1 Reply Latest reply on Apr 23, 2020 11:25 AM by Jason Atkinson

    Seeking family of crew of USS Gunason during WWII

    Alan Thompson Newbie

      I had posted on here before, but I wanted to broaden my search a bit. The story goes like this: my grandfather, Archie Thompson, was in WWII in the Navy on the USS Gunason DE-795. After the war ended, he was stationed in San Diego until finally being discharged. He told me a story over a decade ago that, when he was discharged, he missed a train from San Diego heading back east and he and a shipmate decided that, with the money they had, they'd hitchhike across the country. They succeeded and returned to the east coast (Baltimore was where my grandfather was from).


      I've gone through Muster Rolls and tried to find other men on the ship who were discharged the same day and came up with these names and their information:

      -Dean Romaine Anderson (973 02 33) (Jackson, Minnesota. Passed November 23, 2018)

      -Thomas Richard Baghdadlian (803 31 54) (Also WT3c) (May 25, 1944 date received on 795) Weymouth, MA.

      -George Milton Butler (736 17 06)

      -Hugh Scott Falconer (577 22 96) (Temple, TX, has a son named Rex Scott Falconer)

      -Henry Harry Grell (894 80 79)

      -Malcolm Edwin Hersey (309 26 24) (From Maine, contacted son and not him. Father passed when he was only 2, mother (wife) confirmed it wasn’t “Mack” in picture)

      -Richard Ernst Jones (659 86 54)

      -Kerwin Donald Kundinger (763 39 12)

      -August Leon Labue (375 35 75) (From New Orleans)

      -Peter Barton Lyon (824 11 79)

      -Billy Snow McAllister (375 54 02) (From Carbon, TX and boarded a ship in Lubbock, TX but discharged the same day as ART).

      -William Leroy McMillian (309 28 62)

      -John Gilbert Moore (273 22 64)

      -Roy Myrth Nash (577 26 60) (Reached out to nephew on Facebook)

      -Harold Clifford Ornsby, Jr. (926 81 23)

      -Freddie Kirk Powers (935 08 88) (From Virginia, contacted family and it was him from the pictures, but he married a girl in California and then moved back to Virginia to open a church. Wasn’t him who hitchhiked)


      As you can see, I've been trying to reach out to family members  but with little luck.


      I wanted to open this search up more broadly to anyone whose family member was on the DE-795 or knew something about it or someone onboard. Here's a picture of my grandfather, Archie Thompson, taken on the DE-795:


      Here's his notice of separation:


      I have many more documents and photos that my grandfather kept and amassed during his life. I'd love to find who the person was that hitchhiked with him, but really I'd like to speak with anyone whose relative was onboard the DE-795.

        • Re: Seeking family of crew of USS Gunason during WWII
          Jason Atkinson Pioneer

          Dear Mr. Thompson,


          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


          The National Archives does not have information about former service personnel or their survivors on file.  The Federal agency most likely to have such information is the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The VA can forward a message from you to the veteran, providing the veteran has filed a claim with VA, and they have an address on record. To forward a message, please write your message and place it in an unsealed, stamped envelope. Also include a note to the VA explaining who it is you are trying to reach and add as much identifying information as you have. Place all of this in another envelope addressed to the nearest Veterans Affairs Regional Office. If the veteran is in their records, your message to the veteran will be sealed and the envelope addressed to the address they have on file for the veteran. Please note that the veteran may not have informed the VA of a change of address, so they cannot guarantee receipt of your message. If the veteran or his survivor receives your note, it is then up to the veteran to contact you.


          You also may wish to contact the following organizations as well as other organizations and forums for veterans and their families.


          We hope this information is helpful. Best of luck with your research!