A Memorial Day Tribute to Ragan Brock Justice

He was born as Ragan Justes on February 10, 1921 to William Harvey Justes and Minnie Mead Brock in Tennessee.  By the time he was two, the family was living in London, Laurel County, Kentucky.  At the age of nine, he had moved with his family to Morgan County, Tennessee.  Then, as he turned 14, the family was residing in rural Lee County, Virginia.  When he enlisted in the USMCR on August 4, 1942, they were living in Pennington Gap, Lee County, Virginia.  Most of the information contained in this tribute was found in US Marine Corps Muster Rolls in which he is listed as William R. Justice.  As with many Justes, Jestes, Justus, family members who joined the Armed Forces, their names became Justice as a favor of the Federal Government.

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This photo was obtained from a FindAGrave for Ragan Brock Justice supplied by RJA.

By October of 1942, PVT Ragan Justice was stationed in New River, North Carolina with Company M, 3rd Battalion, 21st Marine Regiment (Reinforced), 3rd Marine Division and was being transferred to Company K.  By July of 1943 he had been promoted to PFC and was still with Company K but now was fighting in the Marshall Islands on Guam.  In January of 1944, PFC Ragan Justice was in the Rear Echelon as a patient in the Division Field Hospital from wounds incurred in action.

By July, 1944 he had been promoted to Corporal and was still confined to the hospital after being wounded in action.  Then on July 22, 1944 according to the last Muster Roll he was deceased from “wounds received in action”.  His FindAGrave shows a death date of July 23, 1944, but the Muster Roll reveals it was a day earlier.

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This record of Virginia deaths in the WWII Casualties Books shows his information at the very bottom of the page, to include his mother’s name.

William Ragan Brock Justes/Justice gave his life in service to his country on a distant island defending his nation from an evil empire of the Japanese.  His body was returned to the United States and he was buried in Pleasant View Cemetery in London, Laurel County, Kentucky.  I salute you Corporal Ragan Brock Justice for your sacrifice for the people of this country.

I’ll see you on down the road.

Uncle Thereisno Justice



A Memorial Day Tribute to Reilly B. Stonecipher

Reilly B. Stonecipher was born on November 8, 1915 in Claiborne Parish, Louisiana.  His parents were George Clawson Stonecipher and Eva Caroline Bond.  He was a 5th great grandson of Joseph Marion Stonecipher from Morgan County, Tennessee.  He was the oldest of seven children.  In 1933 he graduated from Haynesville High School in Haynesville, Louisiana.  After graduation, he held various jobs until 1937 when he began his employment with the Maintenance Department of Louisiana State University.  He held the job at LSU until about April of 1942.

Reilly then enlisted in the US Army at Camp Livingston, Louisiana on May 16, 1942 like many other young men responding to the invasion of Pearl Harbor.  He was assigned to the Armored Force and sent to Armored Force School at Camp Beauregard located at Fort Knox, Kentucky.  In October of 1942 Private Reilly B. Stonecipher was certified as a Radio Operator/Maintainer at the school in Camp Beauregard.

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PVT Stonecipher after his enlistment

Reilly was assigned to Company A, 81st Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 5th Armored Division, and his unit was transported to New York City.  On March 31, 1943 his battalion departed from New York bound for the European Theater of Operations.  It should be noted here that being in a reconnaissance battalion was in itself not a safe or secure place to be.  Throughout most of 1943, his unit was involved in the North African Campaign, stationed in Tunisia.  As late 1943 came around, they were reassigned to duty in the reclamation of Rome from the armies of Mussolini.  Company A of the 81st Recon Battalion landed on the Anzio Beachhead on February 1, 1944.  From there they made preparations and began a deliberate advance toward Rome.  On February 20, 1944, PVT Reilly Stonecipher’s armored vehicle was targeted by the enemy and hit by shellfire as it continued to advance toward Rome.  Private Reilly B. Stonecipher was Killed in Action when the armored vehicle was hit.

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This was copied from the World War Two Veterans Facebook page. Note all of his brothers who also served.

Reilly’s body was buried in Shady Grove Cemetery, Haynesville, Claiborne Parish, Louisiana.

It is with deep respect and honor that I pay tribute to Private Reilly Buthay Stonecipher who gave his life defending the United States and its Allies from the Fascist/Socialist dictators of World War II.  Thank you for your sacrifices to all those who fought and died in World War II.

