Saturday, October 17, 2009

Remembering John Martin Monroe

John Martin Monroe born February 28, 1911 in Rochester, PA was the second child of Patrick Frank Monroe and Bertha Majors to survive to adulthood. John Monroe, described as soft spoken, was a superior athlete who played football in high school (1927 Rochester, PA) and semipro baseball for the Rochester Whippets in 1929.

John's nephew, Robert Monroe, wrote, " John attended Geneva College located in Beaver Falls, Pa. John was awarded a football scholarship & suffered a knee injury that ended his football career. My understanding from my Dad was that John tore the ligaments in his knee & at that time it was a football ending injury. I do not know if the injury happened during the fall practice or during the regular season. John served an apprenticeship as a Tool & Die Maker & worked at that trade until drafted in World War II."

Robert also writes, "I do know that John was in the Air Force & was with the 13th Air Force. The Air Force sent him to Oklahoma A& M for a period of time. Oklahoma A&M is now Oklahoma State. I remember he sent me a T shirt from there."

John Monroe was inducted into the US Army Air Force on November 21, 1943 (serial number 33 401 970) took his basic training at Fort Mead. John's discharge indicates that he was qualified as a Clerk Typist 405 and with a Carbine MM 43. His discharge lists battles served as New Guinea, Northern Solomons, Bismarck Archipelago and the Southern Philippines. He was awarded a Good Conduct Medal, a Philippines Liberation Ribbon with 1 Bronze Star, an Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal with 4 Bronze Stars and a World War II Victory Medal. John was honorably discharged on January 1, 1946 having served a little over 3 years and one month. He left the Army with the rank of Staff Sargent.

John Martin Monroe's youngest sibling, was a sister Mary Louise Monroe who was an athlete in high school and reportedly was of Olympic caliber. She was born in August 30, 1920 but died while still in high school in on September 17, 1937, before her Olympic hopes could be realized.

Robert Monroe wrote, "John worked for Social Security in the Pittsburgh area but ended his career working for the Social Security Agency located in Beaver Falls. He lived in Chippewa Township which is a area located outside of Beaver Falls. He lived with a lady whose name was Bertha Lehman." "He was married when he was in the service; I met his wife while visiting my Aunt Margaret in Rochester. Her name was Maggie & they had one child that died at birth."

He [John] did like to fish and he did take fishing trips; it may have been with Ernie Brown. I met Ernie Brown one time when he was with Uncle Mike to visit my Grandfather. i believe they both had their wives with them at that time. Ernie Brown was not with Uncle Mike when we went to Akron to visit his sister Sadie."

"I think my Grandfather [Patrick Frank Monroe] and Uncle Mike [Michael John Munroe] kept in touch someway or through someone. My grandfather talked about Uncle Mike before I met him. It's strange now when I think about it but i can remember it so plain the day my grandfather and Uncle came to our home for the first time. There was just the two of them; had no idea where they stayed or what they did. My grandfather didn't drive. Uncle Mike make the trip to my Grandfathers funeral alone. "

John Martin Monroe died in 1978 at the age of 67 and is buried in Sylvania Hills cemetery (New Brighton, PA) with his brother Willis Monroe, Willis's wife Emma Mae, John's sister Margaret Bittner and her husband Robert Bittner.