Survivors Medical Detachment 124th Inf 31st Div
Activated Oro Bay Apr 5th 1944
First Combat Aitape New Guinea July 1944
There are 49 GIs in this photo. Back Row (left to right):
Wilbert Veit, Robert J. Abadie, Robert E. Hobson, Leonard Neal, James
A. 'Al' Holloway, Charles Winfield, (unknown), Wallace George Smith Sr,
Kermit Foles, Ralph Kelland, 1st Sgt Barnes, Clarence McClain,
(unknown), Art Levering, (unknown), Gilbert Campbell, Gerald Fried,
Berg, (unknown), Trelvie Collum, Murphy, William F. 'Willie Fred'
Montgomery, Clothel 'CC' Dulaney, John Seitz, Art Barry, Ernest
Bennett, Lewis B. Kelly, Robert A. Lee, John O'Connor, C. A. 'Bunk'
Lewis, and Sam Linden.
Front Row (left to right):
Lyle Harvey, Neil McLeod, L. H. 'Casey' Keele, John 'Rock' Biernett,
Bertel Luke, Raymond L. 'Ray' Roach, Eric Murrah, Frank E. LeVan,
Dr. Giandomenico (called 'Doctor DeeJohn'), Hosie Smith, Richard
'Scooter' Edwards, Edward A. St. Germain, Arthur G. 'Guy' Black,
Levite (?), William M. Prather, Allen Purdy, Ernest Smith, and
Roger B. 'Hound Dog' Smith.
Far East Photo News
300 W Jefferson
I found this photograph at the home of Mr. Raymond L. 'Ray' Roach in
Starkville, Mississippi on Friday, October 7, 2005. I flew to
Starkville on October 6 to attend the annual reunion of the 124th
Infantry Regiment Medics. Ray Roach, one of Tom Deas' medics, met me
at the Golden Triangle Regional Airport (GTR) and drove me to the
Holiday Inn Express in Starkville. On the morning of October 7,
before the other folks arrived, Ray drove me to his home in
Starkville to demonstrate his hammer dulcimer. While there, he showed
me his amateur radio ham shack in the back yard. I looked up and
admired his tower and beam antenna, similar to one my father had in
the 1960s. We entered, and Ray switched on a transceiver and tuned
through one of the Amateur bands. It was quiet. Then he showed me
around. He pointed to a framed photo that was hanging on the back wall
(the photo above). He said that it was taken at Camp Stoneman,
California, near San Francisco, in December 1945, after the
124th Infantry Regiment had returned to the States. Soon after this
photo was taken, the men split up and traveled by troop train to
bases near their homes. Many of them traveled to Camp Shelby in
Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Ray said that he traveled in a 1918
coach that had no sleeping berths.
Ten veterans attended the reunion in October 2005: Tom Deas, Art
Barry, Arthur 'Guy' Black, Gilbert Campbell, Clothel 'CC' Dulaney,
Lewis Kelly, Delphia 'DJ' Laborde, C. A. 'Bunk' Lewis, Raymond Roach,
and Herb Thurston. I asked these men to identify the men in the
photo. They identified all but seven, and they were uncertain about
the identity of Sam Linden (back row, far right), whom someone
remembered as Lindsey. Since then, I have received the following
(1) The full name of Roger B. 'Hound Dog' Smith from Nodaway, Missouri
was provided by Melinda R. Cordell, a great niece, on January 1, 2012.
(2) Frank E. LeVan was identified by Tracie LeVan Weldon, his
granddaughter, on December 31, 2015.
(3) Wallace George Smith Sr was identified by Vida Hall, his daughter,
on November 3, 2018.
(4) Sam Linden (originally thought to be Lindsey) was identified by
Derek Otstot, his granddaughter's spouse, on November 24, 2018.
(5) Levite, the man in the front row fifth from the right, was
identified by Derek Otstot on December 24, 2018. He learned this from
Sam Linden, his wife's grandfather, but he did not say whether Levite
is a surname, a first name, or a nickname.
Four men in the photo remain unidentified.
Some of the survivors of the 124th Infantry Regiment Medics returned
home before December 1945 and are not in this photo. For example,
Regimental Surgeon Dr. Thomas Malcolm Deas left the Philippines for
the States on August 25, 1945. Herb Thurston received orders to return
home in early August 1945, and was discharged at Camp Blanding,
Florida, on October 15, 1945.
(Photo courtesy of Raymond L. Roach)