I’ll see you on down the road.

Uncle Thereisno Justice



A Memorial Day Tribute to Allen L. Brasel

Allen Brasel was born on February 29, 1924 in Whiteside County, Illinois to Paul Bently Brasel and Sylvia Fern Neal.  He was the great grandson of Mary Jane Justice, the daughter of Michael Justice, son of Abraham and Mahattie.  As a young boy he lived with his parents and siblings on the family farm in rural Whiteside County.  By the time he was 16, the family was living in the town of Meacham in Marion County, Illinois.

At age 19, on December 8, 1943, two years and a day after the Day of Infamy, Allen L. Brasel enlisted in the United States Army.  He was assigned to Company E, 120th Regiment, 30th Infantry Division.  His unit spent the next two months in combat training.  The entire regiment was then transported to Boston, Massachusetts from which they departed the United States on February 12, 1944, bound for Scotland.  His regiment and others arrived in Scotland on February 22, 1944.  The entire division, under the command of Major General Leland S. Hobbs, was involved in amphibious training in the UK until early June.

On June 15, 1944 his unit landed on Omaha Beach, Normandy, France, the product of all the amphibious training they had received.  From the point of landing they were involved in fighting against the Germans.  From July of 1944 to September of 1944, the unit fought its way across the entirety of Belgium.  By September 10, they had fought to Brussels and Tournai, taking out many German companies along the way.  By this time Allen had been promoted to PFC.  Company E and all of the 120th Regiment took objectives near Horbach, Germany by mid September.  And still their progress was not halted, as they began an assault on the Siegfried Line on October 2, 1944.  The Siegfried Line was breached on October 3.  The assault continued and the unit fought valiantly.  On October 5, 1944, as his unit fought forward, PFC Allen L. Brasel gave up his life in defense of his county, his state, his country, and everyone who values the freedoms cherished in this great country.

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Application for a Military Headstone for PFC Allen L. Brasel

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Military Headstone for Allen Brasel in Alma Cemetery, Alma, Marion County, Illinois

To PFC Allen L. Brasel I give a much deserved salute for his sacrifice in reclaiming the world from the tyranny and brutality of Hitler’s regime.

I’ll see just down the road aways.

Uncle Thereisno Justice



A Memorial to James K. Estes: A Followup

It has been 153 years since the death of Corporal James K. Estes on April 27, 1865 while he was aboard the Steamboat Sultana.  The Sultana, a sidewheel riverboat hired by the Union Army to transport paroled prisoners of war to their homes and freedom, exploded about seven miles north of Memphis, Tennessee at 2:00 a.m. on April 27.  The resulting carnage makes this the worst maritime disaster ever, even eclipsing the deaths caused by the sinking of the Titanic.  Until May 6, 2018 there had been no grave or memorial to James K. Estes, except the memorial to all those from Tennessee who lost their lives on the Sultana that stands in Mount Olive Cemetery in Knoxville, Tennessee.  But due to a lot of hard work and superb planning, a memorial was erected at Estes Cemetery in Coalfield, Tennessee honoring the sacrifices of Corporal James K. Estes in his defense of the United States during the Civil War.  Several different groups worked together to make the memorial celebration a great success.


The memorial in Mount Olive Cemetery in Knoxville, Tennessee to all Tennesseans who lost their lives on the Sultana.

The following are a series of photographs of the Memorial Ceremony.DSC07331DSC07352DSC07349


The Memorial Headstone for James K. Estes is just beside those of his Mother and Father.

The Ceremony honoring CPL Estes featured a 21 gun salute, a cannon salute, an informative talk by Norman Shaw of the Sultana Descendants Association, a performance by Linda Moss Mines of the Tennessee Historical Commission, an invocation by Jill Jones-Lazuka the Tennessee DAR Chaplain, and presentation of the flag to the daughters of Maude Estes.

It has taken a century and a half to give the honor so richly deserved to James K. Estes.  He survived several battles, capture by the Confederates, confinement in Cahaba Prison, and lost his life on an overcrowded riverboat on the way home from the Civil War.  We owe a great deal to this young farmer from Morgan County, Tennessee.

I’ll see you on down the road.

Uncle Thereisno Justice