RYAN, JOSEPH JOHN

 

 

VETERAN OF FOREIGN WARS OF THE UNITED STATES

 

JOSEPH JOHN RYAN

 

Army

 

Nov. 11, 1943 – July 21, 1944

Combat

 

Macon, Georgia

Ft. Meade, Maryland

 

Military Honors and Awards:

Purple Heart

 

Drafted when he was 30 years old.   Was married 6 years.   Was in Normandy, Battle of the Bulge and St. Lou, France.

 

 

 

 

 

Letter home from Joe Ryan ………July 21, 1944………France

 

Dear Mom, Dad and Kids,

 

Well, it seems I have a little more time than I had expected so will write you a few lines.   How is everybody by now?   I am still OK and hope I can stay this way and soon get this over.   For me I think we are doing a good job.   We should soon have the Germans on their own ground.   We are pushing them back all the time.   I got 3 letters yesterday;  2 from Doris and 1 from Ruth.   I got yours the other day and more than pleased to hear from you.   My mail should keep coming now as I’ll be in this same outfit all the time, at least I hope I am.   Our mail is delivered up on the front lines before and I didn’t get any, but this time I should.   A letter up there the boys say makes them feel 100% better.   Tell Dad I thought of him on Father’s Day and also went to communion for him.   It was a little late but I know it will do the same good.   We are fortunate to have a priest with us and have Mass whenever it is possible.   Tell the boys when you write them I am thinking of them and will write the next time I get a chance.   I’ll close for now.   Love to all.    Your son, Joe

 

 

 

WILLIAM RYAN

 

 

VETERAN OF FOREIGN WARS OF THE UNITED STATES

 

WILLIAM F. RYAN

 

Marines  -   Combat

 

Iwo Jima

 

Military Honors and Awards:

Purple Heart

Sharp Shooter

 

Was in the Indiana Guard.   Then enlisted in the Marines.   Left January 28, 1944.   Never got home on leave.   Was killed March 8, 1945.

 

 

  

 

Letter home from William Ryan ……… Iwo Jima ……… 3-1-45

 

Dear folks,

 

Just washed my face and hands and powdered my feet and feel 100% better.   Today is the first time since the operation started that I’ve had my helmet or shoes off for more than 5 minutes at a time. 

 

I’ve seen enough combat now to last me all my life.    The first few days was hell;  rain, no sleep, standing in a foxhole all the time.   I wasn’t quite as scared on the beach as I expected to be but the Nip artillery and mortar barrages would come over every day and night and I was almost “too scared to move”.   Once a mortar hit close enough to my foxhole to knock me down.   I dug that foxhole so deep I could hardly crawl out the next day.   I’ll never speak a cruel word about the Navy again.   They’re OK in my book. 

 

That’s about all the scoop.   I know you have been praying for me.   I’ve had spent shrapnel hit me, been shot at by snipers for 10 days and still haven’t a scratch on me.   (I’ve been praying too)   Bye now and tell Janie and everyone “hello”.    Tell Barb I’m OK.   I’ll write again when we leave here.     Love, your son, Bill.   

 

 

 

                             THE RYAN BOYS COME HOME

 

Bill Ryan, who met his death on Iwo Jima and his brother, Joe, who was killed at St. Lo in France.    The boys came home and were laid to rest in the Cemetery of St. Vincent’s Church on the Auburn Road on May 8.   Bill, 18, was killed on March 8, 1945 and Joe, 30, fell July 21, 1944.   It was only coincidence that the bodies of the boys came from across the world from each other to reach home at the same time.

 

Final services by Father Miller were given and then members of the American Legion stepped forward to do military honors to their fallen comrades.    From somewhere back across the hill, a bugle sounded taps.   The flags were folded into neat triangular bundles and the first was presented to Joe’s widow, and then Bill’s flag was given to his mother.   The people slowly turned away toward waiting cars by the church.   The Ryan boys were home!   

 

JOHN MICHAEL RYAN

 

 

VETERAN OF FOREIGN WARS OF THE UNITED STATES

 

JOHN MICHAEL RYAN

 

Marines – Sgt.

 

1941-1945      Combat

 

OTC Norman, OK  -  Pacific

 

Loaded bombs on planes

Left December 11, 1941

Got Home, October 9, 1945