Family Ties: Family Members in Service During World War II

With over 16 million Americans serving in World War II, it’s no surprise that there were members of the same family in the same theaters. While digitizing from the U.S. Coast Guard Series “Activities, Facilities and Personalities” for ingest into the catalog, we found that there were several photographs documenting familial relationships between servicemen during and after the war.

From twins in different branches of service, to fathers and sons in the Coast Guard together, to individual siblings standing in for their fellow siblings fighting the war in different spheres, these photographs represent the tremendous commitment and sacrifices that American families made to the war effort.

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Brothers in Arms – Ervin Mouish, Yeoman 3c ( R ) who is serving in the U.S. Coast Guard and his twin, Norman Mouish of the U.S. Army, a private, were united at Ervin’s station, here, recently. The twins were born on February 26, 1922 in Staunton, Illinois. The only marked difference between the two is their respective selection of Services. (Box 137; 26-G-137-1)

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Like Father; Like Son – Howard M. Pankey, A.S. ( R ) of the U.S. Coast Guard gets first-hand instructions from his father, Chief Water Tender Howard M. Pankey of the same station, on the correct method of filling out the important Pay slip. Chief Pankey came up through the ranks from a recruit and is having his son go through everything he had to do. Merely a guide, his father grants him no special favors. ( Box 137; 26-G-137-2)

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Coast Guardsmen Father and Son in Philippine Invasion- A father and son, both Cost Guardsmen, collaborated when America’s mighty Pacific Armada, drove its liberation wedge into the Philippines on Leyte Island. Coast Guard Lieut. (JG) Harold E. Dennis (left) serves aboard a Coast Guard-manned invasion transport, and his boy, Coast Guardsmen Harold E. Dennis, Jr., is a radio technician second class, aboard a Coast Guard patrol frigate. Good fortune brought them together for a short time on the way to the Philippines. Lieutenant Davis, a World War I veteran who came back for more, participated in the Marshall Island, Guam, and Peleiu Invasions. Their home is a 117 Washington Street, Portsmouth, Va. (Box 70; 26-G-3557)

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Members of “Fightingest Family” Aboard Coast Guard Vessel – Eighteen fighting men are represented by these three veterans of Pacific wars who are shown here aboard a Coast Guard-manned assault transport as they trace the whereabouts of their families on battlegrounds all over the world, just before the invasion of Saipan. (From left) Cpl. Hillard R. Cook, of 1978 Perkiomen Ave., Reading, PA., U.S.M.C; Coast Guard Chief Gunner’s Mate Kenneth Seeloover, of 902 W.75th St., Sterling, Ill., and PFC Joseph Sensky, of 26 Penn. Ave., Washington, PA., U.S.M.C; each has six brothers in the service, most of them overseas. (Box 65, 26-G-2591)

5 thoughts on “Family Ties: Family Members in Service During World War II

  1. My family has had men in every war back to the French & Indian War. Two twin great uncles served in WWI. My mother’s three oldest brothers served in WWII, one Navy, two Army. My father and his only brother both served in WWII and Korea, both retired with over 20 years service each.
    I did a hitch in the Navy, but no war duty.

  2. My father and two of his three brothers served in the Army during WWII. One didn’t make it back.

  3. Four of my uncles served during WWII in the Navy: two were brothers and two were brothers-in-law. Three of them served in the Pacific and the fourth, the youngest of the group, joined in 1945 and the war ended as he was about to ship out. Then two of the four served again in Korea. They’ve all passed away, but they were all great men.

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