IAS “Fighting Irish” & Visiting Our Patriot Dead

IAS “Fighting Irish” & Visiting Our Patriot Dead

The famed fighting prowess of Celtic warriors thunders down the centuries from ancient times to now.  The Irish battle cry of “Faugh a Ballagh!” (Clear the way!) was heard on battlefields in Ireland, across Europe, in North America, and around the globe over the centuries.  Irish and Scots Irish soldiers were the beloved backbone of General George Washington’s scrappy Continental Army, and Commodore John Barry (born in Co. Wexford, Ireland) is both the first commissioned officer and first flag officer of the US Navy.  The valor of Irish regiments on both sides in the U.S. Civil War is legendary, especially that of the “Fighting Sixty-Ninth” Infantry Regiment from New York.  According to the book Medal of Honor Recipients 1863-1994, after the United States, Ireland is listed as the country of birth for the greatest number of U.S. Medal of Honor recipients – far above any other non-U.S. country.

The IAS has a long tradition of appreciating the military history and heritage of the “Fighting Irish”.  Many of our members are from and/or in military families, with quite a few IAS officers and chairs in our over-40-year history being either active duty military, military reserves, retired military veterans, R.O.T.C., and/or proud military dependents.  We salute Irish/Irish American service people in ALL the historic armed forces branches of the U.S. military:  the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Navy, and Marine Corps.  We thank them and their families for their sacrifices.

USN vet and IAS President Tom Porter used to organize Memorial Day and Veterans Day bus trips for the IAS to go to Washington, D.C., where we would lay a wreath at the Viet Nam Wall in honor of the Irish-born who served in the U.S. military forces during the Viet Nam War and perished.

USN vet and IAS President Mike Bromley continued this tradition and also started up a new one; Mike founded the Irish American Honor Guard.  Three of the original five Honor Guard members were U.S. military vets (one married to a USN vet himself), and another one was a USN active duty officer (also married to a USN vet).

In 2013, Mike Bromley invited Matt Carroll of the Irish Viet Nam Veterans Memorial Project, based in Virginia, to come give a program for us.  Their quest was to build a monument IN Ireland to thank the 2,500 Irish-born who served (and especially the 32 of those who died) in the Viet Nam War.  We held a collection that meeting and made a donation to this worthy cause.  The Irish Viet Nam Veterans Memorial has now been built in Monastery Park, Ennis, Co. Clare, where you can visit it!

Pre-COVID, the IAS started holding an annual “Veteran Appreciation Pub Crawl” each November near Veterans Day.  The first year, we visited three local veteran-owned microbreweries on the crawl and wore pro-vet pins.  The second year, we wore memorial badges to honor “The Brom,” who had just passed.

Post-quarantine, IAS members, IAS Princesses, and IAS officers have participated in the Memorial Day commemorations put on by the city government in Virginia Beach.

As part of our IAS Comóradh 40/40th Anniversary commemorations, IAS President (& proud USN brat!) Lynnette Elizabeth Fitch compiled a list of our members/close family of our members who are veterans (and their spouses) specifically buried or inurned in military cemeteries.  If you know of IAS members/close family members buried in a military cemetery who are not already on this list, please let us know so we can add them to this list.  We will be posting it on both the IAS website and Facebook group page as a file that can be updated as necessary going forward.  We hope this list makes it easier for IAS members, family, and friends to find these graves to pay our respects.

Here are some websites to help you look up the graves of our patriot dead if you wish to visit them to pay your respects.

ANC Explorer
Arlington National Cemetery
Find grave function for service members buried here

(Also available as a free phone app)
https://www.arlingtoncemetery.mil/Explore/Find-a-Grave

US Dept of Veterans Affairs
National Cemetery Administration
Nationwide Gravesite Locator
https://gravelocator.cem.va.gov/ngl/

American Battle Monuments Commission
Information on US service members buried in overseas cemeteries
https://www.abmc.gov/

ALBERT G. HORTON, JR. MEMORIAL VETERANS CEMETERY, Suffolk, Virginia

  • CWO2 Joseph D. Frohwitter, USN (David Frohwitter’s father; Nadine & Josephine Frohwitter’s grandfather) – Section CB9, Row 29, Site 1
  • PH1 E6 William A. Hutchinson, USN (Maureen Tobin Cahill & Terri Tobin Oglethorpe Garand’s stepfather; Jeremiah Cahill & Meagan Oglethorpe Garibay’s stepgrandfather) – Section 17, Row 108, Site 22
  • QM1 John L. “JJ” Johnson, USN (former IAS Vice President) – Section 9, Row 3, Site 2

ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY, Arlington, Virginia

  • LCDR Patrick Francis “Pat” Carr, USN & LTJG Mary Helen “Mollie” Carr, USN – section 59, grave 2967
  • VADM Francis Raymond Donovan, USN & Martha Dwyer Lyons Donovan (Danielle Donovan Dunn’s parents) – section 3, grave 8968-B
  • COL Charles F. “Bud” O’Donnell, Jr., USA, General Douglas MacArthur’s staff WWII & Christine L. “Chris” O’Donnell – section 59, grave 4510
  • NCCS Thomas H. “Tom” Porter, USN (former IAS President) – section 67, grave 1410-1
  • SGT MAJ James Joseph “Jim” Ramsey, USMC, Purple Heart & Nancy M. Ramsey – section 64, grave 6882
  • LCDR Hamilton Roy “Sully” Sullivan, USN & Eleanor R. “Ellie” Sullivan – section 64, grave 4585

BRIG. GEN. WILLIAM C. DOYLE VETERANS MEMORIAL CEMETERY, Ameytown, Burlington County, New Jersey

  • 1LT Charles A. “Bud” Clinch, Jr., US Army Air Forces B 25 bomber pilot WWII & Dorothy J. Clinch (Patricia Opera’s & Suzette Opera Ware’s uncle and aunt & Tamara Cervi Williams’s great-uncle and great-aunt) – plot 03 7724, memorial ID 72302834

UNITED STATES NAVAL ACADEMY, Annapolis, Maryland, USA

  • CDR Neil M. Larimer, USN, USNA ’79 (Katie Morse McCrory’s uncle/godfather & Caroline Morse’s uncle) – Columbarium

Special thanks to CAPT Donna Looney-McGlynn (USN, ret.) for her help with making sure the ranks were designated consistently and correctly.

Eternal Father, Memorial verse
Eternal Father, we do bend
To your great power to the end
As Sailors, Guardsmen, and Marines
Thy will be done by every means
Be with us through the raging foam
Until you call us to your home.

By NCCM Terrence “Terry” Fahey, USN (ret), 2010

Ancient Irish Blessing of Peace
Deep Peace of the Running Waves to You
Deep Peace of the Flowing Air to You
Deep Peace of the Smiling Stars to You
Deep Peace of the Quiet Earth to You