reflections of wwi and wwii

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Reflections of WWI & WWII : 

Reflections of WWI & WWII A collection of images and stories from the private collection of Thomas E. Leahey

Reflections of WWI : 

Reflections of WWI A collection of images and stories from the private collection of Thomas E. Leahey

John Heenan Darke Co. Ohio: 

John Heenan Darke Co. Ohio The photos in this collection belong to Thomas E. Leahey. Leahey acquired this collection because John was a cousin of Leahey’s father. John was born in 1893 the son of immigrants, Patrick Heenan and Catharine Armstrong Heenan who came to the United States from Ireland. The youngest of four, he was born here in the United States on a farm in Darke County, Ohio. The following photo shows John standing in front of the log cabin where the family lived until the siblings and their mother moved to Young Road where the siblings lived out their lives. John died in 1971. When the homestead was sold, Leahey received the uniform and photos.

The Heenan Homestead: 

The Heenan Homestead From humble beginnings….

In uniform, John Heenan: 

In uniform, John Heenan

The uniform today…: 

The uniform today… The uniform is currently located in the Old Hotel Museum in Union City Indiana.

Photos from the field: 

Photos from the field Photo of John Heenan and a “buddy”

The Christmas Dinner 1918: 

The Christmas Dinner 1918

The Menu: 

The Menu

The Decorated Hall : 

The Decorated Hall

Reflections of WWII : 

Reflections of WWII A collection of images and stories from the private collection of Thomas E. Leahey

Thomas Edward Leahey: 

Enlistment Notification Card Thomas Edward Leahey

Involvement in the War Effort: 

Involvement in the War Effort Thomas Edward Leahey: Husband of Marjorie H. McManigell Father of Kathleen A. Leahey & Thomas E. Leahey Jr Union City IN-OH Served in the United States Army July 1, 1942 to October 5, 1945. Edward Leahey reported to Camp Aterbury July 1, 1941 for basic training and became active July 15, 1941. He was Honorably Discharged receiving a Medal of Honor for service to his country from Fort Lewis Washington October 5, 1945 when he returned to Union City, Indiana, his home town. Leahey’s role in World War II was as a Sergeant in the 140th Calvary RCN TRP. He served as a Reconnaissance Specialist, and his military career began when he reported to Fort Lewis, Washington where he and his company first were trained to recognize foreign air planes and naval vessels from both Germany and Japan.


Service Secondly, he and his company were charged with sighting incoming incendiary bombs and other devices that arrived on the West Coast shorelines beginning in state of Washington and extending to the lower tip of California. His and his men’s role was to spot balloons that traveled on the air currents delivering the bombs and other devices on the shore lines along the West Coast. Japanese high school chemistry students made the balloons from tinfoil saved from gum wrappers and cigarette packs. It was the military company’s role to mark the locations of the night time landings of the balloons during night watches, and in the morning the company diffused the bombs before the beaches were opened to the public.


Service At that time, these wartime acts of aggression on the United States soil were never made known to the citizens in the U.S. The civilians trained by Leahey’s company were never involved in the process of diffusing the bombs; their role was to observe the sky and coast for foreign military advances. As his company trained civilians and servicemen for their duty, Leahey moved with the original 140th along the coastline spending time training civilians to protect the shores from foreign air and sea vessels. Once their initial training was complete, Ed and his men moved from site to site down the coastline reinforcing and retraining civilians and stationed men as their knowledge of these devices and vessels changed and increased. Ed’s four years were spent protecting U.S. citizens unaware of the imminent dangers that lurked while they slept at night. It was not until the 90’s that information about these events of World War II was made known to the general public. To this day, there is little actual account of their mission.

Thomas Edward Leahey: 

Thomas Edward Leahey Edward Leahey home on furlough in the blizzard of 1942

Thomas Edward Leahey: 

Thomas Edward Leahey In uniform

The uniform today…: 

The uniform today… The uniform is currently located in the Old Hotel Museum in Union City Indiana.

On the Home Front: 

On the Home Front War Ration Books

On the Home Front: 

On the Home Front the ration stamps

The Murphy Story: 

The Murphy Story There were five brothers and sisters all of whom served in World War II. The first to enter the military was Richard who enlisted in the United States Naval Reserve and reported for duty on September 18, 1941. Ultimately Dick served as a ship commander in the Pacific. The sisters Regina, Josephine and Sarah were registered nurses and reported January 4, 1942 for active duty in the Nurses Corps. Having received training at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Indianapolis, they signed up as the General Hospital Unit 32, which was under the sponsorship of Indiana University. The all-Indiana unit consisted of 70 doctors, 120 nurses, and 500 support personnel for a 1,000 bed medical detachment. Cousins of the Leahey family

The Murphy Family: 

The Murphy Family As second lieutenants, the sisters shipped out from New York harbor only to find the ship was sabotaged and they limped to a Canadian harbor where they boarded another ship for England. Ultimately, the sisters made the beach landing at Normandy and were pinned down for three days. They followed the troops through to the Battle of the Bulge to the end of the war. Sarah was promoted to Captain being awarded five battle stars, and all three sisters received purple hearts for their injuries in the line of duty. The sisters were with Patton on the Rhine waiting for the Russians, and all three were injured in Cologne.

The Murphy Family: 

The Murphy Family They were with Patton as he crossed France, and following the Battle of the Bulge, Patton selected the three sisters for their courage and bravery in battle to accompany him in his motor car as he moved with the troops. The three sisters were also hand picked by Patton to accompany General Wainwright’s troops who were the survivors of the Bataan Death March when they came back to Brooks General Hospital in the United States. The three sisters, their brother Dick and their baby brother Jack who enlisted in the Marines and was stationed in the South Pacific all returned home from their war experiences. Their stories like so many others are colored with bravery and courage in the history of World War II.

The Murphy Family: 

The Murphy Family Regina, Josephine, and Sarah Murphy

“Duty Honor and Country”: 

“Duty Honor and Country” A tribute to those who served… General MacArthur Thayer Award Speech

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