Here’s a Veterans’ Day question. What do the most decorated U.S. soldier in World War I and the most decorated U.S. soldier in World War II have in common?
One answer appears to be warrior genes.
According to the recorded history mapped out and networked in the Family Forest®, and summarized in this computer-generated Family Forest® relationship chart, both Sergeant Alvin York and Audie Murphy are descended from Sir Henry “Hotspur” Percy.
According to his Wikipedia profile, Sir Henry Percy “early acquired a great reputation as a warrior.”
Who would have been more surprised? Would it have been Sir Henry Percy to learn that two of his descendants each also acquired a great reputation as a warrior? Or would it have been Sergeant York and Audie Murphy to discover they both shared the same famous warrior ancestor?
Ken Burns is a master at utilizing A People-Centered Approach to History® to stimulate people to do good, which is the goal we are also striving to attain with the Family Forest® Project.
After watching his excellent program on PBS called The War , Kristine was motivated to do further research about her Uncle Donald.
Like many other young men and women in The War, Lieutenant Donald Hays Spangler was one of those who went off to serve his country, and never returned.
Kristine’s Uncle Donald, one of her father’s two brothers, was appointed midshipman at the US Naval Academy on July 8, 1938. After but a very brief naval career, he was killed in action on the USS Atlanta off Savo Island at Iron Bottom Sound, Guadalcanal, in the Solomon Islands on November 13, 1942.
His memory was perpetuated when the USS Spangler (DE-696) was named for him, and Kristine’s paternal grandmother, Myrtle Elizabeth (Blue) Spangler, was the person who christened the ship when it was launched.
Lieutenant Donald Hays Spangler’s memory now lives on in several other places on the Internet, as the niece he never knew has discovered, and is hereby passing on to her nieces, nephews, and cousins in this Veterans Day tribute.