My War Heroes

This page is dedicated to my war heroes;

My Grandfather, and 7 great uncles who fought in WWII.

Now, though these fellows never were famous in any way, still in my eyes they were heroes. Anyone who risks their own life for the life and freedom of someone else is a hero. That’s what my grandfather and great uncles did. I’ve never met my grandfather and have only met and grew up around one great uncle. My grandfather didn’t die in WWII, but died in a boating accident with my uncle James instead. -That in it’s self is another story- Anyway, my curiosity about my grandfather started in 2000, being that I’m older now, it makes me wonder a lot. Mostly the questions that pops up in my mind is “What was his personality like?”, “Would he have loved me?”, and “Would he be proud of me?”. Probably the most common questions to pop up in the minds of those who never met their family members. This is also how I became interested in WWII (That, and because The History Channel shows a lot of things about WWII.) which leads to my curiosity about my great uncles and anyone who fought and died during WWII. Even though I’ve never met my grandfather and a lot of my great uncles who fought, still I feel I should pay tribute to them. They deserve it, not only for fighting for this country, and risking their lives, but also because they’re my family! WWII was more then what I thought it was. I understand how much it truly did change our nation. Just like The Terrorist Attacks of 9-11 has changed us and the course of history forever, as did WWII. How can we thank those many heroes, who fought and died for our nation, for our freedom, for us? I guess the best way to say thank you, is by saying, Thank you! 🙂 I’ll never forget what my grandfather, great uncles, and many many other heroes did. And for that, I will always be thankful!! So, to my grandfather, my 7 great uncles, and all those who fought during WWII, this is my tribute to you!

My Grandfather:
My grandfather, Willard F. McKean (Frank) was born on April 4th 1917. In 1944 during WWII, he enlisted in the Navy at the age of 27. He was put on a tanker ship. (The S.S. Quebec) A ship in which is a refueler for other ships. On those ships they had deck guns, and that’s what my grandfather was, “a gunner”. My grandfather was actually on 4 ships, one was a tanker, the others were liberty ships -I believe-. My grandfather wanted to join the Navy, mainly because unlike the Army, in his own words: “at least I have a bed to sleep in and food to eat.” meaning that at least he never had to worry about not having any food or a bed. My grandfather wanted to be submariner. (Or thought he did) But that would require more training, and plus his wife (my grandmother) just wanted him to come home after he did his duty. So, he never became a submariner. But he realized after the war ended, that he really didn’t want to be a submariner after all. I myself, am glad he wasn’t. After seeing the movie “U-571” and hearing many other stories about submariners during WWII, there would’ve been a good chance that he’d die. And if he would have died then, I would not be here today.    Anyway, my grandfather survived WWII and had a family. He had 5 children, three boys and two girls. And has 13 grandchildren, me being the very last.   My grandfather died, as I was saying before, because of a boating accident. He along with his son James, were out fishing with some friends in the Meramac River. After his boat hit something (I believe a tire) the boat flipped over, and before anyone could help them, an under current had taken hold of them. They ended up drowning, which only proves how dangerous the Meramac River is. My uncle James was only 16 (going on 17) when he drowned. My grandfather was in his 40s, I believe. A very sad thing indeed. My grandfather is -and will forever be- my hero!

Great Uncle Roscoe:
Out of my 7 great uncles, one of them did die in WWII. My Great uncle Roscoe. The story goes as followed: It was 1943, my great uncle had just gotten out of boot camp. (He was in the Army.) He was assigned to go to Germany to fight. My great uncle Floyd wanted them to pick him instead, but no go, my uncle Roscoe had to go. He wasn’t there no longer than two to three weeks when his group went into a battle, during this battle he was shot with a machine gun. Still alive, he made his way back to where his group was stationed at. But by time he got there, they had already left. He ended up dying. He was buried in Germany in one of the U.S. Military Cemeteries. Before his death however, he was married and did have a son. Though this story is short, it’s all I know of him at this time. Note: This story was told to me by my dad, more info will be added in the future!

Here’s a list of my grandfather and uncles who fought in WWII:

Grandfather: Willard F. McKean (U.S. Navy)
Great Uncle: Harold ‘Roscoe’ McKean (U.S. Army)
Great Uncle: Floyd McKean (U.S. Army)
Great Uncle: Wren Sibole (U.S. Army)
Great Uncle: Bob Sibole (U.S. Army)
Great Uncle: Vernon Schmuke (U.S. Navy)
{Schmuke pronounced as Shmook-e}
Great Uncle: Edward ‘Chuck’ West (U.S. Navy)
Great Uncle: Bub Lewis (U.S. Navy)

Great Uncle Wren, Bob, & Vernon were my grandfather’s brother-in-laws.

Great Uncle Bub was my grandmother’s brother, and great uncle Chuck was my grandmother’s brother-in-law. At this time, this is all the information I have. More information will come soon…Copyright© 2002-2003 History Rediscovered