Category Archives: Military Service

Donald Shore Candlyn

Donald Shore Candlyn

Last Sunday, I shared some of the treasures of Christmases past that were preserved in the four folio volumes of Grace McKinlay Kennedy’s Memory Book. Today marks a more solemn occasion, one that Mrs. Kennedy has also preserved. Today is the 75th anniversary of the death of Donald Shore Candlyn.

I’ve written about Donald Shore Candlyn, who died heroically in the Battle of the Bulge. But reading through Mrs. Kennedy’s scrapbooks, I’ve found some more details. First, an original photograph of the 19-year-old sergeant. And also the citation for Candlyn’s posthumous Silver Star, contained in a letter to T.F.H. Candlyn from Major General Edward F. Witsell of the Adjutant General’s Office, dated 20 Aug 1945. Military censors have replaced both the precise location of the events and Candlyn’s regiment number with asterisks.

Silver Star

For gallantry in action near ****, on December 26th, 1944.

On the evening of 26 December 1944, Company E, ** Infantry Regiment, completed a successful attack and entered the town of ****. Communication lines between the company and the Battalion Command Post had been disrupted by enemy fire and as the company failed to establish contact by radio, it was necessary to send a runner to the Command Post for further orders. The man assigned this mission was held up by heavy enemy fire, and did not get through. Sergeant Candlyn, assistant mortar section sergeant, volunteered. He ran forward through intense fire, and before reaching the Battalion Command Post was killed by a sniper’s bullet. His unusual courage under enemy fire and his aggressiveness in action reflect the highest credit upon Sergeant Candlyn and the armed forces of the United States.

 

Veterans Day 2019: Dirk Roor

Memorial plaque for World War II Dead

In a previous post, I wrote about  the 255 men and women from St. Paul’s church who served in the Second World War and about the plaque bearing the names of those who died in that service. That post concentrated on one of those names, Donald Shore Candlyn. On this Veterans Day, I’d like to tell you about another of the fifteen named.

Dirk Roor (Knickerbocker News 17 May 1934)

Dirk Roor was born in Albany in 1925. Both of his parents were recent immigrants from the Netherlands, and the first time we find Dirk mentioned in the newspapers is this picture of him, age 9, dressed in a traditional Dutch costume, including wooden clogs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dirk had been baptized in Albany’s First Reformed Church, but his mother (who had beem widowed in 1934) enrolled him in T. Frederick H. Candlyn’s choir of men and boys at St. Paul’s. The next time we find him mentioned in the newspapers, he is again in costume, but this time for Halloween, posing with other trebles from St. Paul’s choir and the choirmaster’s wife, Dorothy Ridgeway Candlyn.

Choirboys’ Halloween. Dirk Roor is at left.  (Knickerbocker News 28 Oct 1938)

Dirk is probably also in this formal picture of the 1937 St. Paul’s choir, but I have been unable to identify him.

St. Paul’s Choir, with T.F.H. Candlyn, 1937

After graduating from Albany High School, Roor enlisted in the Army Air Forces in March 1944. He was a turret gunner on a B-24 Liberator that was declared missing in a combat mission over Hungary in March 1945, and his mother received confirmation of his death five months later. At the time of his death, three months before the German surrender, Sergeant Roor was 19 years old.

Sgt. Dirk Roor (Knickerbocker News 24 Aug 1945)

Dirk Roor is buried in his parents’ native country, in the American cemetery in Margraten, the Netherlands.

 

 

 

Veterans Day 2018

United States Flag (St., Paul’s 1918 Year Book)

Tomorrow is Veterans Day, which this year marks the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. The Armistice took effect at 11:00 am on November 11, “the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” in 1918. The most famous veteran of that “war to end all wars” from St. Paul’s was T. Frederick H. Candlyn, but for this centennial observance, let us remember all of St. Paul’s sons and daughters who served in that war, and particularly the two who gave their lives. A complete list, shown below, was published in St. Paul’s Year Book for 1918.

Members in Military Service, page 1 (St. Paul’s 1918 Year Book)

Members in Military Service, page 2 (St. Paul’s 1918 Year Book)

Members in Military Service, page 3 (St. Paul’s 1918 Year Book)

Here is what we know about the two who died during the war, a sailor and an infantryman:

Frank W. Silverwood

Frank W. Silverwood (1897 — 1918)

Frank W. Silverwood was born in Albany April 26, 1897, the son of Emily and Leonard Silverwood. He enlisted in the Navy in May 1918, and in August was assigned to the naval training station in Pelham Bay Park, the Bronx. He died of influenza in the Naval Hospital at Pelham Bay Park on October 9, 1918, one of ten sailors who died of bronchopneumonia there that day. October 9 was not an unusual day. During early October, at the height of the influenza pandemic, an average of ten men died of influenza in that hospital each day.

Roelif Hasbrouck Brooks

Our rector, Roelif H. Brooks, officiated at Frank Silverwood’s private funeral service on October 12, and he was buried at Graceland Cemetery here in Albany.

 

 

 

 

William S. Wilson

William S. Wilson (1888 — 1918)

William S. Wilson was born in Albany October 6, 1888, the son of William and Catherine Mullen Wilson. He was inducted into the Army in Albany on October 5, 1917. He served in Europe starting in April 1918 as a private in Company L, 325th Infantry and was killed in action in France October 10, 1918 during the Battle of the Argonne Forest. Originally buried in France, his remains were reinterred in the Albany Rural Cemetery in 1921.

These two young men, then, died one day apart, and only one month before the Armistice ended hostilities.