Notes from the past…

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Late as usual

I know that Memorial Day was yesterday, but I just found the neatest site while researching my Turner ancestors!

Jerry Roy McDonald was the 8th and youngest child of Mattie Turner McDonald (my 1st cousin twice removed). He died in WWII when his plane was shot down near Munich, Germany in 1945.

I just did a routine Google search for Jerry R McDonald, which I do with each ancestor, although I usually don’t get any new or different information. But this time…:

Capt. Jerry R. McDonald

(Dick Herbst via 55th FG Newsletter)

Capt. Jerry R. McDonald

338th FS – July 1944 – 28 February 1945 (Killed in Action)

Assigned Aircraft

P-51D ?

Mission History

Not Known

Mission List

Not Known

Air Scores


Ground Scores


Score Detail 24 December 1944 Me-109 destroyed (air) S/Coblenz
14 January 1945
Me-262 destroyed (ground) Parchim
Notes 13 December 1944 – Awarded 2nd Oak Leaf Cluster to the Air Medal
02 February 1945 – Awarded 4th Oak Leaf Cluster to the Air Medal
16 February 1945 – Promoted from 1st Lieutenant to Captain
17 February 1945 – Awarded 5th Oak Leaf Cluster to the Air Medal
28 February 1945 – Killed in Action.
The mission was a fighter sweep in the vicinity of Munich, Germany. Capt. McDonald spotted and was strafing a train near Landshut when he was caught in the enormous explosion of the train and crashed and killed instantly. Capt. McDonald is buried at Lorraine American Military Cemetery and Memorial, St. Avold, France. He was from Texas.Reproduced with kind permission of Mr. Robert M. Littlefield from the author’s book Double Nickel – Double Trouble

Wow, a picture of Jerry Roy McDonald! This is just too exciting. I already had some basic info on his military service, but not any details!

The site is the 55thth Fighter Group Website, a United Kingdom site. It has photographs, statistics, oodles of info!

Here’s another photo, this time a group shot of the 338th FS Personnel on 11th Aug 1944:

338th Fighter Squadron

Capt Jerry R McDonald is #10 in this image.

You can study old documents and read books by the case to learn about an ancestor, but there is nothing better than a photograph to turn that data and those sources into a person! Jerry McDonald wasn’t married at the time of his death, but he had parents, siblings, friends- all who loved him and missed him. He gave his life for the freedoms that we all enjoy today.

Capt Jerry Roy McDonald, U S Army Air Forces, is buried at Lorraine American Cemetery, St Avold, France.

World War II Honor Roll

Lorraine American Cemetery Memorial, St Avold, France

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It had to happen, I guess

Sooner or later, it had to happen.

What had to happen, you say?

“Kissin’ cousins”, that’s what. Last night I discovered a couple of not-too-far-off ancestors who were first cousins…and married.

Seems the oldest daughter of John Joseph Turner married the 4th child of John Joseph Turner’s sister, Edna Lenora Turner Matthews. That would make them first cousins.

Sarah Belle Turner married James Arthur Matthews, Jr. James Arthur Matthews, Sr was the husband of Edna Lenora Turner.

Fortunately, James, Jr and Sarah had no children. I’m not trying to be cruel here, but just think of the genetics problems that could be unleashed into any offspring of such a union. In fact, Sarah died only 2-3 years into that marriage, of as yet unknown causes. Maybe in childbirth…

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Time to rearrange the furniture…

…so to speak. I moved the Mary Tennessee Turner story that I had written for the Carnival of Genealogy a couple of months ago to my profile. This way, the footnote location stays active, as I now have Mary’s story there, as well as that of Dr N B Kennedy. I will continue to locate ancestors’ stories there, while the rest of my research will stay at Bluebonnet Country Genealogy. When Isaac Turner’s Civil War Pension file arrives, I plan to write the story of his life and add it to footnote.

I have also created new pages for Isaac Turner’s census documents and the family bible pages. I’m trying to keep this site well-organized, and WordPress certainly makes that job easy with the ability to create unlimited pages.