is the ship manifest showing Henry coming home to his father Charles Kidd, in Bracey, VA. Charles would have been married to Lucy Burton then, (1919) living on highway 903 in Bracey. Henry Kidd was the sister of Nancy Kidd. Two of Nancy’s sons (Charles and Aubrey Tudor) have been the last two veteran spotlights on this website. Here is a chart showing Henry’s branch of the family. This download is a PDF size 8.5×11.
I’m very thankful to Elva’s sons, Brent & Randall White, for helping me meet Elva and get copies of these pictures. The White family has done an amazing, truly impressive job, preserving older pictures and stories!
This picture comes from Elva Kidd White and her sons. Elva told me she wrote her cousins during the war, every Sunday. Aubrey’s mother and Elva’s father were siblings.
Aubrey moved to Pennsylvania and married Anna Marie Woomer 1 Apr 1940 in New Kensington, Pennsylvania. He joined the military in 1942.
Aubrey Tudor’s registration card says he was 5 feet 11 inches, brown eyes, black hair, light complexion. Aubrey’s brother Charles died in the war. Here’s the veteran burial card for Aubrey, and a benifits application showing military service information:
This picture of Charles Tudor was his parent’s picture. It’s still hanging up on the wall of his parent’s old house. I asked about the frame and was told that’s how the military pictures were framed, with the eagle frame and rounded glass. The rounded glass broke, but the frame and picture were untouched. New, flat glass was put into the frame, which thankfully is much easier to make a copy of the picture.
Charles was the son of James Oliver “Ollie” Tudor and Nancy Elizabeth Kidd. Charles was the 6th of 11 children. I met Charles’ younger brother Lindbergh Tudor. Lindbergh told me he had several older brothers in the war, but he was too young to enlist by just a few months. Aubrey Tudor, another sibling of Charles and Lindbergh will be the next veteran spotlight post. I met Elva Kidd White who told me she wrote letters to her cousins oversees every Sunday. (Elva’s father and Charles’ mother were siblings.) She showed me a copy of his last letter home, written 27 Nov 1944. This letter was received, then the next day, the family found out he had died. Here is Charles signature and the last paragraph of the letter, about lots of rain and asking about Thanksgiving: